PBR Spotlight Game: Ottawa Nepean Canadians 18u vs. Ontario Royals 18u

By: Kyle MacKinnon
PBR Ontario Scout

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PBR Spotlight Game: Ottawa Nepean Canadians 18u vs. Ontario Royals 18u

In both teams first action of the PBLO season, Ottawa Nepean Canadians came to Hamilton to visit the Ontario Royals. In a game with some fanfare due to the fact that two players of Canada’s Junior National team would be in action, and one being our top rated prospect in Ontario, Demi Orimoloye.

The Royals would come away with a walk-off 3-2 win.

Ontario Royals Top Performers

Greg Barbuto took the mound for the Ontario Royals in game one. Barbuto, a 5-foot-10, 170 -pound righty, used a side-arm delivery to keep the Canadians off balance. Barbuto sat 73-74 in his outing, topping out at 76, using good arm-side run. Barbuto’s curveball showed enough depth and movement to keep the hitter’s honest, keeping his running fastball effective. Greg went 4.2 innings, giving up 3 hits, 1 earned run, 3 walks, 2 hit by pitch and struck out 4.

Matt Boyce took over in the 5th for Barbuto, gave up a single, and then stuck out the next hitter with Canadians on the corners. Boyce, a 6-foot-3 righty from New Zealand, has a large frame with room to continue to get stronger. He showed good command of his fastball that sat 78-80, topping out in his first inning of work at 81. His curveball had tight spin, and located it well at 67. His changeup was less effective, and seemed to struggle with the release point of the pitch. There is a potential for it to be a useful pitch in his repertoire.

Offensively and defensively the Royals were lead by Canice Ejoh. Ejoh made an outstanding play in centerfield in the top of the 6th with 2 out and the bases loaded. The catch kept the Royals within striking distance, trailing 2-0 at the time. At the plate, Ejoh went 1-2 with a walk and run scored, which were few and far between on this Saturday.

Ottawa Nepean Canadians top performers

The Canadians sent Junior National Team pitcher Matt Ianni to the mound for their opening day. Ianni came out firm, sitting 85-86, touching 87 a handful of times in the first inning. Early in the contest, Ianni commanded the outside of the plate with his fastball early in counts, and then continuing to use the fastball to put guys away, up and in. Matt carried a no hitter into the 5th until it was broken up by an Ejoh single. Ianni’s final line does not show how dominant he was throughout this contest as he faded in the 7th. Ianni went 6.2 innings, 3 earned runs, only 2 hits, 3 walks, 1 hit by pitch and 13 strikeouts.

Offensively the Canadians were led by Ianni’s Junior National teammate, Demi Orimoloye. Demi was 3-3 with a walk, stolen base and run scored.

Ianni was the hard luck loser, as the pen couldn’t close it out when he was pulled with bases loaded and 2 out in the bottom of the 7th. After an infield single tied the game at 2-2, and the bases still loaded. Jordan Bonomo worked a walk for the walk-off win for the Royals. Matt Boyce collected his first win.


Canadians     000 101 0 - 2 6 0
Royals            000 000 3 - 3 3 1

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