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Summer Collegiate

NorthPaws end 2023 West Coast League season with back to back losses

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Author: Larry Read

KAMLOOPS, BC—The Nanaimo NightOwls won back to back games on the weekend to take two of three from the host Kamloops NorthPaws in West Coast League action.   In a battle of two teams who missed the WCT post season, Kamloops won the opening night (Fri Aug 4) 7-4 but then lost 4-1 on Saturday (Aug 5) and Sunday afternoon 8-3 to Nanaimo.

The NightOwls finished the season at 26-28 while the NorthPaws were 12-40.

The teams played on the Dearborn Ford Field at Norbrock Stadium.

SERIES RECAP:

Friday, August 4, 2023:NorthPaws 7 NightOwls 4

The NorthPaws snapped a three-game losing streak taking Nanaimo, who trailed 7-0 at one point. Kamloops had a season high two homers in this game.  Robin Villeneuve (Gatineau, QC) hit a two-run shot in the fourth inning. Villeneuve was 2-4 with three runs batted in and a run scored in the contest and has three home runs this summer.

The other homer came off the bat of Matthew McDonald (Kamloops, BC).  He led off the fifth inning with a solo blast.   He was 1-4 with a run scored. Gage Mestas (Durango, CO) was 3-5 with a run scored. Matthew Ward (Mississauga, ON) was 2-4 with a run scored while Drew Giannini (Troy, CA) was 2-5 with a run scored.

Christian Spitz (Overland Park, KS) went six innings for the win. He struck out four, gave up two walks on five hits to improve his record to 2-4. David Jeon (Coppell, TX) pitched the ninth inning for the save. It was his third of the year in 17 appearances. He struck out one.

Night Owls starter Brian Veniard (Jacksonville, Fla) fell to 1-2 on the year. He pitched only three and two thirds’ innings surrendering 10 hits, five runs, striking out seven and walking one.

Caden Casagrande (Earle, ID) led Nanaimo offensively going 1-4 with three RBI. Brandon Hupe (Delta, BC) went 1-3 with two runs scored while Ethan Rivera (Chino Hills, CA) and Liam Bushey (Abbotsford, BC) were both 2-4 with a run scored.

Link to Scoresheet:  http://baseball.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=598528

Saturday, August 5 2023:NightOwls 4 NorthPaws1

The NightOwls snapped a five-game losing skid with the victory. They broke open a scoreless tie scoring once in the fifth, added another in the sixth and had a single run in both the eighth and ninth.  They had nine hits in the ball game.  The NorthPaws scored their only run in the bottom of the seventh inning when Ward hit his second home run of the season.  They had six hits and committed one error.

Hupe was 2-5 with a run scored for Nanaimo. Bryce Johnson (Bellingham, WA) was 1-2 with a RBI. Brandon Nicholl (Coombs, BC) was 1-4 with a run scored. Elijah Ickles (Wahiawa, HI) was 1-3 with a run scored.

Nathan Buchan (Mercer Island, WA) started his ninth game of the year and was the winner. He evened his record at 3-3 going seven innings. He pitched a five hitter with a run given up, three strikeouts and one walk. MacCallan Conklin pitched the last inning for his second save in three starts. He struck out two and walked two.

Liam Reynolds (Trumansburg, NY) fell to 0-3.  He started and went five innings, giving up a run, four hits, struck out five and walked six.

Villeneuve was 3-3 at the plate for Kamloops.  Ward  was 1-3  with a run scored and an RBI (thanks to that homer). Anthony Manuel (Antioch, CA) and Ray Jesse (Oak Lawn, IL) were both 1-4.

Link to Scoresheet: http://baseball.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=598529

Sunday, August 6 2023:NightOwls 8 NorthPaws 3

The NightOwls scored one in the first, two more in the second and third innings to chase MacLain Roberts (Auckland, NZ) off the hit for Kamloops.   Roberts was 2-8 on the year. In this game, he went two and two thirds innings surrendering six hits, five runs, walking three and striking out one.  He started 10 games in his rookie WCL season.  He was one of four pitchers utilized by NorthPaws manager Keith Francis in the contest.

Nanaimo was led offensively by Wylie Waters (West Vancouver, BC).  He was 4-5 with three runs scored and three RBI. He also hit a home run.      Reid Little (Bellingham, WA) also hit a dinger for Nanaimo. He was 1-3 with two RBI and a run scored.  His homer game in the second inning.

For Waters and Little: it was the second home runs of the summer.

Elijah Ickles (Wahiawa, HI) was 2-3 with a run scored as well for the NightOwls.

Matt McDonald (Kamloops, BC) was 1-3 with a run scored and a RBI. He knocked one out of the park in the seventh inning with the NorthPaws down 8-2. Gage Mestas (Durango, CO) was 2-4 with a run scored. Anthony Manuel (Antioch, CA) was 1-2 with a run scored.

Jacob Fleury (Burlington, WA) was the winning pitcher.  He was the third of three pitchers and went three innings tossing a one hitter over that time. He had two strikeouts and two walks.  He was 5-0 on the year and it was his first relief appearance of 2013.

Link to Scoresheet:  http://baseball.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=598530

HEAD COACH KEITH FRANCIS:

On the series: “ I am kind of disappointed the way we played today (Sunday). We didn’t get excited about playing today. Everyone was more focused on going home unfortunately. I understand that. I wished we played a little harder. That was the same story yesterday (Saturday). We had enough horses to get it done but we didn’t.

Admits that timely hitting and pitching depth were downfalls this year for Kamloops.  He credits those players who stuck it out.  “The effort I got from these guys, as bad as its been has been A plus. I know they didn’t give it to me today, but they did it all year long. 

 

Robin Villeneuve (Gatineau, QC).252 batting average, 3 homers, 6 doubles in 32 games

On season: “ It was a pretty tough summer. I came late and it took me a while to get going, but the last few games I started to put it around. It is hard to have a good chemistry when you don’t win but there were a lot of great guys on this team.

Cooper Neville (Glendale, AZ): .273 batting average, 183 at bats in 52 games, 22 RBI

On the year:  “ I don’t think we had the best odds of winning. We needed to have more guys coming in and our pitching could have been better. We should have had more pitchers at the end instead of losing them all at the same time. I think our hitters could have done a much better job (me included). I don’t know what happened. We just couldn’t get it all together at the same time.”

Nathan Grey (Queen Creek, AZ) 0-1 record 9 games as a pitcher, four starts, 1.71 ERA/.137 Batting average in 31 games. 95 at bats.

On adjusting to the West Coast League after making the jump from high school : “On the mound, it was an easy transition. I just felt comfortable out there. I know my stuff and I know what I could do. At the plate it was a little different, going from high school pitching to college pitching: it’s a little faster.  I am making adjustments to that and should be ready for the fall (going to Puma Community College in Arizona).”

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Summer Collegiate

Three returning players, one a WCL all-star, and local infielder highlight eight NightOwls signings

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Those announced today:

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OF/LHP Riley Paulino, University of Pikeville, 5-11/180, Fife, WA (returning player)

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C Sammy Torres, University of Pikeville, 5-9/200, Yuaco, Puerto Rico (returning player)

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LHP Richtter Castillo, University of Pikeville, 6-0/215, Maracay, Venezuela

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IF Lucas Laukkanen, Cloud County commit, 6-0/190, Nanaimo

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LHP Carson Jones, St. Martins, 6-0/180, Walla Walla, WA (returning player)

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RHP Christian Lucero, Arizona Christian, 6-1/190, Sacramento

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OF Sammy Kahler, San Diego State, 6-0/185, Stockton, CA

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OF Drew Rutter, San Diego State, 6-1/190, Trabuco Canyon, CA

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Summer Collegiate

Victoria HarbourCats – Manny’s hitting coach added to staff by Coach Haney

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2024 HarbourCats Coaching Staff – Front Row (L to R) Scott Anderson (Pitching Coach), Todd Haney (Head Coach), Trovin Valdez (Hitting Coach), Steve Sinclair (Bench Coach); Back Row (L to R): Ethan Fox (Bullpen Coach), Troy Birtwistle (First Base Coach).

For immediate release

April 16, 2024

VICTORIA, B.C. — An already strong coaching staff under WCL Coach of the Year Todd Haney just got stronger with the addition of Trovin Valdez, a former pro who made it to AAA in the Montreal Expos system.

Valdez, 50, was the personal hitting coach of Manny Ramirez during much of his record-setting MLB career and now works extensively with his sons Manny Jr. and Lucas, who have joined the HarbourCats for the 2024 WCL season. Valdez, who was once traded for lefthander David Wells, also works with a number of MLB players from his base in Florida, moving around the continent — and now will spend the summer exclusively in Victoria working with all HarbourCats hitters.

Haney, who has been with the HarbourCats since 2018 and Head Coach since 2019, is proud to unveil the entire staff for 2024:

  • Todd Haney, Head Coach (5th year, 4th as Head Coach)
  • Trovin Valdez, Hitting/Outfield Coach (First year)
  • Scott Anderson, Pitching Coach (Second year)
  • Troy Birtwistle, First Base Coach (Sixth year)
  • Steve Sinclair, Bench Coach (Second year)
  • Ethan Fox, Bullpen Coach (Third year, former HarbourCats player)

Under Haney, the HarbourCats led the WCL in hits, runs and stolen bases in 2023 and set a WCL record with an astounding 25-2 home record at Wilson’s Group Stadium at RAP, adding two more home wins in as many dates in the playoffs. The HarbourCats reached the WCL’s final game for the third time in five seasons.

Jaxon Williams (pictured right), part of the 2023 staff, is unable to return due to career reasons and the HarbourCats thank him and wish him all the best, he will always be a part of the HarbourCats family.

“This is a tremendous staff under incredible leadership from Todd — our players will be well served in their development,” said Christian Stewart, GM of the HarbourCats. “We couldn’t be happier with the makeup of this group, and we’re excited to see Trovin go to work. Our team set multiple team and league records on the offensive side of the game last year and that exciting style of play will be on display for our fans again.”

Valdez stole more than 250 bases as a pro, spanning nine seasons, and he joins former pro players Haney (five years MLB with Expos, Cubs and Mets), Anderson (also Expos system), Sinclair (MLB lefty with Blue Jays and Mariners), and Birtwistle (Australia). Fox played college ball and is the Head Coach of the Golden Tide CCBC team.

The HarbourCats open on the road May 31 in Kamloops, the start of back-to-back series in Kamloops and Kelowna, before returning for the June 7 home opener against Wenatchee. The HarbourCats will be on the road this summer in Kamloops, Kelowna, Edmonton, Wenatchee, Ridgefield, Port Angeles, Bellingham, and six games in Nanaimo against the Island-rival NightOwls at Serauxmen Stadium. Teams visiting Victoria this year are Wenatchee, Nanaimo, Bellingham, Port Angeles, Kelowna, Edmonton (two series), Kamloops and Corvallis, along with non-league games against the Redmond Dudes, Dub Sea Fishsticks, the SIBL All-Stars, and Victoria Mavericks All-Stars.

The regular season runs until August 7, with WCL playoffs running from August 10 to August 16.

Single game tickets are now available for the HarbourCats 2024 season including the home opener on Friday, June 7, 2024 at 6:35pm against the Kamloops NorthPaws. These can be purchased online through our one and only ticketing partner, Select Your Tickets, at www.harbourcats.com/tickets or at the HarbourCats office at 101-1814 Vancouver Street.

Season tickets and 10-game flex packs are also now on sale via the HarbourCats office or by calling 778-265-0327.

 

 

 

 

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Victoria HarbourCats – Manny Ramirez’s two sons sign with HarbourCats

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April 4 2024

VICTORIA, B.C. — Their father was once the most-feared hitter in the Major Leagues, a perennial all-star with a big personality who won a World Series, a batting title, and could change any game with one swing.

Manny Ramirez Jr., 21 (pictured above left), and Lucas Ramirez, 18 (pictured above right), carry the same potential — Manny Jr., a booming right-handed power hitter, with Lucas a lefty with a power stroke who has committed to the University of Tennessee for the fall.

Both outfielders who can DH, Manny Jr. and Lucas are excited to be coming to Victoria, to further develop under Head Coach Todd Haney, a former MLB player, and a coaching staff that also includes former pro player and coach Scott Anderson and former MLB pitcher Steve Sinclair.

“These are notable signings not just for us, but for the entire West Coast League — this will be exciting news for our fans and sponsors, no question,” said Jim Swanson of the HarbourCats. “They come highly recommended by our former pitching coach, Alec Adame, who is coaching Manny Jr. at ELAC (East LA College). It’s been a pleasure working with the family to set this all up, and we know Victoria will welcome them all with open arms — to the city rated the best city in the world. Alec was here in 2015 and knows how great the baseball environment is at Wilson’s Group Stadium at RAP.”

So far this spring Manny Jr. leads ELAC with three home runs and has 18 runs driven in over 20 games, adding nine doubles and walking 14 times. The 6-3/210 outfielder is a freshman who is a product of Calvary Christian high school in Clearwater, FL.

Lucas is a graduating high school senior at powerful American Heritage in Florida and is a possible high-round pick in the upcoming draft thanks to already developing power from the left side. He is already built like a pro at 6-3/200.

They have a tremendous baseball role model to aspire to. Manny Ramirez played 19 seasons and batted .312 with 555 home runs, the 15th highest total in MLB history — he starred for Cleveland, Boston, and the Dodgers, and finished with time for the Chicago White Sox and Tampa Bay Rays. He was a 12-time all-star, was MVP of the 2004 World Series when the Red Sox ended their long title drought, won the 2002 American League batting title, and was the Hank Aaron Award winner in 1999 and 2004. He was also part of a second Red Sox team to win the World Series in 2007, and hit more post-season home runs (29) than anyone else in the history of the game. He finished top-10 in MVP voting in the American League eight years in a row (1998-2005).

The HarbourCats open on the road May 31 in Kamloops, the start of back-to-back series in Kamloops and Kelowna, before returning for the June 7 home opener against Wenatchee. The HarbourCats will be on the road this summer in Kamloops, Kelowna, Edmonton, Wenatchee, Ridgefield, Port Angeles, Bellingham, and six games in Nanaimo against the Island-rival NightOwls at Serauxmen Stadium. Teams visiting Victoria this year are Wenatchee, Nanaimo, Bellingham, Port Angeles, Kelowna, Edmonton (two series), Kamloops and Corvallis, along with non-league games against the Redmond Dudes, Dub Sea Fishsticks, the SIBL All-Stars, and Victoria Mavericks All-Stars.

The regular season runs until August 7, with WCL playoffs running from August 10 to August 16.

Single game tickets are now available for the HarbourCats 2024 season including the home opener on Friday, June 7, 2024 at 6:35pm against the Kamloops NorthPaws. These can be purchased online at www.harbourcats.com/tickets or at the HarbourCats office at 101-1814 Vancouver Street.

Season tickets and 10-game flex packs are also now on sale via the HarbourCats office or by calling 778-265-0327.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  If you are a 2023 Season Ticket holder who has not yet renewed your seats for the 2024 season, please do so by April 15th, 2024 or your seats will be released and available to the public for sale. Please call Christian at 778-265-0327 ASAP to renew your seats.

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