Tuesday, March 31, 2015

HarbourCats player updates - WAC / Big West edition

Sacramento State's Dane Fujinaka
We have three current HarbourCats playing in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) and four in the Big West Conference, so let’s get you updated on what they have been up to lately.

After only getting six at-bats in Sacramento State’s first 19 games, junior Dane Fujinaka has finally begun to see some regular playing time. Former HarbourCat Gunner Pollman continues to hold down the starting catcher’s job, but Fujinaka has started four of the last seven games at Designated Hitter and two others behind the plate. In those seven games, Fujinaka is 8-for-21 at the dish with 9 RBI. He is now hitting .370 on the season with no homers and 11 RBI in 27 at-bats, so I would expect head coach Reggie Christiansen to find a way to get Fujinaka’s bat into the lineup as we move into the meaty part of the schedule.

Freshman PJ Floyd seems to be entrenched as Sacramento State’s starting third baseman after mainly riding the pine for the first 10 games of the season. Over the last eight games, Floyd has gone 6-for-21 with two RBI and a stolen base, and he is now hitting .291 with no homers and seven 7 RBI in 55 at-bats this season. He is also five-for-six in stolen base attempts.

Seattle U's Griffin Andreychuk
Seattle University swept the University of Texas–Pan American in a three-game set this weekend, thanks in part to a red-hot Griffin Andreychuk. The Nanaimo native went 5-for-11 with three walks, a hit-by-pitch and four RBI on the weekend and he is now on an eight-game hitting streak. For the season, Andreychuk is hitting .305 with no homers and 18 RBI in 95 at-bats and he has raised his on-base percentage back closer to its normal, lofty level (.398).

The Sacramento State Hornets currently sit atop the WAC standings with a 6-0 record in conference play, while Seattle U is in second place with a 5-1 mark.

Over in the Big West Conference, UC Davis freshman Matt Blais finally got to take to the mound after a disastrous collegiate debut back on February 19th. Blais held UC Riverside to only one hit and a walk in a scoreless two-inning relief outing on Sunday. He still has some work to do to make up for that tough initial outing, however, as the right-hander still sports an 11.25 ERA and 2.50 WHIP after four innings on the hill this season.

Adam (A.J.) Alcantara has only received eight at-bats for UC Irvine over the last couple of weeks. Although he was used in left field for a couple of games two weeks ago, Alcantar has moved back to his usual position in right field. The sophomore currently has a .268 / .375 / .293 slash line (BA / OBP / SLG) in 41 at-bats for the Anteaters this season.

Freshman right fielder Ben Polshuk continues to receive minimal playing time with the powerful Cal Poly Mustangs. Polshuk has a mere seven at-bats since the HarbourCats announced his signing on March 10th, and he is 1-for-16 at the plate this year. The other current HarbourCat on the Cal Poly squad, freshman Austin Dondanville, has yet to make his college debut on the mound.

Both UC Davis and UC Irvine swept their series this past weekend and they sit atop the Big West standings with an unblemished 3-0 record in conference play. The Cal Poly Mustangs, who are expected to battle Cal State Fullerton for the Big West title, start their conference schedule on Thursday.

Monday, March 30, 2015

‘Cats sign three players with LA ties

Kevin Amezquita
The HarbourCats announced today that they have signed three more players for the 2015 season, boosting their current roster to a total of 38 players. The new recruits are outfielders Kevin Amezquita and Jake Pries, along with utility infielder Scott Jarvis.

Kevin Amezquita is in his sophomore season with East Los Angeles College (ELAC). The 6-1, 185 lb. centre fielder attended Gladstone High School in Covina, California, where he captained both the baseball and football teams for three years. Amezquita has been successful at getting on base for ELAC, although he has been mainly a singles hitter up to this point in his collegiate career. In his freshman season, Amezquita hit .282 with no homers and 21 RBI and he posted a solid .383 on-base percentage. He is hitting .266 with no homers and 12 RBI in 94 at-bats this spring, in addition to reaching base at a .367 clip. Over the last two seasons, Amezquita has also swiped 9 bases in 17 attempts.

Jake Pries
Photo by Martin Henderson
Jake Pries is a senior at Junipero Serra High School in San Juan Capistrano, California and a UCLA commit for the fall of 2015. The 6-4, 205 lb. outfielder put up a modest .275 / .353 / .374 slash line in his junior year of high school, but he has started his senior year with a bang by registering a robust 1.171 OPS in his first six games this spring. His father Jeff pitched for UCLA, was drafted in the first round of the 1984 draft by the New York Yankees and played professionally as high as AAA.

Third baseman Scott Jarvis is a freshman at UCLA and a former teammate of (2015 HarbourCat) Jackson Thoreson at Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose. Jarvis, who is strong defensively and can also play second base or shortstop, hit .241 with no homers and seven RBI in his senior year of high school. He has yet to make his college debut with UCLA, but the Bruins are ranked seventh in the NCAA, so it’s a pretty tough lineup to crack.

The team also announced that shortstop Ryan Anderson of UC Davis will not be able to play for the HarbourCats this summer due to a knee injury. The loss of Anderson means that Griffin Andreychuk is the only player on the roster with collegiate experience at that position. With Andreychuk being a better fit at second base, don’t be surprised if the ‘Cats sign an experienced shortstop before Opening Day. Hmmmm… I wonder what Mr. HarbourCat has planned for the summer...

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

HarbourCanucks Corner - March 25th edition

It’s time once again to check in on the three Vancouver Islanders who will be suiting up for the HarbourCats this summer. Here’s what our local boys have been up to over the past week...

Griffin Andreychuk helped Seattle U take two of three conference games from Utah Valley University over the weekend. Andreychuk got on base in all five plate appearances on Sunday to raise his on-base percentage to a respectable .367 mark, although it’s still below his usual .400+ clip. The Nanaimo native went 5-for-12 with three walks, five RBI and a pair of stolen bases in the three games against Utah Valley and he is now hitting .286 with no homers and 14 RBI in 84 at-bats this season. On the down side, Andreychuk continues to struggle defensively on the new artificial turf at Bannerwood Park, as he committed four more errors on the weekend. He now sports a ghastly .898 fielding percentage.

Former Victoria Mariner Chris Fougner is heating up again at the plate, as he picked up at least one hit in all four games last week between Salt Lake Community College and Colorado Northwestern CC. Fougner went 5-for-14 with a pair of doubles, three walks, four RBI and a pair of stolen bases on the week. He is now hitting .280 with two homers and an impressive 17 RBI in 93 at-bats. Fougner also took to the mound on Saturday for his second outing of the season and the lanky right-hander gave up a single in ⅓ of an inning pitched. He has given up two hits and no earned runs in 1 ⅓ innings on the hill this year.

Alex Rogers posted another great start for Trinidad State Junior College on Saturday, a seven-inning complete-game shutout against Northeastern Junior College. The Nanaimo native only gave up seven hits and did not walk any batters while striking out three. Rogers is 3-3 on the year with a 3.13 ERA and a slick 1.29 WHIP in 31 ⅔ innings pitched. He has also shown pinpoint control by walking only four batters all season. Trinidad State leads the Region IX standings with a 9-4 conference record.

  • The Toronto Blue Jays will host another baseball camp at Royal Athletic Park this summer with support from the the Greater Victoria Baseball Association and the Victoria HarbourCats. Unfortunately, the ‘Cats will be on the road when the camp comes to town (July 12th-13th), so HarbourCats players will be unable to participate this time around. Unlike last year, Nanaimo doesn't appear on the list of Canadian cities that the Jays will visit. Details on the Victoria event can be found on the HarbourCats’ website. Our write-up on the 2014 camps can be found here.
  • The Victoria Eagles will host the B.C. Premier Baseball League provincial championship on the August long weekend (July 30th-August 3rd) at Royal Athletic Park with support from the HarbourCats organization. Details are on the HarbourCats' website.  
  • The Victoria Mariners and Eagles will play a BCPBL regular-season game at RAP on June 4th, the night before the HarbourCats’ home opener. Tickets for that game are only $5.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

HarbourCats player updates - Pac-12 edition

Teams these days seem to change conferences as fast as the Kardashians change husbands. It wasn't too long ago that the Pac-12 was the Pac-10, and before that the Pac-8, then the Big Six, then the Big Five, then the Cro-Magnon Four...but I digress. Today, I will be focusing on the future 'Cats that have made their NCAA home the Pac-12 (est. 2011) this spring.

Gus did a nice job introducing the players in this division back a few weeks ago, so I will try to build on that and give a quick summary of how the lads are faring now that the season is in full swing and is staring to get into conference play.

The Pac-12 is a very strong baseball conference with five teams in the latest Baseball America top 25 - Oregon is ranked #22, Cal #21, Arizona State #11, UCLA #9 and USC #8. You will notice only eleven teams in the supposed Pac-12 and that is simply because Colorado does not have team as they must all be busy enjoying their Rocky Mountain High (cue the John Denver).

Recognize this guy? Hint: Gabe Clark

Victoria will have two members of the Oregon State (OSU) Beavers gracing Sports Traders Diamond this summer in Gabe Clark (1B/DH) and Michael Gretler (3B). Gabe "the Babe" is a consistent starter and is getting quite a bit of playing time, mostly at DH. He has backed this up with a respectable .270 average, tallying six home runs and a .619 slugging percentage in his 18 games played, both of which are good for second on the team. This past weekend was not a stellar one for Gabe as he went a combined zero for eight with three walks and a pair of strikeouts. I expect that this is a simply a blip on the radar which will be corrected in the upcoming series against San Jose State and Cal Poly, both of which are at home in the friendly confines of Corvallis, Oregon. We here in Victoria all know what Mr. Clark is capable of and I look forward to following him and the Beavers in their quest to qualify again for the College World Series. The Beavers continue to flirt with the Top 25 despite having to retool quite significantly from last year.

Michael Gretler plays a little less that Clark but has still appeared in over half the games so far this season, checking in with a .182 average over that span. In the recent series against Washington State, Gretler only played in the Saturday game but that let him contribute to something very special. At the plate, he was one for three with an RBI which was special because that is all the offense that freshman pitcher Drew Rasmussen needed in spinning a perfect game! That's right, 27 up and 27 down, striking out 10 in the process. It was the first perfect game ever for OSU and the first in the Pac-12 since 1973. And our boy chipped in with one of the three runs on the day. Well done Michael!

In Seattle, catcher Zach Bonneau saw a bit of action as he got into two of the three games for his Washington Huskies. He had the difficult task of pinch hitting with two out in the ninth in a one run game with a runner in scoring position, but couldn't pull the rabbit out of the hat as he struck out and the Huskies fell 3-2 to a much stronger Cal team. When the Sunday game got out of hand, he got a brief stint behind the plate going zero for one in his only at bat. The other Washington player, left-handed hurler Henry Baker, has not seen any action since starting back on March 10th against Seattle University where he went two innings, giving up no earned runs, walking two and striking out one. It will be nice having another big (six foot two inches, 235 pounds) lefty on the 'Cat mound.

Other than our known quality in Gabe Clark, it's hard yet to determine how these Pac-12 pieces will fit into the HarbourCat puzzle this summer. Hopefully the boys will see a few more innings as we get into the heart of the season so we can get some sort of indication of their mettle.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

HarbourCats player updates - NWAC edition

Jamie Umbinetti
Week Four of Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) action has just wrapped up, so let’s get you caught up on the 2015 HarbourCats who play at that level.  

Third baseman Jamie Umbinetti has continued to get on base for Edmonds Community College at an incredible pace. Over the last couple of weeks, Umbinetti has gone 5-for-19 at the plate with a homer, three RBI and three runs scored. He also drew six more walks to give him an impressive .509 on-base percentage. For the season, he is hitting .289 with one home run and six RBI, although he’s still looking for his first double of the year. We’re expecting Umbinetti’s power numbers to return to their normal level in the coming weeks.

Zander Clouse
After two outstanding relief appearances to open the season, Zander Clouse was moved into the Bellevue College starting rotation on March 10th and he has seized the opportunity. Clouse posted a pair of solid starts last week and then followed those up with a dominant outing on Saturday against Treasure Valley Community College. The sophomore from Everett, Washington only gave up two hits and a walk in eight scoreless innings, striking out an impressive nine batters en route to his third consecutive win. Clouse now sports a miniscule 0.40 ERA and 0.77 WHIP in 22 ⅓ innings on the hill this season and he has held opponents to a .130 batting average. While his 7.7 strikeouts per nine innings is in line with his past numbers, we’re pleased to see that Clouse has reduced his walk rate to a solid 2.8 batters per nine. The Bulldogs, who currently have a 13-5 record, will play their first conference games next weekend when they take on Jamie Umbinetti and the Edmonds CC Tritons in a four-game series.

Freshman Curtis Bafus of Everett CC had the first starting assignment of his college career on Sunday and it was a stellar performance. Bafus allowed only one unearned run on four hits in a six-inning outing against Clark College. The 6-7 right-hander struck out seven and walked only one batter. He now has a solid 2.38 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 11 ⅓ innings pitched.

Kyle Francis continues to battle control issues in his freshman season with Everett Community College, much like he did in high school. Francis gave up four runs (three earned) on seven hits and four walks in a six-inning start against Pierce College today. Although he sports a tidy 2.21 ERA in his three starts this season, his generous walk rate has inflated his WHIP to a worrisome 1.45. Unless Francis can improve upon his 5.3 walks per nine innings, look for that flattering ERA to start climbing.

After a slow start with the bat, Francis has seen fewer plate appearances over the last couple of weeks. That might change soon, however, as Francis has gone 5-for-11 with three RBI of late to raise his batting average to .226 on the season. Although he has been used in the DH role for most of his 31 at-bats, Francis has also seen a bit of playing time in right field.  

First baseman John Naff continues to struggle at the plate for the Everett CC Trojans, as the sophomore went 2-for-13 over the last couple of weeks to extend his lengthy slump. Naff is hitting .152 with one homer and an RBI in 46 at-bats this season. I have said it before and I'll say it again: I'm expecting the perennial .300 hitter to break out in a big way sometime soon.

Pierce College’s Matt Fish was scheduled to get the start against Clark College today, but the box score from that game is not currently available. In the previous week, Fish started twice and gave up 11 hits and four earned runs in 6 ⅔ innings pitched. The sophomore has been a shadow of himself in the first three weeks of this season, and he entered this weekend with an ugly 5.29 ERA and 1.76 WHIP. Look for Fish to rebound in a big way in the near future.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Record book amended to include batting Game Scores

Hunter Mercado-Hood's July 1st performance
got lost in the shuffle last year
A few months ago, we unveiled the Victoria HarbourCats Record Book, an extensive listing of pitching and batting records that were set in the first two years of franchise history. One of the interesting features included in the individual single-game pitching records was a category for the best pitching performances, based on a simple Game Score metric created by Bill James many years ago. To satisfy our (sometimes morbid) curiosity, we also used this metric to identify to worst pitching achievements in franchise history. However, I recently realized that we had no reliable way to objectively identify the best and worst single-game batting performances in franchise history, so I set out this week to fix that issue.

The pitching Game Score metric that was developed by James has gradually achieved mainstream acceptance. Today, we can even look up MLB Game Score leaderboards on popular websites like ESPN’s. Although James also developed a batting Game Score metric, the offensive version of this statistic has never been embraced by the baseball community. I have resurrected this long-lost sabermetric tool and used it to identify the best and worst offensive games in HarbourCats history. It’s worth noting that I made some slight modifications to James’ original formula so that only stats that are readily available in the West Coast League are used, but I’ll spare readers the gory details. If you are interested, a description of how I calculated batting Game Scores can be found at the very bottom of the Individual Batting Records (Game) page.

So who had the best single-game batting performance in franchise history? Even casual HarbourCat fans will remember Gabe Clark’s three-homer game on July 18th last year, so perhaps we’re not breaking new ground on that front. Next to Clark’s monster day, we identified Hunter Mercado Hood’s 2014 Canada Day Massacre as the second-best batting feat in team history. HMH went an impressive four-for-four with a home run, four runs scored and six RBI on the afternoon. I was also surprised that Griffin Andreychuk posted two of the top nine performances, but then again I really need to stop being surprised by the production from our local players. Here is a list of the top batting achievements in team history:

Clark, Gabe           26.5  (4 AB, 3 H, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 3 R; Klamath Falls at Victoria, W 14-8, July 18 2014)
Mercado-Hood, Hunter  24.0  (4 AB, 4 H, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 4 R; Kitsap at Victoria, W 19-2, July 1 2014)
Schuknecht, John      22.0  (3 AB, 3 H, 2 HR, 1 BB, 5 RBI, 2 R; Klamath Falls at Victoria, L 11-6, August 1 2013)
Schuknecht, David     18.5  (4 AB, 3 H, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R; Victoria at Wenatchee, L 8-4, August 7 2013)
Boeke, Ted            18.3  (4 AB, 3 H, 1 HR, 1 BB, 1 SO, 4 RBI, 2 R; Victoria at Walla Walla, W 9-1, August 6 2014)
Clark, Gabe           17.3  (3 AB, 2 H, 2 HR, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 HBP, 2 RBI, 2 R; Corvallis at Victoria, L 8-5, July 26 2014)
Andreychuk, Griffin   17.0  (4 AB, 2 H, 2 3B, 2 BB, 3 RBI, 3 R; Kitsap at Victoria, L 13-12, August 8 2014)
Lukes, Nathan         17.0  (4 AB, 4 H, 1 HR, 1 BB, 2 RBI, 2 R; Medford at Victoria, W 9-8, July 11 2014)
Andreychuk, Griffin   16.0  (2 AB, 2 H, 1 HR, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 1 RBI, 4 R; Bend at Victoria, L 13-7, June 24 2014)
Clark, Gabe           16.0  (5 AB, 3 H, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, 1 SB; Medford at Victoria, W 9-8, July 11 2014)
Smith, Wyler          16.0  (4 AB, 4 H, 4 RBI, 2 R, 2 SB; Kitsap at Victoria, W 17-3, July 2 2014)

Now it’s time for the juicy stuff: Who had the worst day at the plate in team history? Wyler Smith has that distinction, based on a July 7, 2014 game in Yakima Valley in which he went oh-for-seven with a strikeout in a heartbreaking 14-inning loss. On the plus side, Smith did contribute a key outfield assist on that day to extend the match, but his defensive play doesn’t help him in this particular statistical category. Second on the list is Gabe Clark’s zero-for-six with two strikeouts in a home game on the final weekend of last season. Alan Baldwin, Gunner Pollman and Clark all share the third spot on the list with a zero-for-five performance that included three strikeouts. Ouch. Here is a list of the other dubious offensive feats:

Smith, Wyler          -3.7  (7 AB, 0 H, 1 SO; Victoria at Yakima Valley, L 6-5, July 7 2014)
Clark, Gabe           -3.4  (6 AB, 0 H, 2 SO; Kitsap at Victoria, L 13-12, August 8 2014)
Baldwin, Alan         -3.1  (5 AB, 0 H, 3 SO; Victoria at Cowlitz, L 9-5, June 27 2014)
Clark, Gabe           -3.1  (5 AB, 0 H, 3 SO; Victoria at Wenatchee, W 5-0, July 30 2014)
Pollman, Gunner       -3.1  (5 AB, 0 H, 3 SO; Victoria at Kelowna, W 7-6, June 6 2014)
Lesinski, Jake        -3.0  (6 AB, 0 H; Victoria at Cowlitz, W 9-8, June 29 2014)
Carter, Devin         -2.9  (5 AB, 0 H, 2 SO; Bend at Victoria, L 13-7, June 24 2014)
Collier, Danny        -2.9  (5 AB, 0 H, 2 SO; Victoria at Wenatchee, W 5-0, July 30 2014)
Greager, Bryce        -2.9  (5 AB, 0 H, 2 SO; Cowlitz at Victoria, W 6-5, June 10 2014)

Since we’re only two years into franchise history, I’m expecting that many of the top Game Scores will be surpassed in the next couple of years. However, with the team clearly on the upswing, poor Wyler Smith might retain his unwelcome crown for a while yet. Baseball can be a cruel game sometimes.

Monday, March 16, 2015

HarbourCanucks Corner - March 16th edition

We’ll be posting updates on our players in the Mountain West, WCC and Pac-12 conferences in the coming days, but let’s get you updated right now on the progress of the local ballplayers who will be suiting up for the HarbourCats this summer.

Alex Rogers
Alex Rogers had another good start for Trinidad State Junior College on Saturday, but he took the loss against McCook Community College due to a lack of defensive support. Rogers allowed five runs (three earned) on seven hits and a walk in 6 ⅔ innings pitched while striking out six. The Nanaimo native has a 2-3 record on the season with a 4.01 ERA and 1.38 WHIP and he has shown excellent control, walking only 4 batters in his 24 ⅔ innings pitched. The Trojans are 13-9 on the season and 7-3 in conference play in spite of their nasty 6.70 team ERA.

Good news -- we can finally give you a full update on Chris Fougner, as Salt Lake Community College appears to have finally solved their technical issues posting box scores. Although he hit his second homer of the year on March 6th, Fougner has cooled off a bit at the plate over the last few days. In his last seven games, the former Victoria Mariner has gone 4-for-27 with a home run and five RBI to go along with three walks and three stolen bases. Fougner is hitting .266 on the season with two homers and 13 RBI in 79 at-bats and he has started 24 of 27 games in the Bruins’ outfield.

After a brief stint batting ninth, Griffin Andreychuk was moved back into the leadoff spot for Seattle University this week. Andreychuk went 4-for-17 with three RBI and two runs scored in four recent games and he also registered his first triple of the season, a long fly ball off the right-field wall against the University of Washington on March 10th. Hardcore HarbourCats fans will recall that Andreychuk is the only player in franchise history to slug a pair of triples in a game, a feat he accomplished on August 8, 2014. He’s hitting .264 on the season with no homers and nine RBI in 72 at-bats, although his on-base percentage is a disappointing .333 so far. Seattle U has a 7-13 record in non-conference games, but they start conference play on the weekend with a three-game series against the Utah Valley Wolverines.

  • PJ Floyd’s season has taken a dramatic turnaround of late. After only getting three at-bats in Sacramento State’s first 10 games, Floyd has started the last four games at third base and he has seized the opportunity, going 6-for-19 with two RBI and four stolen bases. The highlight of his week was swiping three bases against (NAIA opponent) William Jessup University on Tuesday, including two steals of third base. Although he is normally a shortstop, Floyd has played three innings at second base this season on top of his four games at third base and he has not committed an error. He is hitting .294 with no homers and five RBI in 34 at-bats, but his on-base percentage is an identical .294 mark. He's still looking for the first walk of his collegiate career.
  • On March 10th, Cuesta College’s Alex Fagalde had his second-consecutive solid start after four rough ones to begin the season. Fagalde held Oxnard College to two earned runs on seven hits and a pair of walks while striking out four, but he took the hard-luck loss in a tight 2-1 ballgame. He has a 1-5 record with a 4.71 ERA and 1.29 WHIP on the season. Given his decent WHIP and close to a 2:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, you can expect that inflated ERA to continue to fall.
  • Adam (AJ) Alcantara started all three weekend games for UC Irvine and went one-for-seven with two walks. Although he has been used almost exclusively in right field, Alcantara moved over to left field for a pair of the weekend games against San Jose State. He sports a .273 batting average and a tidy .400 on-base percentage with no homers and one RBI in 33 at-bats this season.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

HarbourCats roster built to win

At the conclusion of the (disappointing) 2014 season, we compared the HarbourCats roster to the ones fielded by Bellingham and Corvallis, the two participants in last year’s West Coast League Championship Series. As we highlighted in that post, last summer’s group of HarbourCats was significantly younger than the Bells and Knights, and we suggested that veteran rosters have a greater chance of success in the tough West Coast League. That really shouldn't have come as a surprise, because that fact is self-evident in every college baseball conference each spring.

Now that the overwhelming majority of Victoria's 2015 roster has been announced, we thought that it would be a good idea to compare it to the rosters used in our previous analysis. As you can see from the bar chart below, the 2015 HarbourCats will feature a lower percentage of high school seniors and college freshmen than was the case last season. The team has also signed a significantly higher proportion of sophomores than it did last season (39% versus 25%). So far so good. Unfortunately, the ‘Cats have signed a slightly lower percentage of juniors than they did last summer (8% versus 11%) and the 8% figure for juniors pales in comparison to last summer’s veteran Corvallis (45%) and Bellingham (21%) rosters.
Another way to compare the experience levels of the four rosters in question is to combine the high school seniors and college freshmen into one group and the upperclassmen (sophomores and juniors) into another. Here’s what the bar chart looks like when we do that:
It's clear that HarbourCats GM Jim Swanson and his new coaching staff (Graig Merritt and Alec Adame) have done a pretty darn good job of recruiting an older, more experienced group than last season. Is the roster makeup perfect? Not quite. Roughly 47% of the 2015 roster is comprised of upperclassmen, and although that figure is up from 36% last summer, it still trails last year’s veteran rosters in Corvallis (65%) and Bellingham (59%) by a fair bit. The main thing is that the numbers are headed in the right direction and the tradition of bringing players back for multiple seasons is starting to take hold. This summer we’ll have seven returning players (Gabe Clark, Mikey Wright, Alex Fagalde, Alex Rogers, Griffin Andreychuk, Carson Schneider and Preston Ryan) and the 14 sophomores currently on our roster can't hurt our chances of increasing the percentage of juniors on the team in 2016.

Another change in the composition of the roster is a slightly reduced reliance on NCAA Division I players. Last year’s team was comprised of approximately 88% Division I players, but that number has been scaled back to a more moderate 67% this season. The infusion of capable players from community/city colleges, junior colleges and Division II baseball should make for a more diverse and motivated team. Although I’d still prefer to see one or two more fired-up British Columbians on the team, I give the organization a solid “A” grade in putting together this year’s roster.

The franchise may have an all-time winning percentage of only .435, but the HarbourCats roster wasn't short on skill in the past two seasons -- and it certainly isn't this year either. While we’ll save our detailed season outlook for another day, let's just say that the 2015 version of the ‘Cats will easily be the best that we have ever seen. I’m confident that we’ll see our first bona fide pennant race in franchise history this summer and possibly much more than that. Only 84 more days until Opening Day... now bring on the Bells!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

HarbourCats sign seven; outfield beefed up

Kevin Collard
The HarbourCats announced today that they have signed seven more players for the 2015 season, including four outfielders, two pitchers and a catcher. Three of the signees are freshmen, two are high school seniors, one is a sophomore and the other is a junior.

Kevin Collard is a speedy centre fielder from Vista, California who is generating a significant amount of buzz for the upcoming MLB draft. The left-handed hitting slugger is a senior at Rancho Buena Vista High School, the same school that former HarbourCat Wyler Smith attended. Assuming Collard doesn’t sign with an MLB club this summer, he’ll be suiting up for the University of San Diego in the fall. Although his numbers as a high school junior aren't available, Collard put up an excellent .417 / .430 / .527 slash line in his sophomore year. He’s a potential impact player in the West Coast League despite his tender age.
Kacy Smith

Kacy Smith is a 5-10, 190 lb. outfielder from the University of San Diego (USD) who played the previous two seasons at Grossmont College in El Cajon, California. Smith is only two-for-seven in limited playing time with the Toreros this season, but he was named to the All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference (PCAC) Baseball Team in both of his years at Grossmont. He has shown outstanding strike-zone judgment -- not only did he lead the league with 23 walks last season, but he only struck out 10 times in 145 at-bats. Smith also hit .324 with one homer and 24 RBI and was 10-for-14 in stolen base attempts. The left-handed hitter has a reputation for playing baseball with a hard-nosed attitude, but that isn’t really a surprise considering that he was a star linebacker at Helix High School in La Mesa, California. I mean no disrespect to other HarbourCats, but any West Coast League team with playoff aspirations needs to have guys like this on its roster.
Reno Rankin

Kevin Collard isn't the only speedy centre fielder in the group of newcomers. The HarbourCats have also signed Mareno Rankin aka Reno Rankin Jr., a freshman from Los Angeles Mission College with a smooth swing. Rankin is hitting .273 with a team-leading .467 on-base percentage in 33 at-bats this season. He has yet to hit a homer or drive in a run, but he has scored five times and is three-for-three in stolen base attempts. The 6-0, 180 lb. switch-hitter is a graduate of Cleveland High School, a public school in Reseda, California that produced former MLB great Bret Saberhagen. Rankin is a dynamic player who will be a lot of fun to watch at Royal Athletic Park this summer. Incidentally, Rankin's father is a big-time manager in the music industry and an actor. Oh, and his uncle is some guy named Jamie Foxx. Seriously.
Austin Dondanville

Austin Dondanville is a right-handed pitcher from California Polytechnic State University ("Cal Poly") in San Luis Obispo. The 6-0, 195 lb. freshman has yet to make his college debut, but we can expect him to feature excellent control on the mound based on past performance. Dondanville put up very good numbers in his senior year at De La Salle High School in Concord, California: a 1.53 ERA and 0.91 WHIP in 23 innings pitched with 25 strikeouts and only five walks. He is also a former high school teammate of ex-HarbourCat Hunter Mercado-Hood.

Seve Romo
Nicholas Severiano Romo is named after both Jack Nicklaus and Severiano Ballesteros, but his friends just call him Seve Romo. The right-handed reliever is a sophomore at the University of San Diego and a native of Fullerton, California. Romo, who has battled control issues from time to time, has only made two appearances for the Toreros so far this season, giving up a hit and two walks in two scoreless innings on the hill. In his freshman season at USD, Romo posted a 2.30 ERA and 1.47 WHIP in 10 appearances. Although he held opponents to a .224 batting average, he issued a generous 5.7 walks per nine innings. Romo played for the Matsu Miners in the Alaska Baseball League last summer and recorded a 5.85 ERA and 1.89 WHIP in 27 ⅔ innings pitched.

Ben Polshuk
Like Austin Dondanville, Ben Polshuk is making the jump from De La Salle High School to the Cal Poly Mustangs this season. Polshuk is a right fielder and a right-handed contact hitter with gap power. He has seen limited action so far in his freshman year, going one-for-nine at the dish. In his senior year of high school, Polshuk hit .333 with zero homers and 16 RBI in 81 at-bats. The 6-4, 195 lb. native of Clayton, California has the physical tools that make scouts drool.

Catcher Nick Meyer is a senior at Santa Margarita High School in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, and he’ll join Dondanville and Polshuk at Cal Poly in the fall. Meyer hit .330 with no homers and 12 RBI in 88 at-bats in his junior year of high school and he showed good strike-zone judgement, walking more often than he struck out (11 walks versus eight strikeouts). Meyer helped lead Santa Margarita to their first-ever CIF-Southern Section Division 1 championship at Dodger Stadium in 2014.

The team also announced that Evan Cassolato will not be playing with the HarbourCats this summer due to other commitments. The current roster, which can be found here, now contains a total of 36 players.

Monday, March 9, 2015

HarbourCats player updates - March 9th edition

Alex Fagalde
We’re only 88 days away from the HarbourCats’ season opener, so let’s get you caught up on the progress of a few more of our future ‘Cats.

Cuesta College’s Alex Fagalde returned to form last week in what was his best start of the season -- by a wide margin. Fagalde held Moorpark College to only one earned run on four hits and a walk in seven innings of work. He also struck out a season-high five batters. Fagalde now sports a 5.40 ERA and 1.34 WHIP in 28 ⅓ innings pitched this season. You can expect those numbers to keep improving.

Adam (AJ) Alcantara continues to get just over half of the starting assignments in right field for UC Irvine. The sophomore had a base hit in five at-bats this weekend and he’s now hitting .308 on the season with a .400 on-base percentage in 26 at-bats. He also has an RBI and five runs scored on the year.

In our March 4th update we told you about PJ Floyd’s first collegiate hit, a pinch-hit triple that knocked in a pair of runs. Floyd was rewarded for his milestone hit with the first two starts of his college career this weekend. He batted leadoff and was the Designated Hitter for Sacramento State on Saturday and Sunday against the 17th-ranked UCSB Gauchos, going three-for-eight with an RBI and run scored. Although the freshman is normally a shortstop, Floyd has only played three innings of defense this year -- all at second base -- and has yet to face any fielding chances. He has a .364 batting average this season with three RBI in 11 at-bats.

Junior Dane Fujinaka has remained on the Sacramento State bench due to former HarbourCat Gunner Pollman becoming entrenched as the starting catcher. Fujinaka has only played in one game this season and is two-for-three at the dish with an RBI. Although Pollman has an anemic .214 / .250 / .262 slash line, he has gunned down an amazing 56% of stolen base attempts (14-for-25). By comparison, Fujinaka only threw out 13% of stolen base attempts (15-for-119) for Sacramento State last season.

UC Davis was in Bellevue, Washington this weekend to take on Seattle U in a three-game series. The Aggies took two of three from Seattle U, but future HarbourCats Ryan Anderson and Matt Blais did not see any action. UC Davis is 10-6-1 on the season, although they have benefitted from a relatively weak schedule so far.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

HarbourCanucks Corner returns!

Fougner has been getting rave reviews on his defense
As our regular readers are well aware, we’re big supporters of the Vancouver Islanders and British Columbians who play in the West Coast League. Not only is it the patriotic thing to do, but our boys have consistently shown that they compete favourably against tough WCL competition. While the HarbourCats have only signed three Canadians to full-season contracts, I would expect a number of other local players to be inked to 10-day contracts to help out at the beginning and end of the summer season, especially considering the impressive array of local talent that is available. Now let’s get you caught up on the progress of the three Canucks who will be suiting up for the 2015 HarbourCats.

Salt Lake Community College continues to post box scores online at a glacial pace, but we can update you on Chris Fougner’s progress from February 22nd to March 1st. The Victoria native hit his first collegiate home run on February 25th and went a combined 5-for-13 with a pair of runs batted in and two walks in the period. As of the beginning of this month, Fougner had a five-game hitting streak and was hitting .314 with a homer and eight RBI in 51 at-bats. He has started 16 of the Bruin’s first 19 games in the outfield and he has been outstanding defensively. Although this week’s boxscores have yet to be posted, we do know that Fougner also hit a three-run homer on Friday (that homer is not yet included in his season stats). The former Victoria Mariners star has not pitched recently, so his pitching numbers are limited to the scoreless inning of relief that he threw on February 16th.

Alex Rogers
Nanaimo native Alex Rogers finally got to take to the mound on Saturday after seeing seven consecutive games cancelled due to nasty winter weather in Colorado. The Trinidad State Junior College hurler bounced back from two sub-par outings, as he threw six solid innings against Miles Community College to pick up the win. Rogers, who raised his record to 2-1 on the year, only gave up one earned run on seven hits and one walk while striking out five. He now has a 4.00 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in 18 innings on the hill. He also sports a tidy 4:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, so you can expect that ERA to continue to drop as the season progresses.

Seattle U head coach Donny Harrel juggled his lineup and moved Griffin Andreychuk down to ninth in the order this weekend after having him bat leadoff or in the number two hole for the first 13 games of the season. The move paid immediate dividends, as Andreychuk’s two-run single in the seventh inning on Friday broke the game wide open and led to an 8-3 win over UC Davis. Andreychuk went four-for-eight with two RBI, a walk and a run scored in the three games against the Aggies. He is now hitting .273 with a .359 on-base percentage in 55 at-bats this season. I would expect Andreychuk to be moved back into the leadoff spot once he gets his on-base percentage back up to historical levels -- he had an OBP of .409 in his freshmen season and .407 with the HarbourCats last summer. Seattle U’s leadoff hitter this weekend, Sheldon Stober, leads the team with a .467 slugging percentage, so it’s unlikely that he will remain in the leadoff spot for an extended period of time.

  • Bellevue College’s Zander Clouse picked up the save in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Pierce College. Clouse struck out one in a clean inning on the hill to preserve the victory. He now has a 1.80 ERA and a minuscule 0.20 WHIP in five innings pitched this season.
  • Jamie Umbinetti was channeling his inner Ty Russell for Edmonds Community College this weekend. Umbinetti went one-for-six with seven (!!) walks and two runs scored over the four games. The third baseman is now hitting .300 with no homers and two RBI in 20 at-bats this season. Oh, and his on-base percentage is a Russell-like .576.
  • Matt Fish struck out the side in a perfect inning of relief on Wednesday. However, his start for Pierce College on Saturday was similar to his outing on Opening Day in that he struggled to find his control. Fish gave up three earned runs on only three hits, but he also issued four walks in his six innings on the mound and was tagged for the loss. He now has a 0-1 record with a 5.22 ERA and 1.74 WHIP on the season, but he has held opponents to a .244 batting average. Fish has walked eight batters in 10 ⅓ innings pitched.
  • Everett’s Kyle Francis made his second career collegiate start on Sunday, but unfortunately it paled in comparison to his debut a week earlier. Francis struggled with his control and gave up two earned runs on five walks and six hits in 7 ⅓ innings pitched while striking out only three. While he was fortunate to surrender only two earned runs, he still took the loss in a low-scoring affair. Francis also saw some time at DH this weekend and went 1-for-8 at the plate.  On the season, Francis has a tidy 1.25 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in 14 ⅓ innings pitched, but he’s hitting a mere .100 with one RBI in 20 at-bats.  
  • First baseman/outfielder John Naff went 3-for-17 with a homer, one RBI, a walk and a stolen base for Everett CC this weekend. He’s hitting a disappointing .152 with a homer and an RBI in 33 at-bats so far. Look for Naff to break out in a big way in the near future.
  • Curtis Bafus had a pair of relief outings for Everett CC this weekend and he gave up a combined two earned runs on three hits and a walk while striking out a pair of batters in 2 ⅔ innings. Bafus has a 5.06 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in a total of 5 ⅓ innings pitched this season.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

HarbourCats player updates - March 4th edition

PJ Floyd
It’s time to update you on a few of the future HarbourCats that we haven’t written about in a while. You’ll notice that a number of our NCAA freshmen haven’t been playing all that much, but that’s pretty normal for Division I baseball. It’s a big jump up from high school, so the youngsters typically spend a fair bit of time watching and learning in their freshman year. The good news is that these guys show up for summer ball all fired up and ready to go, as was the case with Alex Degoti when he only had 25 at-bats in 2013 for Long Beach State and then played his way onto the WCL All-Star team that summer.

PJ Floyd, a freshman middle infielder for Sacramento State, had only two at-bats in his team’s first nine games, but he made the most of a pinch-hit appearance on Tuesday night against Fresno State. Floyd smacked a triple and drove in two runs for the first hit and RBI of his college career. He’s now one-for-three on the season.

Floyd’s teammate in Sacramento, Dane Fujinaka, was the starting catcher last season, but he appears to have lost his starting job to former HarbourCat Gunner Pollman. Fujinaka has only appeared in one game in 2015 and he is two-for-three at the plate with an RBI. Pollman may only have a .273 on-base percentage for the Hornets, but he has been getting the bulk of the playing time based on his defensive skills.

AJ Alcantara
Photo by Steven Branscombe
Sophomore Adam (AJ) Alcantara has started in right field for six of UC Irvine’s first 11 games. Alcantara had a huge game on Saturday against the University of Tennessee, going three-for-five at the dish with an RBI and two runs scored. The performance helped move him into the cleanup spot for Tuesday night’s game, but the Alta Loma, California native was held hitless on the night. Alcantara is now hitting .333 with an impressive .440 on-base percentage in 21 at-bats this season. The Anteaters, who qualified for the College World Series last year and came into the season with high hopes, are a disappointing 3-8 on the year thanks to a nasty 5.57 team ERA.

Freshman shortstop Ryan Anderson has been riding the pine for the last 11 games after seeing action in two of the first three UC Davis games this season. He is one-for-three with a run scored and a stolen base on the year. His teammate, freshman pitcher Matt Blais, has also seen little playing time so far. In his only appearance of the year, Blais got knocked around by Gonzaga University on February 21st. He gave up five earned runs on seven hits and a walk in two innings of relief. You can chalk up that outing to rookie nerves, because Blais put up solid numbers at both Serra High School and in the California Collegiate League last summer.

Alex Fagalde continues to struggle on the mound for Cuesta College. In his February 24th start against Santa Barbara City College, Fagalde went seven innings and gave up four earned runs on seven hits and four walks. He now sports an uncharacteristic 6.75 ERA and 1.55 WHIP in 21 ⅓ innings on the hill this season. Let’s hope that Fagalde’s arm is healthy, because those numbers are a far cry from his performance with the HarbourCats this past summer (1.85 ERA, 1.18 WHIP). Fagalde posted nearly identical numbers in his 2013 freshman season with Cuesta (1.86 ERA, 1.19 WHIP) as he did in Victoria, but he missed the 2014 season with the Cougars due to an injury.

  • Three weeks ago we blogged about the new baseball that was put into use this season to increase offense in the college game. According to D1Baseball.com, the number of runs scored per Division I game in the first three weeks of the season has only increased by 4.3% (5.1 to 5.3 runs per team), but home runs are up by 40.1% due to the extra carry of the low-seam ball. Thanks in part to the increased sink on two-seam fastballs and a slight increase in slider velocity, the baseballs have also boosted strikeouts by 13.5% (6.8 to 7.7 K’s per team).

Monday, March 2, 2015

The day Mickey Mantle opened Serauxmen Stadium

The grandstand at
Serauxmen Stadium
Earlier today the Victoria HarbourCats announced that they will be playing an exhibition game at Serauxmen Stadium in Nanaimo on July 19th against current and former members of the Nanaimo Pirates. Last season the ‘Cats played a non-league game up in Duncan, and based on the positive response from that game it is no surprise that they would venture further afield to help grow their fan base throughout southern Vancouver Island.

Although I have lived in Victoria for over 20 years, I have only recently been introduced to the strong baseball culture in Nanaimo. In December of 2012, the HarbourCats signed Connor Russell out of the Vancouver Island Baseball Institute (VIBI), and I ventured up-island in March of 2013 to witness his Opening Day start at Serauxmen Stadium. I must admit that I had fairly modest expectations for the ballpark, but I was definitely impressed with the facility as soon as I walked inside.
The Green Monster

Serauxmen Stadium has an old-time baseball feel to it, thanks to a classic grandstand and green, wooden bleachers that provide plenty of seating. The field was in pretty good shape the day I was there and the dimensions are more than adequate for a college game. A green wooden fence surrounds the outfield, but the highlight of the ballpark -- to me at least -- is the massive Green Monster in right field that appears to be close to 30 feet in height.

It is worth noting that Serauxmen Stadium is not only the home of the VIBI Mariners, but it is also used heavily by the (junior and senior) Nanaimo Pirates and midget teams in the Nanaimo Minor Baseball Association. At one time, Serauxmen Stadium was considered the top amateur baseball field in all of Canada. With a bit of research, I discovered that the ballpark officially opened in 1976, although I would have guessed that it was built in the 1950’s based on its architecture. With a bit more digging, I came across a brief but fascinating account of the history of the ballpark in the Nanaimo News Bulletin:
Serauxmen Stadium history 
Baseball was played in the Harbour City before the 1950s, but in 1956, the Nanaimo Minor Baseball Association came into existence. Back then, it was called the Nanaimo and District Baseball Association. 
In 1972, the association signed an agreement with the school district to build a baseball field on the old mine site behind Nanaimo District Secondary School. The mine, which operated between 1919 and 1930, employed up to almost 300 miners at its peak. 
Bert Lansdell, who held various positions with the association, was instrumental in both the agreement with the school district and fundraising for the ball field.
First the coal slag was removed, then the association graded the site, installed drainage and a sprinkler system, and applied topsoil before the grass was planted.
The Serauxmen Club of Nanaimo came forward as a major fundraiser for the stadium and field.
In 1974, the grass and fencing was finished, then in 1975 the stadium building was built - more than $300,000 worth of concrete was required to pour the stadium.
Serauxmen Stadium officially opened July 31, 1976 in a ceremony that included retired New York Yankees player Mickey Mantle and retired Boston Red Sox player Jim Piersall. Hockey players Johnny Bucyk (Boston Bruins) and Chris Oddleifson (Vancouver Canucks), football player George Reed (Saskatchewan Roughriders) and NHL referee Lloyd Gilmour also attended.
In 1980, the south bleacher addition was built.
The stadium is run on funds raised by Nanaimo Minor Baseball Association.
*Source: Patricia Huggins and Bob Baldwin, with information from the Lansdell family.
Mickey Mantle opens
Serauxmen Stadium in 1976
Yes, you read that correctly. Serauxmen Stadium was opened by one of the greatest players in baseball history, Mickey Mantle, and a host of other sports personalities, including former Boston Red Sox star Jimmy Piersall. Mantle’s story is well known to baseball fans, but I highly recommend Jane Leavy’s unvarnished biography of The Mick (“The Last Boy”) to anyone with more than a passing interest in the game. In spite of being a Hall of Famer, Mantle was also one of the game’s most tragic figures, and I can only imagine what kind of shenanigans Mantle and Piersall got up to in downtown Nanaimo after the ballpark ceremony. The pair were obviously well-acquainted before their visit to the Hub City, since they were American League opponents for almost their entire careers and were teammates on both the 1954 and 1956 AL All-Star teams.

Piersall wasn't exactly your garden-variety major leaguer either. Although he was simply dismissed by many as just a “head case” in the early part of his career, it was later revealed that he battled bipolar disorder and his life story was the subject of the book and movie "Fear Strikes Out".
A beautiful setting for a ballpark
The rest of the sporting dignitaries at the ballpark opening were all extremely well-known figures at the time. Johnny Bucyk was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1981 and George Reed was one of the greatest running backs in CFL history. When they appeared at the Serauxmen Stadium opening, Chris Oddleifson was an emerging Vancouver Canucks star and Lloyd Gilmour had just retired from a 19-year career as an NHL referee. Incidentally, Gilmour officiated the famous January 1976 game between the Soviet Red Army and the Philadelphia Flyers in which the Red Army left the ice in protest after Ed Van Impe wasn't penalized for a body check on Valeri Kharlamov. Gilmour was inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.

No matter how you slice it, Serauxmen Stadium is steeped in history. I look forward to paying this historic ballpark an overdue visit in July when the HarbourCats take on the Pirates. Regardless of who wins, I'm sure it will be fun to watch the sluggers try to launch baseballs over the Green Monster in right field. The Mick wouldn't want it any other way.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Future HarbourCats kick off NWAC season

While Week 3 of the NCAA Division I baseball season has just wrapped up, Saturday marked the season opener for players in the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC). The HarbourCats have signed six NWAC players for the summer of 2015, including a trio from Everett Community College, so let’s get you caught up on their exploits during the first weekend of competition.

Jamie Umbinetti
Photo by Wilson Tsoi / Edmonds CC
Although he will be playing first base for the HarbourCats this summer, Jamie Umbinetti spent most of the weekend at third base, his usual position for Edmonds Community College. The left-handed slugger hit in the cleanup spot and went 4-for-12 with a pair of RBI, a run scored and two hit-by-pitches. Umbinetti helped Edmonds CC, the defending NWAC champions, take three of four games from Mt. Hood Community College.

Everett Community College may have dropped three of four games on the weekend, but at least their three future HarbourCats saw plenty of playing time. Kyle Francis made the first start of his college career on Sunday and it was a beauty. Francis picked up the win by pitching seven shutout innings and only giving up three hits and a pair of walks, while striking out five Southwestern Oregon CC batters. Francis was also Everett’s Designated Hitter for all four games and the Redmond native went a combined 2-for-15 with an RBI and two walks.

Curtis Bafus made his collegiate debut on Saturday with a scoreless two-inning relief outing. Bafus limited Southwestern Oregon CC to only one hit and a walk in his two innings, while he racked up an impressive five strikeouts and picked up the save in a 5-1 Everett victory. Unfortunately, he couldn’t duplicate that performance in his second outing of the weekend, as Bafus took the loss against Yakima Valley Community College by giving up an earned run on two hits in ⅔ of an inning.

John Naff batted in the heart of the Everett CC order and played first base all weekend, although he’ll be moving to the outfield with the HarbourCats this summer. Naff’s season got off to a slow start, as he went a combined 2-for-15 with two walks, a run scored and a stolen base.

Sophomore right-hander Zander Clouse tossed a masterful four innings of relief on Sunday for Bellevue College, surrendering only one earned run on one hit. Clouse did not walk any batters and struck out three.

Sophomore Matt Fish earned the Opening Day start for Pierce College, but his 2015 debut didn’t exactly turn out as planned. Fish struggled with his control, issuing four walks and a wild pitch in 3 ⅓ innings on the hill against Columbia Basin College. He gave up three earned runs on seven hits, but picked up a no-decision thanks to some help from his offense. The lefty from Kalamazoo, Michigan only notched a single strikeout yesterday, although he did strike out 13.1 batters per nine innings last season. I’m expecting a big bounce-back outing from Fish in his next appearance.

  • This morning the HarbourCats released details regarding their Sunday July 19th exhibition game, which takes place during the WCL All-Star break. The 'Cats will be taking on current and former Nanaimo Pirates at Serauxman Stadium in Nanaimo in a 1 p.m. start. Additional details on the game can be found on the HarbourCats' official website. To purchase tickets for this game, contact Jodi Rogers at (250) 756-7899 or pirates.harbourcats@shaw.ca
  • Box scores from Salt Lake Community College games have been slow to be posted online all season, but we can give you an update on Chris Fougner’s performance in the four games played from February 19th-21st. The former Victoria Mariner went 3-for-13 with a pair of RBI in that span, and he continues to start in right field and bat seventh for the Bruins. Fougner is hitting .289 with six RBI and two stolen bases in 38 at-bats this season and he has also thrown a scoreless inning of relief.
  • The Seattle U Redhawks were supposed to play in the USA Baseball-Irish Classic this weekend, but the tournament was cancelled due to a nasty winter storm in North Carolina. Instead of travelling across the country, the Redhawks quickly organized a three-game series at home against Fairleigh (“Don’t call me Angie”) Dickinson University, a Division I school that plays in the Northeast Conference. Seattle U easily swept the series to put an end to their eight-game losing streak. Nanaimo native Griffin Andreychuk had a pretty decent weekend, going 3-for-11 in the leadoff spot with an RBI, three walks, a stolen base and two runs scored. He also played flawless defense at shortstop, bringing his fielding percentage to .933 on the season. Andreychuk is now batting .256 with a .353 on-base percentage in 43 at-bats.