UFV baseball coaches named to Canada’s WBSC Premier 12 roster

Jordan Lennerton and Wes Darvill will try to help Canada qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

University of the Fraser Valley baseball coaches Wes Darvill and Jordan Lennerton will wear Canadian colours again at next month’s WBSC Premier 12 Olympic qualifier tournament.

Darvill and Lennerton were announced as part of Canada’s 28 man roster.

They’ll play alongside some notable names at the tournament, which is being co-hosted by Japan, Taiwan, Mexico and South Korea.

Former American League Most Valuable Player Justin Morneau (New Westminster) headlines the roster. The 38 year old hasn’t played a major league game since 2016, but he can draw on 14 years of MLB experience.

His MVP season in 2006 saw him collect 34 homeruns and 130 runs batted in for the Minnesota Twins. He also played for the Colorado Rockies, Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago White Sox, collecting 247 career round-trippers and a career .281 batting average.

Michael Saunders is another notable on the roster.

The Victoria native spent nine seasons in the big leagues, including parts of three seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Other Canadian players with connections to Canada’s only major league team include pitchers Adam Loewen and Scott Richmond and outfielder Dalton Pompey.

But by no means will Darvill and Lennerton be taking a back seat to anyone.

Both men were key players for Canada at last summer’s Pan Am Games in Peru, leading their team to silver.

In six tournament games and 24 plate appearances, Lennerton hit .333 with a homerun, three doubles and eight runs batted in.

In 27 plate appearances, Darvill matched Lennerton’s batting average (.333) with one homerun, one double and eight RBIs.

The UFV two combined to drive in 16 of Canada’s 43 runs while the rest of the roster accounted for 25.

At the WBCS Premier 12, Canada will be in a group with Cuba, Australia and South Korea.

They open Nov. 6 against Cuba, but they’ll be in Japan beforehand for a pair of exhibition games against Japan (Oct. 31) and the Industrial Yushu All-Stars (Nov. 3).

Of the 12 teams in the WBCS Premier 12, two will qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.

Canada will be vying to be the top finisher from the Americas while the second spot will go to the Asia/Oceania region.

For more tourney info see premier12.wbsc.org/en/2019

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