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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

Veteran outfielder returning for 2023 season

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For Brandon Hupe, it felt like unfinished business — and he has a chance to fix that.

 

The outfielder from Vancouver and the UBC Thunderbirds saw his 2022 summer season cut short following a collision during a game in Port Angeles. But the 6-2/200 pounder, a junior at UBC, will get one last shot to star for Head Coach Greg Frady as the Nanaimo NightOwls are excited to announce his return to the WCL.

 

The NightOwls are announcing the additions of four players today, the others being infielder Jimmy Legg of Pomona Pitzer, and pitchers Tyson Willis and Ethan Hubbell from Everett CC (NWAC) for Pitching Coach Gorm Heimueller to work with.

 

Hupe (pronounced who-PAY) was a veteran influence on a young NightOwls team, hitting .283 with two home runs and nine runs driven in over 17 games — coming off a UBC season that yielded 12 home runs and 48 RBIs in 49 games at the NAIA level.

 

“We missed Brandon when he got hurt, there was a change in our team,” said Frady. “Brandon was one of our key leaders, he knew the caliber and nuances of the league (previously played in the WCL with Kelowna), and he helped us as coaches, along with leading our younger players.”

 

In Legg, the NightOwls are getting a 5-11/185 scrappy, switch-hitting shortstop who can also move to second or third — known as a guy who always seems to be on base, comes through in the clutch and runs well. At Pomona Pitzer, he is a glue guy because of how much he loves to play the game.

 

The two Everett CC arms include Willis, a Snohomish, WA product who pitched in the WCL for Springfield in 2022. The right-hander is touching 90 with a true hard curveball and developing changeup from a 6-4/220 frame. Hubbell, from Camas, WA, is even bigger at 6-5, another righty with upper-80s velocity and command of four pitches and a workhorse mentality.

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Summer Collegiate

Victoria HarbourCats – ‘Cats sign four, bring back Seward and Luchies

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December 7, 2022

For Immediate Release

VICTORIA, B.C. — It’s the old baseball adage — you can never have enough arms.

The Victoria HarbourCats have added three arms, two of them returning and one a local product, as part of four more players who have signed on for the 2023 West Coast League season. The fourth player on the roster comes from a dependable source of quality players — Cal Baptist.

Pitchers Jack Seward and Owen Luchies, both parts of the 2022 HarbourCats team that reached the WCL post-season, and Victoria Golden Tide ace Brady Wilson lead the latest signings, with versatile outfielder/second baseman Nick Dumesnil, a right-handed hitter from Huntington Beach, CA, a bat the team will look to for key offensive production. Dumesnil is 6-2/205 freshman and is known for a mix of speed and power that will be welcomed by Head Coach Todd Haney.

“We’ve spent even more time on pitching this year, it’s always a premium but it’s never easy to get that right mix for the staff — it’s the one area we are constantly looking to get better,” said Haney. “We’ve been known as a strong offensive team since even before I got here, and we know the best arms make all the difference.”

Vancouver product Jack Seward, now at Central Arizona, was 1-0 with three saves and a 1.15 ERA in 14 outings last summer, giving up earned runs in only two outings. He surrendered just 10 hits in 23 innings. Luchies, from Victoria, is a 6-2/195 pound freshman at Lower Columbia (NWAC) who started five games and threw 36 innings for the HarbourCats in 2022. He had 25 strikeouts, notched one save, was 2-2 with a 6.44 ERA and earned road wins in Port Angeles and Nanaimo.

Wilson, 6-1/175 from Calgary, was the workhorse for the Victoria collegiate Golden Tide in the spring of 2022, going a combined 3-4 with a 4.06 ERA in nine starts. He then spent the summer in the Western Canada Baseball League with the Fort McMurray Giants, where he was 5-5/4.94.

The HarbourCats celebrate their 10th Anniversary in 2023 and the season kicks off with the home opener against the Kamloops NorthPaws on Friday June 2, 2023.  Single game tickets for that game and all 31 HarbourCats home games in 2023 are now on sale and can be purchased on-line through our one-and-only ticketing partner, Select Your Tickets, at harbourcats.com/tickets.  They can also be purchased at the HarbourCats office at 101-1814 Vancouver Street, or at the Select Your Tickets box office at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.  Fans can also call 778-265-0327 to order over the phone.

Season tickets and 10-game flex packs are also now on sale.  For details on all ticketing options, including our special $10.00 Tuesdays, Forces Fridays and Save-on-Food Vouchers, please visit harbourcats.com/ticketinfo

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Summer Collegiate

Victoria HarbourCats – You’re Invited!

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Please join us at the office on Thursday, December 1, 2022 from 12 Noon to 7:00 pm for our annual Christmas Open House!

Join us for some Christmas cheer and to grab Christmas gifts for all the HarbourCats fans on your Christmas list!  Renew or purchase 2023 season tickets, grab some 10-game flex packs, or purchase single-game tickets for 2023 which also go on sale that day too!  Plus ALL MERCHANDISE on sale for 40% off – ONE DAY ONLY!

2023 Single-Game Tickets Also on Sale!

 

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