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NorthPaws Name Francis Head Coach

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KAMLOOPS, BC—The Kamloops NorthPaws didn’t have to look far when searching for their newest head coach.
Original article written by Larry Read.

Just days after learning that Brian Anderson had taken a job with NCAA Div I Northwestern University (Illinois), The NorthPaws have named Keith Francis as the third head coach in the teams history.

Francis and Anderson have been working with the Pima Community College Aztecs (National Junior College Athletics Association) in Arizona. Both were looking to come north to Kamloops for the Westcoast League season in early June. Francis had committed to being Anderson’s assistant. He was Anderson’s coach in high school.

“I am looking forward to the coming season,” he says. “My teams are aggressive and play the right way. I never play the other team. If you play the game and play the right way, usually good things come your way. It’s my intent for the NorthPaws to play that way too.”

Francis is currently the assistant coach with Pima. A number of the players on Aztecs roster had been recruited by Anderson to play this summer for the NorthPaws already.

“It will make the job easier (familiarity with the players),” he says. “I will continue to implement a lot of things that we have here. I know those players’ strong points and weak points. We have a couple of pitchers coming up which will be very important. “

The newest NorthPaws skipper has a solid baseball background. His resume includes coaching at Maple Woods Community College (1997-1998), third place in the 1998 Junior College World Series at Grand Junction, CO. Canyon del Oro High School (2000), Assistant Coach, CDO won the 5A State Championship. Canyon del Oro High School (2001-2004), Head Coach, CDO won the 5A State Championship in 2002. Pima Community College (2005-2006), Assistant Coach.

In addition, he was an assistant coach at the University of Arizona (2007-2010) where they made Regionals three of the four years and made it to the Super Regionals in 2008 where they lost to the University of Miami.

“We are going to approach the West Coast League aggressively,” Francis adds. “We will steal a lot of bases, do a lot of hit and runs. That is West Coast baseball. That is the way we will play.”

Francis is looking forward to coaching players that he normally doesn’t see from the West Coast of North America.

‘I can’t wait to get there (to Kamloops) and see the fan base and meet them,” he adds. “As a player having fans behind you makes it fun to come to the ballpark.”

NorthPaws co-owner Norm Daley says, ““We’re really excited to be able to move on so quickly with Keith’s hire. We know that Keith has a wealth of experience and a great knowledge of players and are looking forward to another great NorthPaws season.”

Francis hopes to be in Kamloops at the end of May or early June. His arrival depends on how deep his Pima team goes in the National College World Series. They are currently ranked in the top 20 and have won 14 games in a row.

In the meantime, he will be reaching out to players who have already committed to the NorthPaws this summer and will be securing at least one assistant coach.

The North Paws went 26-27 in their inaugural West Coast League season (2022) under head coach Cole Armstrong. They wound up third in the North Division. Kamloops opens up their 2023 season Tuesday June 2nd in Victoria against the Harbour Cats. Their home opener at Dearborn Ford Field at Norbrock Stadium is Tuesday June 6th when the Portland Pickles come to town.

Ticket information and the complete schedule is available on the NorthPaws website: www.northpawsbaseball.ca.

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

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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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