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NorthPaws Set to Open 2nd West Coast League Season in Victoria

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KAMLOOPS, BC—Excitement is in the air as the Kamloops NorthPaws are poised to kick off their second season in the West Coast League.

With the Memorial Cup junior hockey tournament being played in Kamloops, the North Paws asked the West Coast league to begin the 2023 campaign on the road.    The North Paws will open the campaign up at Wilson’s Group Stadium in Victoria, BC against the HarbourCats.  The three-game series kicks off Thursday June 2nd and winds up Sunday June 4th. 

Kamloops has 10 veterans back from the team which finished third overall in the WCL North Division (record 26-27).   The NorthPaws have changed managers twice since Cole Armstrong directed them in their inaugural season.   Former Major Leaguer Brian Anderson replaced Armstrong in October 2022 but resigned to take a position with Northwestern University (NCAA Div I).  Keith Francis was named his replacement this past April.   He and Anderson worked together with Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona and was initially coming to Kamloops as an assistant coach in 2023 before the promotion.

The HarbourCats have 13 players returning from the team which finished fourth in the West Coast League North Division in 2022 (record 26-28).

SERIES DETAILS:

Friday June 2nd  6:35 PM , Saturday June 3rd  6:35 PM, Sunday June 4th  1:05 PM

Games streamed at HCATS.TV

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Victoria:

1.     Cam Caley – LHP – Baylor University – Sophomore
2.      Harrison Caley – C – Baylor University – Junior
3.      Jesse Brown – OF – UC Santa Barbara
4.       Dallas Macias – 2B/OF – Oregon State – Freshman
5.       Hudson Shupe – SS – Seattle – Freshman  

 Kamloops:

1.      Andrew Stucky   C-OF  University of Texas San Antonio  Hometown: Tucson, AZ  Sophomore
2.      Robin Villeneuve 1B-LHP  Weatherford College   Hometown: Gatineau QC   Sophomore
3.      Tommy Green  SS-INF   Oakland University   Hometown: Courtenay, BC   Senior
4.      Felix Chenier-Rondeau  OF Oklahoma City University   Hometown: Blainville, QC   Senior

COACHES COMMENTS:

Victoria Head Coach Todd Haney:

“We have assembled a top caliber line-up this season and can’t wait to get things started Friday against the NorthPaws.  This is the 10th Anniversary season of the HarbourCats, and I’d like nothing more than to celebrate that by bringing the HarbourCats their first ever WCL title.  I think we have the team to do that this year and look forward to the challenges the season will bring us.”

Kamloops Head Coach Keith Francis:

Heading into the season you are always a little apprehensive about your roster. Did we get enough pitching is everyone healthy etc. we know we have several still playing in post season play so your not exactly certain who is going to be ready for the opener. Having used all the coaches excuses I am looking forward to the season. I feel like we have an offensive lineup with players who have had very good seasons at their respective schools. I believe that our offense may have to carry else early until the pitching works itself out. Our first series should be mixed bag of a lineup with so many players not expected for another week, but it will give are younger players a chance.”

 LAST YEAR’S (2022) SERIES:

The three games were played in Kamloops at Dearborn Ford Field.  The NorthPaws won two of the three games.  They opened the series June 14th with a 5-4 victory. Kolby Lukinchuk (Prince George, BC), came out of the bullpen to strike out the final two batters for the victory in his one inning of work.  Zac Beatty led the way for Kamloops with two runs batted in.

Game two had Kamloops beating Victoria 9-8. Ben Polack was the winning pitcher going three innings with a strikeout. He was the third of three pitchers for the NorthPaws that night. Kamloops had nine runs on 13 hits with four errors.

Victoria won the final game of the series (June 16) by a score of 8-3, scoring three runs in the top of the ninth inning after scoring two in the first frame. Michael Nunez was the winning pitcher going four and a third innings giving up four hits and striking out five. Shay Timmer took the loss for Kamloops. He was the second of four pitchers going three innings with five strikeouts and three walks.

NORTH PAWS NOTABLES:

The North Paws have 11 players from British Columbia on their roster including five players from Kamloops itself (three of them: Tyrelle Chadwick, Jared Sucro, Nolan Austin are veterans).

WOLFPACK CONNECTION:

Kamloops has two players who are currently members of the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack baseball program:  Lukinchuk and first year outfielder Manny Recchi.   Former WolfPack player Adam Filmon has joined the NorthPaws as an assistant coach.  Filmon is the grandson of former Manitoba Premier Gary.

The HarbourCats have one TRU player on their roster this year.  Pitcher Sam Jordan who completed his first season with TRU in 2023.

HOME OPENER:

The NorthPaws will kick off the home portion of their 2023 West Coast League season Tuesday June 6th at Dearborn Ford Field at Norbrock Stadium. It is a three-game series with the Portland Pickles.  Opening pitch on Tuesday, Wednesday (June 7th) and Thursday (June 8th) will be 6:35 PM.  Tuesday’s opening night festivities will include a pre-game ceremony.

Tuesday’s game will be “Blazers Night” where the NorthPaws will recognize the accomplishments of the 2022-23 Kamloops Blazers.  It is hoped some members of the Blazers hockey club will be in attendance for the contest and will be available to sign autographs.

If you can’t make the games in person, NorthPaws home games will be webcast here : https://wcleague.watch.pixellot.tv/.   There will also be a select number of games will be shown on Shaw Cable.

For “Everything NorthPaws – Go to the website : https://www.northpawsbaseball.ca/ “

Kamloops NorthPaws tickets: ticketing@northpawsbaseball.ca

West Coast League: westcoastleague.com.

For more Information:

Jenna Forter
General Manager, Kamloops NorthPaws
Jforter@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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