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Thursday, Jun. 21, 2018
Falcons scoop up local pitcher Vincent Bonhomme
by Randy Pascal

The doors of opportunity in baseball, north of the border, seem to be expanding these days, and local pitcher Vincent Bonhomme wasn't about to limit his search for the right fit.

The 17 year-old 6'3" right-hander has committed to join the Fanshawe Falcons of the OCAA in the fall, an option that might not even have been considered by talented local baseball players as recently as just a decade ago.

"This is only the fourth year of the program, but they have been very successful, winning nationals last year," noted Bonhomme. "That's quite appealing. They have a pretty small team, roster-wise, and they have a brand new weight-room, spending a lot of money on that."

Throw in the academic fit, as Bonhomme enrolls in the Civil Engineering program at the London (Ontario) school, and one can see the attraction that helped to keep the local product in Canada, and much closer to home.

Realistically, this is about development, and Bonhomme knows exactly where he must focus his efforts if he wants to play at a higher level, beyond his post-secondary career. "Size, strength and speed," he listed quickly. "As you get older, you grow into your body more."

"A couple of years ago, I was tall but didn't weigh very much. It was a little hard to throw at a decent rate. Now that I am starting to fill out, it's a little easier." Still, there is room to grow on the radar gun, as his three pitch arsenal (fastball, change-up, curveball) tops out in the low eighties, allowing him to be competitive in the OCAA.

"This summer is about getting bigger and stronger," he said. "There is definitely a lot of technique, but the fastest way is gaining more size. But you still have to find a balance, you have to have good technique and good strength."

Having suited up with the Brampton Royals in each of the past two summers, Bonhomme is looking forward to spending the next few months at home as a member of the Sudbury U18 Junior Voyageurs. This will also give him the chance to deal with some of the mental challenges that come with taking to the mound.

"It's definitely something I have to work on," he acknowledged. "When games are going well, the mental side is pretty easy. But when guys are getting hits on you, and maybe the defence makes an error or two, you definitely start to lose focus, and that hurts."

The OCAA 2016 season included six teams, playing on average twenty games apiece between early September and the end of October. Though Fanshawe would fall in the OCAA final, dropping a 7-4 decision to the St Clair Saints from Windsor, they avenged that loss with a 2-1 triumph over the same opponents, one week later, at nationals.

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