Connect with us

Summer Collegiate

NorthPaws Sign Local Captain Rihela

Published

on

The Kamloops NorthPaws have added local standout Liam Rihela to the inaugural roster.

Rihela grew up in Surrey, but now calls Kamloops home.

“The opportunity to play in Kamloops was the big sell for everything,” he said about signing with the NorthPaws. “I’m trying to set some roots up here and being able to see baseball in Kamloops grow, being involved with the younger guys and minor baseball and how much baseball has taken off in the short time I’ve been in Kamloops, I’m just excited to see the continuation of that.”

Rihela is the captain of the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack, where he is primarily an infielder. A left-handed batting utility player, he says he takes pride in his versatility and ability to play almost every position.

“I never really had a designated position that I liked, even at a young age, that I was really ecstatic to play at that position only,” he said. “I’m just trying to be a well-rounded player and any team that I’m on, I’m just trying to help them win in any way possible.”

In the 2019 season, Rihela finished sixth in the Canadian Collegiate Baseball Conference with a .349 batting average, third in the league with 20 RBIs and was named a first team all-star.

Photo Credit: TRU Athletics/Allen Douglas

“He’s been through the trenches and made it out the other side. He’s hungry and eager for an opportunity to play at higher levels,” said head coach Cole Armstrong. “Secondary from the talent he brings us, his wealth of perspective within the college game is going to be a big plus. I have a hunch he might be someone we come to rely on in tough situations and I think he’s the type who thrives when the water gets a little muddy.”

Rihela began his college career at Trinity University where he won the 2015 Division III College World Series. He was injured during his sophomore campaign, then deciding to take a year away from playing.

It was during this year off, while at a tournament coaching the White Rock bantam team, he ran into WolfPack coach Ray Chadwick who convinced him to move to Canada’s Tournament Capital.

Photo Credit: TRU Athletics

He has continued coaching, working with players from Kamloops Minor Baseball Association whenever his playing schedule allows.

“It’s been fun trying to be a bit of the coach, but also not being the coach at the same time. Just being one of the older players trying to help guys out rather than a coach, per say, telling them the strict ‘do this and do that,’” Rihela said. “I think that’s been a big help in my game.”

He also brings previous Canadian summer collegiate baseball experience to the NorthPaws, having spent two summers playing in the Western Canadian Baseball League with the Okotoks Dawgs and the Fort McMurray Giants.

“The experience was amazing. The fan bases in both those places, it was unreal to have all that support from fans, kind of that minor league atmosphere,” Rihela said. “It’s going to be a lot nicer to do it in Kamloops, get that summer weather here, I always missed that. I’ve never had a full summer at home so it’ll be nice to enjoy the weather and everything that Kamloops has to offer but still be able to do the baseball side of it.”

Photo Credit: TRU Athletics

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.

Source

Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Summer Collegiate

Veteran outfielder returning for 2023 season

Published

on

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.

Source

Continue Reading

Summer Collegiate

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

Published

on

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

Source

Continue Reading

Summer Collegiate

Victoria HarbourCats – You’re Invited!

Published

on

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!

 

Source

Continue Reading

Trending