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Summer Collegiate

Japanese pitcher, Hawaiian speedster, big bat from VIU among eight added by NightOwls

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The pitching staff, it is growing — and adding interesting storylines.

Japanese pitcher Moosa Nonomiya, who is at Skagit Valley College in Washington, will add more to the international flavor of the Nanaimo NightOwls for 2024 — already with players from Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Taiwan

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Not all are far flung — lefty-hitting DH/1B Brayden McClary of the VIU Mariners and returning lefty arm Hayden Cuthbertson are islanders who know Serauxmen Stadium well.

Hata can fly — he started 40 games as a freshman and will top that this spring, piling up 28 stolen bases over two seasons. He’s not just speed, he hit a game-winning grand slam in extra innings earlier this month and has three home runs and 25 runs driven in, batting .320 with a low strikeout rate.

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Cuthbertson has had a breakout year with a 3-1 record and four saves, striking out 27 in 17 innings and earning a Division1 spot with Miami-Ohio. McClary, also an Islander, will be the first married player on the NightOwls — he’s a key offensive force in the middle of the VIU lineup, hitting a ball out of Serauxmen this weekend against TRU.

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Felix is a young star catcher with position versatility— and he’s big at 6-2/200 as he goes to Cal Poly this fall. Jakobson is a righthander who will have ample innings available for the summer, a oower arm with bullpen potential.

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Ariaza is a great mix of power and strikes, and he’s the biggest NightOwl to date at 6-5/270. He didn’t walk a batter in 10 outings as a freshman and has 25 strikeouts in 18 innings, along with a save, this spring.

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Hanning has had success at the junior college level and has proven to be a workhorse, including 61 innings already this season, tops on his staff.

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Nonomiya has moved into a starting role in the NWAC conference and is now over 30 innings for a team that has NightOwls assistant Sean FitzGerald on the staff.

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Summer Collegiate

Stability and more support the story for NightOwls coaching staff

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Greg Frady, Gorman Heimueller, Sean FitzGerald are the only coaches the Nanaimo NightOwls have ever known.

With the West Coast League team entering its third season at historic Serauxmen Stadium, that trio will have some help for 2024 — and the local kind.

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Frady, the Head Coach and veteran of college and international baseball, is proud to add two local coaches to the staff — First Base Coach Tyler Moretti, and Mental Skills/Bullpen Coach Jordan Herbison.

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Pitching Coach Heimueller, amazingly, is approaching his 50th year in the game, a career that includes two World Series rings, while FitzGerald, who runs the offense from the third base box, brings a wealth of junior college experience from Skagit Valley College.

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Moretti is well known locally as a former Pirates player who went south to play at Jamestown College, also seeing time at then-named VIBI. He has coached at the PBL and collegiate level.

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Herbison, originally from Ontario, played at UBC and the former RHP is now an instructor at Vancouver Island University, and was the mental performance coach for the NightOwls in 2023.

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Herbison and Moretti will give NightOwls players more opportunities for development.

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Summer Collegiate

Arm injuries in pro and college baseball — NightOwls make organizational statement

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Heimueller has served as a minor league pitching coach and coordinator for many MLB organizations, most recently with the Padres. He has World Series rings for his work with the Twins and Phillies.

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With the NightOwls, Gorm has enjoyed working with them all — but especially strong-command pitchers such as Nathan Buchan, Garrett Goodall, Jake Fleury and Josh Laukkanen.

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“Gorm loves to say he’s never seen a ground ball leave the park,” said Swanson.

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“We see athletes on our team and others using max effort rather than prioritizing strikes — that makes for longer games, too, another focus in baseball. If someone can throw 97, with healthy actions and commanding the baseball, that’s great — but few can and let’s stop turning our backs on pitchers who can get people out with pitch location as the priority.

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“There is too much focus on radar gun ratings, on spin rate readouts, and Gorm and our coaching staff will be developing and rewarding pitchers who locate pitches and get batters out.”

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The NightOwls are excited about the player roster for the coming season, and the mix of pitchers on the roster — different styles, to create different looks and get the 27 outs required to win games.

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Summer Collegiate

Victoria HarbourCats – 2024 Season Ticket Pick-up Event

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WE ARE BACK! 2024 Season Tickets Available for Pick-Up

May 17, 2024

We are inviting all season ticket holders, host families, and fans to join us for our annual “MAX MIXER” Season Ticket Holder Pick Up Event on Tuesday, May 28th from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at MAX FURNITURE at 3460 Quadra St. in Victoria.

WHAT: Season Ticket Pick-Up and Pre-Season Mixer
WHERE: MAX FURNITURE – 3460 Quadra St.
WHEN: Tuesday, May 28th from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Come meet your fellow fans, grab your season tickets, and mingle with HarbourCats staff and Harvey the HarbourCat as we kickoff the 2024 season.

There will be ticket and merchandise deals offered exclusively at the event.

NO RSVP required but if you have any questions, please contact the HarbourCats office at 778-265-0327.

If you can’t make the event, you can pick up your tickets at the HarbourCats office at 101-1814 Vancouver Street. Open M-F 9AM to 5PM, and Saturdays 10AM to 4PM.

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