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West Coast League

Dr. Randy Gregg and Edmonton Riverhawks preparing for inaugural season

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Dr. Randy Gregg gets behind the plate after announcing the the newest baseball team in Edmonton, The Riverhawks, a baseball club, which will play out of RE/MAX Field in the n the West Coast League, on Sept. 15, 2020 in Edmonton. PHOTO BY GREG SOUTHAM /Postmedia

By Derek Van Diest – Toronto Sun

Former Edmonton Oilers defenceman Dr. Randy Gregg is spending a lot of his spare time of late at RE/MAX Field in the heart of the river valley.

As the managing director of the Edmonton Riverhawks, Gregg has been working tirelessly to try and get the facility ready for the upcoming West Coast League season, which is a wooden-bat collegiate circuit that operates in the summer.

Dr. Randy Gregg and Edmonton Riverhawks preparing for inaugural season
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The Riverhawks were to play its inaugural season this past summer, but the COVID-19 pandemic made Gregg and his group wait another year.

“All of these young players that are in college, they are wanting to get either drafted or signed, and will be enticed to play summer collegiate baseball,” Gregg said earlier this week. “The Cape Code league is probably the ultimate league on the East Coast, but when it comes to the West, the West Coast League is by far the highest quality league.

“In fact, in 2019, 90 players that were selected in the Major League Draft had played in this league. It’s considerably important for these young players in the summer — not only do they want to get out of Arizona because it’s 120 degrees — but they want to come up and be coached by good quality coaching and get some extra at bats and swings and things like that.”

Gregg won five Stanley Cups with the Oilers during their glory years, but has always had a soft spot for baseball.

“I was probably a better baseball player than hockey player, but by the time I could get a scholarship down in the ’States, I was in medical school,” Gregg said. “And I thought I better not give up medical school. I loved hockey, of course, it’s a great sport, but I also loved baseball.”

The West Coast League is made up of 15 teams divided into three divisions. The South Division comprises of teams in Oregon and Washington, the North is made up from teams in Northern Washington, while the Canada Division has four teams in B.C., along with Edmonton.

“We’re so excited to have our head coach Kelly Stinnett, who played 15 years of Major League Baseball, so he knows what it takes to be at that level,” Gregg said. “And by having a coach with that kind of reputation, we’re getting some young recruits that not only love to come to Edmonton because it’s going to be a lot cooler than it is in the south, but with his reputation, with 9,000 seats here in the city, and the size of Edmonton, we’re going to have a really competitive team and it’s going to be a wonderful experience for our fans to see these young fellas.”

Edmonton will be the biggest market in the league and have the best facility. Gregg and the Riverhawks signed a lease agreement for the Triple-A rated facility and the crew has been hard at work making upgrades to the park.

Along with a new infield turf, the group put up a new scoreboard and made upgrades to the dugouts and club houses.

“It’s amazing. Fans that haven’t been here in a few years are not going to recognize the place with the new turf and everything else going in,” said Riverhawks pitching coach Ethan Elias. “It’s special. I’m really excited to see what we’re going to get and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

“It’s awesome to bring back a really high level of baseball in the West Coast to come play here. It’s going to blow people’s minds the level of talent that’s going to be here, so it’s going to be exciting and I guess the next step is to count the big leaguers we file out of here, that’s kind the goal.”

The Riverhawks replace the Edmonton Prospects as the main tenant at RE/MAX Field. The Prospect, who play in the Western Canadian Baseball League, also a summer wood-bat circuit, are moving to Spruce Grove for the upcoming season.

The Riverhawks’ roster will be made up of college players throughout North America. The 54-games season begins on May 31 and runs through the first week of August.

“We started recruiting players back in June and July,” Elias said. “We have most of our roster already selected, the updates will be coming up here shortly, but it’s an on-going process.

“Guys are going to fall out, guys might get hurt, guys might throw too many innings in the spring for their college teams, respectively, and so we have to adjust, we have to be able to take things as they come and deal with it.”

Either way, the Riverhawks are expecting to field a competitive team out of the gate, using the city and facility as a draw for young college players. Every player in the league has to have at least one year of college eligibility left.

“We’re not going to bring in a guy like Connor McDavid,” Gregg said. “But what we want to do is maybe bring in a young pitcher throwing 95-97 (mph) that is at Arizona State and all of a sudden three or four years from now he’s playing with the Dodgers in Los Angeles and we saw him here in Edmonton.”

 

Summer Collegiate

Victoria HarbourCats – Late runs harpoon HarbourCats in road opener in Ridgefield

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Raptors stay hot and move to 11-0 in the second half of the season.

July 19, 2024

RIDGEFIELD, WA — The Victoria HarbourCats were within a clutch hit of taking a big lead in the top of the seventh inning.

That didn’t materialize, and the bottom of the seventh spelled doom.

The Ridgefield Raptors scored seven times in their half of the seventh to lock down a 10-5 victory on Friday over the visiting HarbourCats to open a three-game West Coast League series in the southwest Washington community.

FULL BOX SCORE

The win pushes the Raptors win streak to 11 in a row to begin the second half of the season.

The HarbourCats were outhit 13-7. Victoria tried to rally in the ninth with three runs scored and the bases loaded, but ran out of outs.

STANDINGS

Sky Collins had two hits and Tyrus Hall had a two-run double. The HarbourCats struck out 14 times collectively, 11 of which were courtesy of Raptors starting pitcher Isaiah Magdaleno, who was dominant over six full innings of work.

Spencer Hatch was also outstanding as the ‘Cats starting pitcher, going four innings with no runs and four hits allowed. The bullpen after that ran into a lot of troubles.

The HarbourCats are on a six-game road trip to Ridgefield and Port Angeles, starting the second series on Monday across the strait from Victoria. They next return to the friendly confines of Wilson’s Group Stadium at RAP for a weekend home series with the Kamloops NorthPaws, evening games on Friday and Saturday nights (6:35pm) and Sunday afternoon. Tickets are available at the gate, online at the team’s official website, or general admission vouchers can be purchased at all Save On Foods in the South Island.

HarbourCats.com/tickets

 

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Summer Collegiate

Victoria HarbourCats – Former HarbourCats lead the way as Mavericks win 8-6

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July 18, 2024 

For immediate release 

VICTORIA, B.C. — The Victoria Mavericks held on to beat the Victoria HarbourCats 8-6 in the final exhibition game of the season,

The Mavericks took the lead in the first inning courtesy of an Austin Russell single, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead.

The Mavericks doubled their lead in the fourth inning through a Josh Walker home run, making it 2-0.

BOX SCORE

Mavericks starter Fynn Chester faced the minimum through three innings, striking out four. Chester was one of nine former HarbourCats suiting up for the Mavericks tonight, the group of ex-Cats also including Russell and Walker.

Kerim Orucevic (UCSD) drove home Sky Collins (Fresno State) with a hard-hit single in the bottom of the fourth to get the Cats on the board. Cam Schneider (Fresno State) hit into a fielder’s choice to tie up the ballgame at 2-2. A wild pitch and defensive mishap in right field added two more runs, giving the HarbourCats a 4-2 lead.

Jack Finn (Illinois State), Garrett Villa (Angelo State), Brooks Brewster (Panola College), and Jacob Thompson (Minot State) all pitched an inning each for the Cats.

WCL STANDINGS

Mavericks shortstop Jay Willow hit a two-run home run in the top of the sixth to level the score at 4-4.

The Mavericks continued piling on runs in the seventh inning adding three more to give them a 7-4 lead.

WATCH GAMES HERE

The visitors increased their advantage through a Lance Burrows double in the eighth making it 8-4.

A Josh Cunnigan (Seattle) popup dropped between the Mavericks catcher and pitcher in the bottom of the eighth which allowed two runs to score cutting the deficit in half.

Luke Hayhow (Hawaii), Mason Chamberlain (Missouri Valley), Jalen Sami (Golden Tide), Brett Harvey (Puget Sound), and Dustin Davidson (Brookhaven) also pitched an inning each for the HarbourCats.

The Cats could not rally in the ninth inning, losing tonight’s game 8-6.

The HarbourCats begin a six-game road trip Friday against the Ridgefield Raptors. After a three-game set in Ridgefield, the Cats visit Port Angeles to take on the Lefties. The HarbourCats return home on July 26 against the Kamloops NorthPaws. It’s Kids Free Weekend! Thanks to Peninsula Co-op, all children 12 and under get free tickets! Get tickets at http://harbourcats.com/tickets, by coming to the office at 101-1814 Vancouver Street in advance, or by calling 778-265-0327.

 

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Summer Collegiate

Selects Hold Off NightOwls in Friendly Battle of Local Teams

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NANAIMO, B.C. — The first college-level home run for Kurt Felix went to waste.

The Nevada high school baseball player of the year, a cacher with the Nanaimo NightOwls before he heads to Cal Poly (SLO) in fall, went deep over the left field wall for a two-run shot in the fifth inning on Thursday in a non-league exhibition game played at historic Serauxmen Stadium.

The Nanaimo Selects, a team made up of many current and former college players from the mid-island area, many of whom played for the PBL Pirates, earned a 5-3 victory in the second of two non-league games played this week to provide more baseball value to Nanaimo fans during the WCL all-star break.

The NightOwls outhit the Selects 7-6 but made the only error. The NightOwls scored their three runs in the fifth inning, almost erasing a 4-0 Selects lead.

Taiwanese second baseman Hsu He-Chieh had two hits for Nanaimo.

Former NightOwls infielder Brandon Nicoll had two hits for the Selects, who got quality pitching contributions from Jordan Moffat, Darren Kolk, Steve McKinnon, Liam Goodall and Garrett Goodall.

Cole Carmichael had a strong start on the mound for the NightOwls, with two scoreless innings, including two strikeouts.

The NightOwls now head out on a road trip that will give the team a chance to keep pace for the second half North Division championship, with three games in Kamloops starting on Friday, and three games in Edmonton on Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday before a day off next Thursday. The next home action for the NightOwls is a weekend home set against the division-rival Bellingham Bells next Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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