Competitive streak behind Triolo’s baseball success

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Canadian baseball player Mitchell Triolo has inherited a family gene that has allowed him to play the game he loves: baseball.

Triolo is a shortstop for a Team Canada squad that lost 12-0 to Team USA on Wednesday as it tries to qualify for the country’s final roster for the 2012 World Cup in Seoul, Korea in August.

Born to two parents who are both very competitive in other areas besides sports, the 17-year-old inherited their competitive genes.

“I hate losing maybe even more than I like winning,” Triolo said with a smirk just before batting practice.

Ryan McBride, who coached Triolo when he played for the Scarborough Stingers, thinks that it was the competitiveness that helped him get to where he is today.

“The bigger the stage, the better he plays,” said McBride, who coached Triolo for almost two years.  “He’s proven that over and over again with us. Whenever there’s a big situation he has always come through.”

After playing for the Stingers, Triolo was a member of the Toronto Mets organization.  Coach Greg described a favourite moment during an annual peewee tournament at the CNE.

Triolo was on base when his teammate had a base hit and Triolo proceeded to sprint towards home. The catcher caught the ball beforehand but the shortstop dove over him and touched the plate to score.

“It was a remarkable display of athletic ability and how quick he can think in a situation like that and adapt to it,” Dennis said.

Triolo was also a member of Team Ontario in the 2011 Baseball Canada Cup in Moncton, New Brunswick where he had the winning RBI in the gold medal game against Saskatchewan.

Canada has played two games so far at the 2012 Spring Series in St. Petersburg and is 0-2. Triolo had one at-bat in a 17-5 loss against the Netherlands, the 2011 World Champions, on Tuesday.

“We have to spend some more time on the field to get back into the rhythm since we’ve only have two practice.”

More than half of the players on the team are new members and Triolo thinks that communication is part of the reason for their loss.

“Guys [on team Canada] back at home have different systems for different plays, Triolo said. “It’s just a matter of getting everyone on the same page and that will definitely help the team.”

On Wednesday’s game against the U.S., Triolo picked up a ground ball in the bottom of the third and made a play to home plate to earn the out and end the inning.

Triolo will enter Canisius College in Buffalo to play NCAA division one baseball next year. He plans to study sports management or kinesiology at the school.