Hamilton named to coaching staff for PanAm Games
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.
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)