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Easing of outdoor crowd restrictions too little, too late for HarbourCats and NightOwls.

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If only things were where we are now six months ago. Even two months ago.

 

The Province today announced that after July 1, outdoor gatherings in British Columbia can have up to 5,000 people in attendance, or up to 50% capacity, whichever is greater.  While that is great news for many, and for all of us in British Columbia moving forward, unfortunately, it is too little, too late for sports teams like the Victoria HarbourCats and Nanaimo NightOwls, who had to make critical business decisions two months ago regarding the 2021 West Coast League Baseball season.

 

 At that time, with the border still closed – and it is still slated to be closed until July 21 – and with the vaccination levels then nowhere near what they are right now, with COVID cases still high, the HarbourCats had to make the tough decision to forego playing the 2021 season, the second-straight lost season due to the pandemic.

 

It also meant at the time, the HarbourCats had to release all the players they had signed, so that they could find somewhere else to play this year. So for fans hoping to see the HarbourCats rapidly put a team together and start playing games, it is not going to happen.

 

There may be an opportunity though for the HarbourCats to put together some sort of exhibition game or series with their sister team the Nanaimo NightOwls later this summer, and Managing Partner for both teams, Jim Swanson, is starting to explore that possibility.

 

 “With our U.S. teams in the West Coast League already well into their 2021 WCL season, and with the border still closed, it will be impossible for us to ramp up any kind of regular season,” said Swanson. “But we are exploring some kind of exhibition series between our two teams, albeit altered from what we’ve been proud to put on the field for so many years. If something is able to be done, we will let everyone know any plans at a later date.”

 

On a longer term, the news today means that the HarbourCats and NightOwls can both proceed full speed ahead for a full season of West Coast League baseball season in 2022, the eighth for the HarbourCats and the inaugural first for the NightOwls, with fans in full attendance.

 

While the 2022 West Coast League schedule is not expected to be released until October, fans should be warned now that tickets for 2022 will be in high demand.  With four new teams in the league – the NightOwls, the Kamloops NorthPaws, the Edmonton Riverhawks and the Springfield (Oregon), Drifters, and the fact that fans will be itching to get to a game after a two-year absence, it could be a record-setting attendance year at Wilson’s Group Stadium in Victoria, and close to a sell out for every game, in the smaller Serauxmen Stadium in Nanaimo.

 

“With many fans having vouchers to exchange from both 2020 and 2021 and the demand for tickets for people who will just want to see a game again, we are suggesting that if you have been sitting on the fence about getting HarbourCats season tickets, now is time to act,” said HarbourCats Assistant GM of Ticketing and Media Christian Stewart.  “Season tickets are by far the best value for your money, and we have plenty of options available for Victoria in all seating areas, except our field level Diamond Club seats.”

 

Fans can also purchase 10-game flex pack vouchers now, but will have to renew them, along with all fans holding 2020 and 2021 vouchers, once the schedule is released in the fall. Flex-pack vouchers are also available as a “season ticket equivalent,” whereby for the same price as a season ticket, fans get 35 vouchers to use in any combination and for any regular season game that they wish.

 

“We can’t wait to entertain fans back at the ballpark again,” added Stewart. “Hopefully we can get something together for a game or two in July or August, but either way, 2022 is going to be amazing and we want as many fans as possible to be there with us when we celebrate the full return of HarbourCats baseball and the inaugural season for the NightOwls in Nanaimo.”

 

For more information on tickets for both teams, please visit or contact:

 

Victoria HarbourCats
https://harbourcats.com/ticketinfo/
Contact: Christian Stewart  chris@harbourcats.com
Phone: 778-265-0327

Nanaimo NightOwls
https://nanaimonightowls.com/tickets/
Contact: Raymond Kirk ray@nanaimonightowls.com
Phone: 250-709-2882

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Summer Collegiate

Victoria HarbourCats – Cam Schneider is the hero, he walks it off in extra innings

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Cam Schneider went 4 for 5 with two RBI’s, leading the HarbourCats to a series win (Photo: @JustinPMorash) 

For immediate release

VICTORIA, B.C. – Cam Schneider’s (Fresno State) four-hit afternoon sent over 5000 fans home happy on Mayfair Optometric’s annual School Spirit Day!

The Nanaimo NightOwls got on the board early as Drew Rutter drove home the first run of the ballgame with an RBI single in the first inning.

BOX SCORE

Ny’Zaiah Thompson celebrates his bunt single in the 10th inning (Photo: @JustinPMorash)

After the early run, Victoria HarbourCats starter Holden Hess (ULM) settled in. Hess threw four innings giving up one run on four hits and striking out two.

NightOwls starter Aidan Russell had a 1.80 ERA through his first 10 innings of the season and carried that form into this one. Russell overpowered Cats hitters with his fastball which touched 93 MPH, striking out eight. He was through five scoreless innings before the Cats finally created some offence. With two outs in the sixth, Schneider drove in the tying run with an RBI single.

Victoria natives Jack Finn (Illinois State) and Mason Chamberlain (Missouri Valley) were great out of the bullpen, pitching five innings combined and giving up zero runs.

LEAGUE STANDINGS 

Schneider led off the ninth with a single up the middle. After a sacrifice bunt moved him up 90 feet, a Sky Collins (Fresno State) single to right looked like it would be enough to win it, but Schneider was thrown out at home.

Spencer Hatch (Tarleton State) pitched a scoreless 10th inning, striking out one.

Brooks Brewster fired up late in the game (Photo: @JustinPMorash)

After three straight singles loaded the bases in the 10th, Schneider wasted no time bouncing the first pitch he saw over the shortstop’s head, scoring Garrett Teunissen and giving the HarbourCats the series win against the NightOwls.

The HarbourCats fly to Edmonton tomorrow morning for a three-game weekend series against the Riverhawks. That is followed by a three-game series in Nanaimo from June 18 to June 20. The Cats return to Wilson’s Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park Friday, June 21 as they welcome the Bellingham Bells. That is the start of a 10 day stretch with eight home games! 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.

Watch the series against Edmonton HERE and the series against Nanaimo HERE

The Victoria HarbourCats are proud to announce direct links to a DOWNLOADABLE SCHEDULE that will work on your iPhone or tablet, your Google calendar, or your Android device. Click HERE to access the calendars! Contact zach@harbourcats.com if you have any problems downloading the calendar to your device.

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Summer Collegiate

NightOwls Fall Short in Game Two of the Island Battle

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NightOwls let lead slip in home loss to Island rivals

NANAIMO, B.C. — The ReMax Generation Island Cup is not going to be a romp by either side, it appears.

A day after the Nanaimo NightOwls beat the Victoria HarbourCats on their turf, the HarbourCats bused north to Nanaimo to return the favour with an 8-4 win over the host ‘Owls at historic Serauxmen Stadium.

Early runs — the HarbourCats had four runs by the time the NightOwls came to bat in the third — and a pair of runs in the seventh to provide a comfortable edge.

(boxscore link here)

Starter Adison Mattix gave up five hits and four walks in three innings, along with four runs, and Landon Welter followed with two innings and one run allowed. Li Sih-te threw three innings, giving up two runs, and Cowboy Cole Carmichael closed it off with an inning and one run.

(standings link here)

Drew Rutter, Wylie Waters and Aaron Marsh had two hits each for the NightOwls, who fall to 6-5 on the season. David Draayers had two runs batted in. Lucas Laukkanen, a local product, got into his first action with the NightOwls with a pinch-hit appearance in the eighth inning.

(wcl pixelot link here)

The two teams finish this back-and-forth series with a school-day game on Thursday in Victoria, an 11am start. On the weekend, the NightOwls will play Friday and Saturday night, and a Sunday afternoon, game against the visiting Redmond Dudes.

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Summer Collegiate

Victoria HarbourCats – HarbourCats find the hot bats in big win over NightOwls

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For immediate release

NANAIMO, B.C. – It was a needed win, and it was decisive.

The Victoria HarbourCats showed their offensive strength from start to finish with a 12-hit, 10-walk barrage of the Nanaimo NightOwls — leading to an 8-4 victory over the home team at Serauxmen Stadium.

A couple late runs with two outs in the bottom of the ninth made the score seem closer than it was, in front of 1,786 spectators at the historic mid-Island stadium. And it squared the Alex Burns ReMax Generation Cup at a game apiece, with seven games to play between now and July 1, a Canada Day to remember in Nanaimo after a fireworks show on June 30 at Wilson’s Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park in Victoria.

BOX SCORE

Ny’Zaiah Thompson was 3-5 with an RBI, and Lucas Ramirez scored three runs while going 1-2 with three walks, a double and a stolen base — and a sparkling catch early in the game. Catcher Cam McLeod was 2-2 with a double and an RBI, and outfielder Sky Collins drove in three runs with a 2-3 night, adding three stolen bases.

LEAGUE STANDINGS

Flynn Ridley got the win with a scoreless inning after taking over from starter Ryne Palmer’s three-inning effort as the starter in which he gave up three hits and two runs, one of them earned.

WATCH GAMES HERE

The two teams will complete this back-and-forth series on Thursday when Mayfair Optometric Clinic School Spirit Game takes over the field at Wilson’s Group Stadium at RAP with a special 11am start. This game is sold out other than standing-room general admission tickets, which can still be purchased.

TICKETS

The Victoria HarbourCats are proud to announce direct links to a DOWNLOADABLE SCHEDULE that will work on your iPhone or tablet, your Google calendar, or your Android device. Click HERE to access the calendars! Contact zach@harbourcats.com if you have any problems downloading the calendar to your device.

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