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Summer Collegiate

Bells, Smoke take toll on NorthPaws

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Author: Larry Read

KAMLOOPS, BC—The Kamloops NorthPaws fell into some old habits and had Mother Nature go against them as they were only able to host the Bellingham Bells in two of three scheduled West Coast League baseball games this weekend.

The Bells took advantage of Kamloops not being able to get runs across and some spotty pitching as they took the Paws 3-0 on Friday (July 21) and 11-9 on Saturday (July 22).

The scheduled third game for Sunday (July 23) was cancelled due to poor air quality as a result of many wildfires in the BC Interior including the Ross Moore Lake blaze, 13 kilometres south of Kamloops.

Bellingham is now 6-8 in the second half and 26-15 overall on the season.  Kamloops is 2-12 on the back half of the campaign and is 9-32 overall.

After a day off, the NorthPaws close out their most recent homestand with a three-game series with the Victoria HarbourCats.

Game one of the series is Tuesday, July 25 th at Dearborn Ford Field at Norbrock Stadium. Opening pitch is 6:35 PM.  Victoria has lost their last two outings but have a second half record of 10-5 and are 29-13 overall.

Bellingham has a night off and continues their nine game in 11 night road swing with a stopover in Wenatchee, Washington against the AppleSox.  Game one of the Bells/AppleSox series is Tuesday July 25th.

All West Coast League games are available via their website: https://wcleague.watch.pixellot.tv/

SERIES RECAP:

Friday, July 21, 2023: Bells 3 NorthPaws 0

686 people at Dearborn Ford Field at Norbrock Stadium for “Country 103 Night”. The Bells opened the scoring in the top of the third when Coleman Schmidt (Reno, NV) hit a solo home run.  It was his second ‘dinger’ of the season.

Bellingham went up 2-0 in the seventh when Cole Yoshida (Vasalia, CA) doubled and scored driving in Ty Saunders (Anacordes, WA).  The other Bells run came in the eighth when Andrew Valdez (Visalia, CA) walked and scored on a wild pitch delivered by NorthPaws reliever Marty Recchi (Kamloops, BC).

Schmidt was 1-4 with a run scored and a run batted in. Yoshida was also 1-4 with a run batted in.  Sanders was 1-4 with a run scored. Riley Parker (Snohomish, WA) was 1-3 with a run batted in as well for Bellingham.

Offensively, Cooper Neville (Glendale, AZ) was 2-4.  Drew Giannini (Tracy, CA) was 2-3 while Phoenix Sommay (Temecula, CA) was 1-3. 

Ryan Beitel (Surrey, BC) was the winning pitcher for Bellingham. He moves to 4-1 on the year in his seventh start of the summer. He had a four hitter over four innings and had four strikeouts. Hunter Long (Ladera Ranch,CA) pitched three innings for the save.  He struck out five and gave up two hits. It was his first save in five appearances.

Christian Spitz (Overland Park, KS) started his fifth game of the year and was tagged with the loss for Kamloops, He is 1-3 .  In this game he went five innings, giving up two hits, one run, striking out four and walking five.

Link to Scoresheet:  http://baseball.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=598689

Saturday, July 22, 2023: Bells 11 NorthPaws 9

This was a see saw battle. Bellingham scored twice in the opening inning and were up 3-0 after an inning and a half.  Kamloops scored three times in the bottom of the second to tie it.

Then, with the score deadlocked at four in the bottom of the fifth, Kamloops scored four times to take an 8-4 lead.   The Bells would then score four in the sixth inning and add three more in the seventh to take an 11-8 lead before the NorthPaws would add one more.   Bellingham scored 11 runs on 10 hits and committed one error to Kamloops’ nine runs on 10 hits and four errors.

Yoshida was 2-3 with two runs scored and three runs batted in to lead Bellingham offensively.  Dean West (Woodland Hills, CA) hit a homer to lead off the second inning. It was his first ‘round tripper’ of the campaign. He was 3-5 with three runs scored and two runs batted in.

Kamloops was led by Gage Mestas (Durango, CA). He was 4-5 with a double and triple and five runs batted in. Sommay was 2-4 with two runs scored and had a run batted in. Giannini was 1-5 with a run batted in and a run scored.

Thompson Rivers University WolfPack player Lucas Maricle (Trail, BC) made his NorthPaws debut in relief and was tagged with the loss. He went two thirds of an inning giving up two hits, four runs, walking two and striking out one. He was the second of five Kamloops pitchers.   Tomas Urbina (Avondale, AZ) was the winner for Bellingham to increase his record to 3-1. He pitched one inning.  Trevin Hope (Blaine, WA) pitched three innings for his first save in six appearances. He gave up one run on two hits, walking one and striking out one.

Link to Scoresheet: http://baseball.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=598690

Sunday, July 23, 2023: Game Cancelled due to poor air quality

HEAD COACH KEITH FRANCIS:

On two games:

“We were right there to win both of those games.  We cant get over the top for some reason. One night we hit the ball.  I think we had five hits the first night.  All of the five hits were with two outs.  No one was on base.  We couldn’t get a hit. Saturday, we scored well but unfortunately our pitching fell apart.  Unfortunately, we made some errors, which we hadn’t done for a while (NorthPaws with four errors).  Those errors led to runs by them. They came back and we weren’t able to get any closer.”

On upcoming series hosting Victoria/pitching and cancelled game Sunday.:

“They beat us pretty good to start the season.  We weren’t hitting or didn’t pitch well.  We have three good starters going against them.  Even though it was bad we couldn’t play today (Sunday), it actually helps us for the standpoint of our pitching. They got an extra day off.  The numbers (of pitchers) are way down. It is just like ‘chess pieces’ now.  Just trying to match guys—having them pitch an inning or so out of the pen. It is a struggle. We have to get nine innings done and sometimes we just don’t have enough arms.  We got starters. We have enough for every game. It’s the guys coming in behind them where we aren’t getting it done right now.”

NEXT UP FOR THE NORTHPAWS:

The Victoria HarbourCats will be in town for a three game series (July 25-27).   The teams met in Victoria on the opening weekend of the season where the HarbourCats swept the NorthPaws.  

Wednesday (July 26) will see the NorthPaws honor their “Host Families” during the contest.

PLAYERS TO WATCH ON THE HARBOURCATS:

Hudson Shupe (West Richland, WA). The shortstop leads the West Coast League in hitting at .394.

Tyler Davis (Fresno, CA)  has the second most homers in the WCL with 6. He is eighth in the league in hitting with an average of .331.

Dalls Macias (Marker, Col) is 10th in the West Coast League in hitting at .327.

Nick Dumesnil (Huntington, CA) is tied for sixth in the league in homers with four.

Logan MacNeil (Vancouver, BC) leads the HarbourCats in Earned Run Average at 1.50. He has played seven games and has a record of 4-0.

If you can’t make the home games, they are all webcast on  https://wcleague.watch.pixellot.tv/ .   Some home games will also be shown on Shaw TV in Kamloops (Cable 10 or 105 with Blue Curve).

NEW FAN PROMOTION:

The NorthPaws are looking for their newest fans.  The team is running a promotion right now which sees you capture a $15 ticket for any home game for the remainder of the season. There are only 100 of these tickets avvilable.  Visit tickets.northpawsbaseball.ca and click “Find tickets” on the game you would like to attend. Enter “NEWESTFAN’ into the promo code box and the tickets are unlocked!.

TAILGATE PARTY:

The Molson’s Tailgate Party is operating before every NorthPaws home game.   It runs Tuesday through Saturday 5-630 PM.  The Party runs Sundays noon-1 PM.  Hotdogs and a Pilsner are sold for $ 12.00 plus tax.

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Summer Collegiate

Three returning players, one a WCL all-star, and local infielder highlight eight NightOwls signings

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Those announced today:

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OF/LHP Riley Paulino, University of Pikeville, 5-11/180, Fife, WA (returning player)

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C Sammy Torres, University of Pikeville, 5-9/200, Yuaco, Puerto Rico (returning player)

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LHP Richtter Castillo, University of Pikeville, 6-0/215, Maracay, Venezuela

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IF Lucas Laukkanen, Cloud County commit, 6-0/190, Nanaimo

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LHP Carson Jones, St. Martins, 6-0/180, Walla Walla, WA (returning player)

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RHP Christian Lucero, Arizona Christian, 6-1/190, Sacramento

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OF Sammy Kahler, San Diego State, 6-0/185, Stockton, CA

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OF Drew Rutter, San Diego State, 6-1/190, Trabuco Canyon, CA

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Summer Collegiate

Victoria HarbourCats – Manny’s hitting coach added to staff by Coach Haney

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2024 HarbourCats Coaching Staff – Front Row (L to R) Scott Anderson (Pitching Coach), Todd Haney (Head Coach), Trovin Valdez (Hitting Coach), Steve Sinclair (Bench Coach); Back Row (L to R): Ethan Fox (Bullpen Coach), Troy Birtwistle (First Base Coach).

For immediate release

April 16, 2024

VICTORIA, B.C. — An already strong coaching staff under WCL Coach of the Year Todd Haney just got stronger with the addition of Trovin Valdez, a former pro who made it to AAA in the Montreal Expos system.

Valdez, 50, was the personal hitting coach of Manny Ramirez during much of his record-setting MLB career and now works extensively with his sons Manny Jr. and Lucas, who have joined the HarbourCats for the 2024 WCL season. Valdez, who was once traded for lefthander David Wells, also works with a number of MLB players from his base in Florida, moving around the continent — and now will spend the summer exclusively in Victoria working with all HarbourCats hitters.

Haney, who has been with the HarbourCats since 2018 and Head Coach since 2019, is proud to unveil the entire staff for 2024:

  • Todd Haney, Head Coach (5th year, 4th as Head Coach)
  • Trovin Valdez, Hitting/Outfield Coach (First year)
  • Scott Anderson, Pitching Coach (Second year)
  • Troy Birtwistle, First Base Coach (Sixth year)
  • Steve Sinclair, Bench Coach (Second year)
  • Ethan Fox, Bullpen Coach (Third year, former HarbourCats player)

Under Haney, the HarbourCats led the WCL in hits, runs and stolen bases in 2023 and set a WCL record with an astounding 25-2 home record at Wilson’s Group Stadium at RAP, adding two more home wins in as many dates in the playoffs. The HarbourCats reached the WCL’s final game for the third time in five seasons.

Jaxon Williams (pictured right), part of the 2023 staff, is unable to return due to career reasons and the HarbourCats thank him and wish him all the best, he will always be a part of the HarbourCats family.

“This is a tremendous staff under incredible leadership from Todd — our players will be well served in their development,” said Christian Stewart, GM of the HarbourCats. “We couldn’t be happier with the makeup of this group, and we’re excited to see Trovin go to work. Our team set multiple team and league records on the offensive side of the game last year and that exciting style of play will be on display for our fans again.”

Valdez stole more than 250 bases as a pro, spanning nine seasons, and he joins former pro players Haney (five years MLB with Expos, Cubs and Mets), Anderson (also Expos system), Sinclair (MLB lefty with Blue Jays and Mariners), and Birtwistle (Australia). Fox played college ball and is the Head Coach of the Golden Tide CCBC team.

The HarbourCats open on the road May 31 in Kamloops, the start of back-to-back series in Kamloops and Kelowna, before returning for the June 7 home opener against Wenatchee. The HarbourCats will be on the road this summer in Kamloops, Kelowna, Edmonton, Wenatchee, Ridgefield, Port Angeles, Bellingham, and six games in Nanaimo against the Island-rival NightOwls at Serauxmen Stadium. Teams visiting Victoria this year are Wenatchee, Nanaimo, Bellingham, Port Angeles, Kelowna, Edmonton (two series), Kamloops and Corvallis, along with non-league games against the Redmond Dudes, Dub Sea Fishsticks, the SIBL All-Stars, and Victoria Mavericks All-Stars.

The regular season runs until August 7, with WCL playoffs running from August 10 to August 16.

Single game tickets are now available for the HarbourCats 2024 season including the home opener on Friday, June 7, 2024 at 6:35pm against the Kamloops NorthPaws. These can be purchased online through our one and only ticketing partner, Select Your Tickets, at www.harbourcats.com/tickets or at the HarbourCats office at 101-1814 Vancouver Street.

Season tickets and 10-game flex packs are also now on sale via the HarbourCats office or by calling 778-265-0327.

 

 

 

 

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Victoria HarbourCats – Manny Ramirez’s two sons sign with HarbourCats

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April 4 2024

VICTORIA, B.C. — Their father was once the most-feared hitter in the Major Leagues, a perennial all-star with a big personality who won a World Series, a batting title, and could change any game with one swing.

Manny Ramirez Jr., 21 (pictured above left), and Lucas Ramirez, 18 (pictured above right), carry the same potential — Manny Jr., a booming right-handed power hitter, with Lucas a lefty with a power stroke who has committed to the University of Tennessee for the fall.

Both outfielders who can DH, Manny Jr. and Lucas are excited to be coming to Victoria, to further develop under Head Coach Todd Haney, a former MLB player, and a coaching staff that also includes former pro player and coach Scott Anderson and former MLB pitcher Steve Sinclair.

“These are notable signings not just for us, but for the entire West Coast League — this will be exciting news for our fans and sponsors, no question,” said Jim Swanson of the HarbourCats. “They come highly recommended by our former pitching coach, Alec Adame, who is coaching Manny Jr. at ELAC (East LA College). It’s been a pleasure working with the family to set this all up, and we know Victoria will welcome them all with open arms — to the city rated the best city in the world. Alec was here in 2015 and knows how great the baseball environment is at Wilson’s Group Stadium at RAP.”

So far this spring Manny Jr. leads ELAC with three home runs and has 18 runs driven in over 20 games, adding nine doubles and walking 14 times. The 6-3/210 outfielder is a freshman who is a product of Calvary Christian high school in Clearwater, FL.

Lucas is a graduating high school senior at powerful American Heritage in Florida and is a possible high-round pick in the upcoming draft thanks to already developing power from the left side. He is already built like a pro at 6-3/200.

They have a tremendous baseball role model to aspire to. Manny Ramirez played 19 seasons and batted .312 with 555 home runs, the 15th highest total in MLB history — he starred for Cleveland, Boston, and the Dodgers, and finished with time for the Chicago White Sox and Tampa Bay Rays. He was a 12-time all-star, was MVP of the 2004 World Series when the Red Sox ended their long title drought, won the 2002 American League batting title, and was the Hank Aaron Award winner in 1999 and 2004. He was also part of a second Red Sox team to win the World Series in 2007, and hit more post-season home runs (29) than anyone else in the history of the game. He finished top-10 in MVP voting in the American League eight years in a row (1998-2005).

The HarbourCats open on the road May 31 in Kamloops, the start of back-to-back series in Kamloops and Kelowna, before returning for the June 7 home opener against Wenatchee. The HarbourCats will be on the road this summer in Kamloops, Kelowna, Edmonton, Wenatchee, Ridgefield, Port Angeles, Bellingham, and six games in Nanaimo against the Island-rival NightOwls at Serauxmen Stadium. Teams visiting Victoria this year are Wenatchee, Nanaimo, Bellingham, Port Angeles, Kelowna, Edmonton (two series), Kamloops and Corvallis, along with non-league games against the Redmond Dudes, Dub Sea Fishsticks, the SIBL All-Stars, and Victoria Mavericks All-Stars.

The regular season runs until August 7, with WCL playoffs running from August 10 to August 16.

Single game tickets are now available for the HarbourCats 2024 season including the home opener on Friday, June 7, 2024 at 6:35pm against the Kamloops NorthPaws. These can be purchased online at www.harbourcats.com/tickets or at the HarbourCats office at 101-1814 Vancouver Street.

Season tickets and 10-game flex packs are also now on sale via the HarbourCats office or by calling 778-265-0327.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  If you are a 2023 Season Ticket holder who has not yet renewed your seats for the 2024 season, please do so by April 15th, 2024 or your seats will be released and available to the public for sale. Please call Christian at 778-265-0327 ASAP to renew your seats.

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