Canada using star power from Mississauga, Oshawa and Whitby at U18 Baseball World Cup


Published September 6, 2022 at 9:38 am

Team Canada Manager Greg Hamilton has one more exhibition game tonight to help him trim five more players off his U18 World Cup roster before Canada opens the tournament against World #3 Korea Friday in Bradenton, Florida.

Two exhibition games this weekend probably didn’t help him in his decision with Canada taking a 19-2 beating from the Unites States Sunday before letting a 4-1 seventh inning lead slip away Monday in a rain-delayed 4-4 tie with Australia.

The Juniors struggled defensively against the U.S., committing five errors and allowing 19 runs and had a tough time offensively as well. Sam Shaw (Victoria, B.C.) scored both runs and stole a base for the Juniors and Oshawa’s Keegan O’Hearn drove in a run with an RBI groundout.

Oshawa’s Keegan O’Hearn

Whitby’s Makaio Cisneros, a late addition to the squad, made a relief appearance, working the last two innings, allowing four earned runs on five hits and a walk.

Against Australia, 12th-ranked Canada led 3-1 after five when the rain came in and after the re-start led 4-1 before a three-run eighth by 10th-ranked Australians tied the game.

Canada will play second-ranked Chinese Taipei in the final warm-up game tonight.

Besides O’Hearn and Cisneros, local players on the Canadian roster (awaiting the final cuts) include Zak Szabos of Whitby and Mississauga’s Myles Naylor, a 3B/SS from Mississauga, the brother of Cleveland Guardian star Josh Naylor and Noah ‘Bo’ Naylor, who plays for Cleveland’s AAA affiliate in Columbus, Ohio.

Bo Naylor played for Canada in the 2017 U18 World Cup, won by the USA. Chinese Taipei defeated the Americans in the final of the last U18 World Cup, played in Gijang, Korea.

The U-18 Baseball World Cups, along with its continental qualifiers, have consistently featured players who have gone on to become some of the biggest names in the sport, such as Japan’s Yu Darvish and Shohei Ohtani; Korea’s Shin-soo Choo; Cuba’s Yasiel Puig and Aroldis Chapman; and Clayton Kershaw, Bryce Harper, Francisco Lindor, Manny Machado and Buster Posey, who all played for USA Baseball’s U-18 National Team.

This year’s U18 World Cup, which will be played in Bradenton and Sarasota, Florida, had been originally set to take place in September 2021 but was postponed to 2022 due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Canadians will compete in group A and face No. 3 Korea, No. 5 USA, No. 8 Netherlands, No. 25 Brazil and No. 26 South Africa.

Group B features world No. 1 Japan, No. 2 Chinese Taipei, No. 4 Mexico, No. 10 Australia, No. 13 Panama and No. 17 Italy.

The top three teams from Group A will play the top three teams from Group B in the Super Round from September 15-17, with the top two teams meeting in the championship final September 18.

(Pictured, bottom left: Mississauga’s Myles ‘Bo’ Naylor, now playing with the Cleveland Guardians’ AAA affiliate in Columbis, Ohio.)


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