Hamil­ton named to coach­ing staff for PanAm Games

The Peterborough Examiner - - Sports - - with files from The Cana­dian Press

Two men with ties to Peter­bor­ough will try to help Canada’s na­tional base­ball team qual­ify for the 2019 Pan-Amer­i­can Games.

Peter­bor­ough na­tive Greg Hamil­ton, Base­ball Canada’s di­rec­tor of na­tional teams, is part of the coach­ing staff. Pitts­burgh Pi­rates prospect Eric Wood, whose grand­par­ents live in Bailieboro, is among the 24 play­ers named to Canada’s ros­ter for the PanAmer­i­can Games qual­i­fy­ing tour­na­ment Jan. 29 to Feb. 3 in Brazil.

The top four teams from the eight-team qual­i­fier ad­vance to the Pan-Amer­i­can Games in Lima, Peru this sum­mer. The eight-team also fea­tures Colom­bia, Do­mini­can Repub­lic, Mex­ico, Nicaragua, Panama, Venezuela and Brazil.

Canada, the two-time de­fend­ing gold medal­lists at the Pan Ams, will be man­aged by Ernie Whitt for a 15th time. The for­mer Blue Jays catcher also man­aged the team to its Pan Am gold medals in 2011 and ’15 in Toronto and Pan Am bronze in 1999 in Winnipeg. Larry Walker, Denis Boucher, Paul Quantrill and Hamil­ton join Whitt’s coach­ing staff along with Tim Leiper, the for­mer Toronto first base coach who was let go by the team this off-sea­son.

“It’s al­ways an hon­our to coach Team Canada,” Whitt said in a state­ment. “I’m look­ing for­ward to work­ing with our coach­ing staff and this tal­ented group of play­ers with the goal of qual­i­fy­ing for the Pan Am Games.” Canada’s ros­ter fea­tures seven play­ers with big league ex­pe­ri­ence in­clud­ing right-han­ders Scott Rich­mond, Phillippe Au­mont, Chris Ler­oux and Dustin Molleken, left-han­der Adam Loewen and out­field­ers Michael Saun­ders and Dal­ton Pom­pey. Saun­ders, from Vic­to­ria, has played in 775 ma­jor-league games with Seat­tle, Philadel­phia and Toronto from 2009-17. The 32year-old split 38 games in ’18 be­tween the triple-A af­fil­i­ates of the Chicago White Sox, Bal­ti­more Ori­oles and Min­nesota Twins.

Pom­pey, the Blue Jays open­ing­day cen­tre fielder in ’15, has played in 64 big league games since ’14, in­clud­ing five with Toronto last sea­son. He bat­ted .255 in 41 games with triple-A Buf­falo in 2018.

Pom­pey will be joined on the ros­ter by younger brother Tris­tan Pom­pey, a third-round draft pick by the Mi­ami Mar­lins in ’18. Canada opens the qual­i­fy­ing tour­na­ment against Panama on Jan. 29.

CANADA’S TEAM

Pitch­ers: Phillippe Au­mont (Gatineau, Que.), An­drew Case (Saint John, N.B.), Jay John­son (Sus­sex Corner, N.B.), Ryan Kel­logg (Whitby, Ont.), Chris Ler­oux (Mis­sis­sauga), Adam Loewen (Sur­rey, B.C.), Dustin Molleken (Regina), Jared Mortensen (Ab­bots­ford, B.C.), Jasvir Rakkar (Bramp­ton, Ont.), Dy­lan Rheault (Gar­son, Ont.), Scott Rich­mond (Van­cou­ver), Evan Rutckyj (Windsor, Ont.)

Catch­ers: Kellin Deglan (Lan­g­ley, B.C.), Dustin Houle (Pen­tic­ton, B.C.), Andy Yerzy (Toronto) In­field­ers: Wes Darvill (Rich­mond, B.C.), Jesse Hodges (Vic­to­ria), Otto Lopez (Mon­treal), Daniel Pinero (Toronto), Eric Wood (Oshawa, Ont.)

Out­field­ers: Dal­ton Pom­pey (Mis­sis­sauga), Tris­tan Pom­pey (Mis­sis­sauga), Ja­cob Rob­son (Windsor, Ont.), Michael Saun­ders (Vic­to­ria)

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