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Summer Collegiate

NorthPaws Sign Local Captain Rihela

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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.

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Summer Collegiate

NightOwls Outlast Dudes in Entertaining Game at Serauxmen

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NANAIMO — Friday night baseball certainly agrees with the NightOwls faithful, who kept an energy throughout a 4-2 win over the visiting Redmond Dudes at historic Serauxmen Stadium.

Both teams mustered six hits, with third baseman Cowboy Cole Carmichael (ELAC) leading the way for Nanaimo with a 2-4 day, scoring one of the NightOwls runs. Riley Paulino, Ayden Hadley, Deshon Thomas and Tui Ickes, with a double, had the other Nanaimo hits in front of more than 1,800 spectators.

https://baseball.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=610447

Aidan Boice started for the NightOwls, an opener putting in a scoreless inning. Newcomers Jake Schumacher (Saint Martins) and Moosa Nonomiya (Skagit Valley), the latter striking out three batters, both went two innings, with single inning outings from Tahj Orona, David Stewart, Armaan Drar and Ryan Inouye, who earned the save with a strikeout to end the game.

https://baseball.pointstreak.com/standings.html?leagueid=145&seasonid=33874

The game was the first of three in a non-league series at Serauxmen, with the Dudes — great name! — in the Harbour City for games Saturday night (6:35pm) and Sunday afternoon (1pm). Saturday’s big promotion is a chance to win a trip for four to Toronto thanks to YCD Nanaimo International Airport, while Sunday’s matinee game will provide a chance to win a trip to Las Vegas through Nanaimo Mitsubishi.

The NightOwls scored all their runs in the third inning, when Nanaimo mustered four hits and a walk, helped by an error by the Dudes catcher.

https://wcleague.watch.pixellot.tv/

The NightOwls next see WCL action when they host the island rival Victoria HarbourCats on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at Serauxmen Stadium, games that are part of the nine games the two teams will face each other this first half of the season. All the game starts are 6:35pm. The HarbourCats currently have a 2-1 edge in the race for the ReMax Generation Alex Burns Real Estate Island Cup.

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Summer Collegiate

Victoria HarbourCats – HarbourCats fall short in battle in Alberta

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For immediate release 

EDMONTON, Alta — A couple mistakes at the wrong time, and bats that missed the timely opportunity.

The Victoria HarbourCats (7-6) dropped the first game of a trip to the Alberta capital, falling 3-1 to the host Riverhawks at RE/MAX Field. An early run from Victoria was answered by an Edmonton run in the second inning and then singles from the Riverhawks in the fifth and seventh innings as Edmonton outhit the HarbourCats 9-6.

BOXSCORE

The HarbourCats struck out a combined 14 times, compared to just six for the Riverhawks, who now sit a game ahead of the third-place HarbourCats at 8-5. The HarbourCats also committed the only two errors in the game.

Elijah Higginbottom, from Tacoma CC, was strong in his starting assignment, going five innings with no walks, two strikeouts and allowing six hits and two runs. Carson Cormier and Ben Hewitt also pitched for Victoria.

LEAGUE STANDINGS

Ny’Zaiah Thompson and Cam Schneider were both 2-4, with Schneider driving in Garrett Teunissen in the first inning with a two-out single.

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The HarbourCats will get a chance for revenge on Saturday in a 1pm (local time, noon PT) game on Saturday, the game time changed to stay away from the Edmonton Oilers home game against the Florida Panthers, Game Four of the Stanley Cup final.

WATCH HERE

The HarbourCats are on a six-game road trip that includes a Sunday series-ender in Edmonton, followed by a day off on Monday, then games at Serauxmen Stadium in Nanaimo against the Island rival NightOwls, the fourth, fifth and sixth games in the RE/MAX Generation Alex Burns Real Estate Island Cup — games Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

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 Edged in Extras in Victoria with 5,000 in Attendance

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VICTORIA — An early one-run lead held up — for a long time.

The Nanaimo NightOwls put a bit of a hush on the crowd of 5,044 in attendance at Wilson’s Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park with a run in the first inning, then nearly hung on for win in a tremendous ballgame played Thursday in Victoria.

The Victoria HarbourCats scraped across runs in the sixth inning and the walkoff in the bottom of the 10th for a 2-1 win over the NightOwls. The game started at 11am for the Mayfair Optometric School Spirit Game and the crowd was loud and hopped up on ice cream and hot dogs.

The HarbourCats (7-5) nearly won it in the bottom of the ninth but had the winning run thrown out at the plate on a great throw by right fielder Mitchell Middlemiss (UBC).

Aiden Russell (San Diego State) was strong in his starting pitching role, going six innings and giving up four hits and one run, that coming in the sixth inning. He struck out eight. Payton Robertson went three scoreless innings, giving up three hits. Venezuelan lefty Richtter Castillo took the loss.

Third baseman Cam Schneider (Fresno State) was 4-5 with the game-winning RBI for Victoria.

The NightOwls (6-6) had eight hits, three of them by third baseman David Draayers (UBC) and two from outfielder Noah Hata (Hawaii Pacific).

The NightOwls now host the Redmond Dudes for evening games on Friday and Saturday, and a 1pm game on Sunday. The Friday game will see skydivers land on the field prior to the game, while Saturday is the now-annual major Blue Jays vacation trip giveaway with YCD Nanaimo Airport. Sunday, a trip to Las Vegas is up for grabs with Nanaimo Mitsubishi.

The next league action for the NightOwls is at home, next week, Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday with the Victoria HarbourCats back in the Harbour City as part of the ReMax Generation Alex Burns Real Estate Island Cup, with nine games between the two teams.

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