Accolades continue for Hawks as Ballantyne wins coach of the year award

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File Photo / Photo by Safina Husein

Coach Scott Ballantyne has done it again, but only bigger and better.

Having won his second OUA Coach of the Year award last year, the only thing that could have gone better was winning the OUA championship.

“I think certainly for me, I would trade in the coach of the year award for an OUA championship any day of the week. It was nice to be able to get both of those this year.”

2018 turned out to be the year of redemption. Coach Ballantyne, putting together another highly impressive squad, collected his third OUA Coach of the Year award in his 12th year, and this time, the Hawks got their revenge taking the OUA title to go along with it.

After having five all-stars last year, there were four Golden Hawks who represented Laurier on the first (Ryley Davenport and Keifer Quick) and second (Matthew Komonen and Christian Hauck) OUA all-star teams.

Before the individual accolades came the team success though. Led by Ballantyne, Laurier finished at the top of the regular season standings once again. The next goal was the OUA final, where they had been runners-up the last couple of years. Looking for their first title since 2013, the Hawks proved eager and ready.

Behind winning a third Coach of the Year award and second OUA title, Ballantyne’s resume is one of greatness and excellence. Which also happens to be what he has brought to Laurier baseball.

“Getting there and getting so close last year, watching the other team celebrate on the field while you’re in the other dugout is not a fun experience but it’s a good experience to go through from a growing perspective and a learning perspective and I think the guys took it to heart watching Toronto celebrate on the field,” coach Ballantyne said.

“It felt like they didn’t want that to happen again.”

Their opponent: the very team they lost to last year and rivals, the Toronto Varsity Blues. After going up 2-0, the Varsity Blues seemed to have the game in the bag to some.

The Hawks had other plans in mind though, as they came back and pushed the game the distance.

In the bottom of the tenth inning, it was first-year outfielder and second team all-star Matthew Komonen who was the hero for the Golden Hawks as his walk-off single brought in the final run to earn the Golden Hawks their 2nd OUA title in school history and win by the final score of 4-3.

Outscoring opponents by a margin of 35-14, the Hawks proved too dominant and determined to lose this year.

“The experience that we gained in 2017 helped us just to not get caught up in the moment and not worry. The guys didn’t panic, we just stuck to it and finally broke through.”

“The experience of being there and being so close made the guys hungrier and ready to go for this year and got the job done.”

Behind winning a third Coach of the Year award and second OUA title, Ballantyne’s resume is one of greatness and excellence. Which also happens to be what he has brought to Laurier baseball.

“I think it’s more of a win for our whole coaching staff. We have a very experienced coaching staff that work hard with our guys every day at practice and really take care of business and get ourselves ready. Winning that award is not just an individual award for me but an extension of our whole coaching staff and something we can all be proud,” Coach Ballantyne proclaimed.

Having had such a great amount of success over the last six years, it’s hard to envision it stopping anytime soon.

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