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Summer Collegiate

NorthPaws Add Pair of UBC Freshman Pitchers

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The Kamloops NorthPaws have strengthened their inaugural rotation with two freshman pitchers from the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds.

Vic Domingo and Sean Heppner are following very parallel paths through their baseball development.

They both grew up playing in the BC Premier Baseball League, they simultaneously attended the 2019 Tournament 12 showcase hosted by the Blue Jays Baseball Academy, they are dorm mates for their freshman season with the Thunderbirds, and they will both look to solidify the NorthPaws pitching staff this summer.

The NorthPaws have six Thunderbirds players signed for the 2021 season.

“UBC is a tremendous program that has set the standard for player development at the collegiate level in Canada,” said head coach Cole Armstrong. “Having the opportunity to showcase Thunderbird players against players attending NCAA schools is something we’re very excited about.”

Vic Domingo

Domingo is the first player to play for the Thunderbirds after developing for the UBC Thunder youth program. Even though he received attention from other schools, he wanted to stay at home to play baseball and study.

Photo Credit: Rich Lam/UBC Thunderbirds

“I love the culture, I love everything about UBC,” Domingo said. “I’ve been playing here since I was 15 years old. This is my home, this is where I want to be so I don’t see why I would go anywhere else.”

The Vancouverite has had the opportunity to represent Canada on two occasions.

His South Vancouver represented Canada at the Little League World Series when he was 11 years old, and he made the Junior National Team in 2020, which was unfortunately cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic after spring training in Florida.

Listed at 5’10”, Domingo is the shortest pitcher on the NorthPaws roster, but his demeanour and ever-improving three-pitch repertoire – fastball, changeup and slurve – gives his coaches the confidence he will succeed in the West Coast League.

“He comes after you, he challenges you on the mound. He might be shorter in stature than some of these other guys, but he doesn’t lack anything from the confidence piece and the presence on the mound,” said Sammie Starr, assistant coach for both the Thunderbirds and the NorthPaws. “He’s gritty, he’s not scared of anybody and his stuff is good. He’s got the stuff to back it up. When we put him out there, I would feel comfortable with him on the mound against almost anybody at this point.”

Sean Heppner

Heppner is the most Canadian American on the NorthPaws roster. Though his identification indicates he is a resident of the United States, his resume would suggest he’s from the Great White North.

Photo Credit: Rich Lam/UBC Thunderbirds

Heppner grew up in Point Roberts, Wash., located on the southernmost point of the Tsawwassen Peninsula. A town where the only land access through to the rest of Washington is to drive through B.C.

“Because Point Roberts is isolated from the rest of Washington, I’ve basically done everything in Canada my whole life with school, baseball, all sports and all my friends are in Canada too,” Heppner said. “It’s definitely one of the most unique places in North America because it’s basically Canada, but it’s not.”

He was the ace on the 2019 version of the North Delta Blue Jays, helping win a Baseball BC provincial title and earn a berth at nationals.

He throws what he calls a very traditional mix of pitches with a fastball, changeup and slider.

“Sean’s a bit more of a later bloomer. He had a really successful senior year in the PBL and has made huge strides in the past eight months,” Starr said. “This fall he just dominated our guys throughout our fall camp.”

The next step for Heppner will be to test himself against West Coast League talent.

“When I heard about Kamloops and how it’s part of the West Coast League, how it’s such a competitive league and also that it’s starting up as a new organization, I was really excited and really want to be a part of that first season with the team,” he said.

The Kamloops NorthPaws are an expansion West Coast League franchise bringing the highest calibre baseball Canada’s Tournament Capital has ever seen. The West Coast League, founded in 2005, has 15 teams across Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Alberta featuring some of the top collegiate players during a 54-game summer season. Find the NorthPaws online at www.northpawsbaseball.ca, @northpawsbaseball on Instagram and Facebook, or @northpawsbb on Twitter.

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Summer Collegiate

NightOwls Outlast Dudes in Entertaining Game at Serauxmen

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NANAIMO — Friday night baseball certainly agrees with the NightOwls faithful, who kept an energy throughout a 4-2 win over the visiting Redmond Dudes at historic Serauxmen Stadium.

Both teams mustered six hits, with third baseman Cowboy Cole Carmichael (ELAC) leading the way for Nanaimo with a 2-4 day, scoring one of the NightOwls runs. Riley Paulino, Ayden Hadley, Deshon Thomas and Tui Ickes, with a double, had the other Nanaimo hits in front of more than 1,800 spectators.

https://baseball.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=610447

Aidan Boice started for the NightOwls, an opener putting in a scoreless inning. Newcomers Jake Schumacher (Saint Martins) and Moosa Nonomiya (Skagit Valley), the latter striking out three batters, both went two innings, with single inning outings from Tahj Orona, David Stewart, Armaan Drar and Ryan Inouye, who earned the save with a strikeout to end the game.

https://baseball.pointstreak.com/standings.html?leagueid=145&seasonid=33874

The game was the first of three in a non-league series at Serauxmen, with the Dudes — great name! — in the Harbour City for games Saturday night (6:35pm) and Sunday afternoon (1pm). Saturday’s big promotion is a chance to win a trip for four to Toronto thanks to YCD Nanaimo International Airport, while Sunday’s matinee game will provide a chance to win a trip to Las Vegas through Nanaimo Mitsubishi.

The NightOwls scored all their runs in the third inning, when Nanaimo mustered four hits and a walk, helped by an error by the Dudes catcher.

https://wcleague.watch.pixellot.tv/

The NightOwls next see WCL action when they host the island rival Victoria HarbourCats on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at Serauxmen Stadium, games that are part of the nine games the two teams will face each other this first half of the season. All the game starts are 6:35pm. The HarbourCats currently have a 2-1 edge in the race for the ReMax Generation Alex Burns Real Estate Island Cup.

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Summer Collegiate

Victoria HarbourCats – HarbourCats fall short in battle in Alberta

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For immediate release 

EDMONTON, Alta — A couple mistakes at the wrong time, and bats that missed the timely opportunity.

The Victoria HarbourCats (7-6) dropped the first game of a trip to the Alberta capital, falling 3-1 to the host Riverhawks at RE/MAX Field. An early run from Victoria was answered by an Edmonton run in the second inning and then singles from the Riverhawks in the fifth and seventh innings as Edmonton outhit the HarbourCats 9-6.

BOXSCORE

The HarbourCats struck out a combined 14 times, compared to just six for the Riverhawks, who now sit a game ahead of the third-place HarbourCats at 8-5. The HarbourCats also committed the only two errors in the game.

Elijah Higginbottom, from Tacoma CC, was strong in his starting assignment, going five innings with no walks, two strikeouts and allowing six hits and two runs. Carson Cormier and Ben Hewitt also pitched for Victoria.

LEAGUE STANDINGS

Ny’Zaiah Thompson and Cam Schneider were both 2-4, with Schneider driving in Garrett Teunissen in the first inning with a two-out single.

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The HarbourCats will get a chance for revenge on Saturday in a 1pm (local time, noon PT) game on Saturday, the game time changed to stay away from the Edmonton Oilers home game against the Florida Panthers, Game Four of the Stanley Cup final.

WATCH HERE

The HarbourCats are on a six-game road trip that includes a Sunday series-ender in Edmonton, followed by a day off on Monday, then games at Serauxmen Stadium in Nanaimo against the Island rival NightOwls, the fourth, fifth and sixth games in the RE/MAX Generation Alex Burns Real Estate Island Cup — games Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

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 Edged in Extras in Victoria with 5,000 in Attendance

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VICTORIA — An early one-run lead held up — for a long time.

The Nanaimo NightOwls put a bit of a hush on the crowd of 5,044 in attendance at Wilson’s Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park with a run in the first inning, then nearly hung on for win in a tremendous ballgame played Thursday in Victoria.

The Victoria HarbourCats scraped across runs in the sixth inning and the walkoff in the bottom of the 10th for a 2-1 win over the NightOwls. The game started at 11am for the Mayfair Optometric School Spirit Game and the crowd was loud and hopped up on ice cream and hot dogs.

The HarbourCats (7-5) nearly won it in the bottom of the ninth but had the winning run thrown out at the plate on a great throw by right fielder Mitchell Middlemiss (UBC).

Aiden Russell (San Diego State) was strong in his starting pitching role, going six innings and giving up four hits and one run, that coming in the sixth inning. He struck out eight. Payton Robertson went three scoreless innings, giving up three hits. Venezuelan lefty Richtter Castillo took the loss.

Third baseman Cam Schneider (Fresno State) was 4-5 with the game-winning RBI for Victoria.

The NightOwls (6-6) had eight hits, three of them by third baseman David Draayers (UBC) and two from outfielder Noah Hata (Hawaii Pacific).

The NightOwls now host the Redmond Dudes for evening games on Friday and Saturday, and a 1pm game on Sunday. The Friday game will see skydivers land on the field prior to the game, while Saturday is the now-annual major Blue Jays vacation trip giveaway with YCD Nanaimo Airport. Sunday, a trip to Las Vegas is up for grabs with Nanaimo Mitsubishi.

The next league action for the NightOwls is at home, next week, Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday with the Victoria HarbourCats back in the Harbour City as part of the ReMax Generation Alex Burns Real Estate Island Cup, with nine games between the two teams.

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