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HUSKIES BASEBALL CLOSE 2017 MUCH IMPROVED, BUT STILL WORK TO BE DONE FOR PROGRAM

Robin Fox-Pappas (24) was a leader on and off the field for George Brown baseball this season.
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George Brown baseball closed the 2017 season on Sunday afternoon against Fanshawe, a year the has seen the program grow leaps and bounds but still with much room for improvement.  

Tom Valcke took over in the offseason, and the baseball lifer with 30 years in the game including stints with Baseball Canada, the Toronto Blue Jays, and the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame oversaw a definite attitude shift.    

“I do really like the group that we had, from the coaching staff to the players I’ve really enjoyed the year,” said Valcke. “The tough thing was that we found ways to lose rather than finding ways to win. We were able to compete in so many games, but just couldn’t close things out the way we would’ve liked to.”    

“The culture here is completely different,” said manager of athletics Melanie Gerin-Lajoie. “We had an almost completely new coaching staff, new roster and six days to get prepared for a six-week season. Changes are not going to happen overnight, but there’s no doubt we’re heading in the right direction.”    

George Brown boasted a few of the provinces best hitters, headlined by newcomers Robin Fox-Pappas, Che Andrews and Anthony Buonaiuto. All three headed into the final weekend hitting above .360 and had combined for twenty-three RBI’s. As a team the Huskies hit a solid .272 with a .368 on-base percentage.    

“With Tom, the Wideman brothers, and Ben, the credibility is there,” said Gerin-Lajoie, referring to the overhauled coaching staff. “The level of commitment to see this thing through has been there from day one, they’re all fully bought into our program. Another key has been our veterans leading the way, guys like Che (Andrews) and Greg (Hall). They’ve been great for our young guys, showing them the ropes and being leaders.”    

“There’s going to continue to be a culture change heading into 2018, more of a top-down, orderly attitude,” added Valcke. “We only have two graduating players, so guys should be familiar heading into next season. As I’ve said before, it’s winning that breeds chemistry, not the other way around.”    

Prior to the first pitch, Fox-Pappas and Greg Hall were recognized as graduating players on Seniors Day. Fox-Pappas quickly established himself among the provinces best this season, and will close the year with a batting average around .400. Hall has been the definition of solid over the past two seasons, and Valcke has singled him out as a leader on the team.   

 Look for a couple of Huskies to be named to the OCAA All-Star team in the coming weeks, and potentially in line for a major award or two. The ball is certainly now headed in the right direction as the program looks toward 2018 and beyond.    

For the Huskies full 2017 men’s baseball schedule click     here .