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Oregon State Duo Joins NorthPaws with Eyes on College World Series

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The Kamloops NorthPaws is looking to an NCAA program with a rich history of success to continue building the inaugural roster.

Oregon State University’s sophomore outfielder Wade Meckler and freshman utility player Brady Kasper have signed with the NorthPaws for 2021.

“We’re fortunate to have guys from a program like Oregon State. We want to create a winning culture in Kamloops and it starts with bringing in players who know how to win,” said head coach Cole Armstrong.

The team’s history of success was a key factor in both players’ commitments to Oregon State.

“When I committed, they were just coming off I think the highest win total in Pac-12 history. They went 27-3 in the Pac-12 and the year I committed here they won a national championship, so it was one of the best overall programs in the country,” Meckler said. “That’s the goal, to get to Omaha and win the whole thing.”

“When I was younger, I would watch them on tv with my dad because they were in the College World Series or Super Regionals almost every year. I just remember watching them all the time and thinking I want to go there,” Kasper said.

Wade Meckler | Photo Credit: OSU Athletics

Meckler, from Yorba Linda, Calif., was slated to play in the West Coast League with Corvallis in 2020 before the season was cancelled and is excited about another opportunity to play in the league.

“I wanted to stay on the West Coast. My coaches believe that the West Coast League is one of the best leagues competition wise in the country, so they wanted me to stay out here,” Meckler said. “I think the West Coast League is surpassing a lot of these other leagues that are historically known as the best leagues. I really think this is the biggest up and coming league in the country.”

For his 2021 collegiate season, Meckler said he wants to reach 80 hits and have good plate discipline, earning walks for at least 10 per cent of his at bats.

“I feel like if I do both of those things, I’m putting myself in a good position to be one of the best leadoff hitters in the country,” he said.

“If I had to use one phrase to use the way I play, its ‘high-octane.’ It’s full-go, it’s high-intensity, it might cause some scraps with the other team but at the end of the day I’m an extremely competitive person and it shows in the way I play, everything is 100 per cent.”

“He’s a veteran presence who will provide experience and leadership to go with a top of the order bat,” Armstrong said of the outfielder.

Kasper, from Mission Viejo, Calif., will get his first taste of summer collegiate baseball in Kamloops after the pandemic impacted his senior high school season.

Brady Kasper | Photo Credit: OSU Athletics

“Kamloops, I saw pictures of it and it just looks awesome. I saw the golf courses and the rivers for fishing, the town looks awesome, the field looks awesome and I didn’t need to look anywhere else. That looks like somewhere I want to be for the summer,” Kasper said.

Kasper is slated as a player who can slide into multiple positions and provide some versatility to the NorthPaws lineup.

“He’s a loud, left-handed bat who could provide a presence in the middle of our batting order,” Armstrong said of the freshman.

Before they can turn their focus on Kamloops, Meckler and Kasper are set on proving the pundits wrong. Oregon State was ranked fourth in the Pac-12 in preseason polls.

“I think we’re going to be a threat this year. We’ve been ranked a little lower in the polls than we think we should’ve been and I think we’re going to prove a lot of people wrong this year,” Meckler said.

“I feel like we just need to take it game by game and prove everyone wrong. I don’t think rankings matter very much to us, it is just a little bit more fuel to the fire just because they did rank us so low,” Kasper echoed. “It pissed some guys off, so we’re going to come out strong and we’re going to come out ready to win.”

Oregon State is off to a strong start to the 2021 season with a 4-1 record through the first week of the season. Meckler and Kasper are locked in a four-game series this weekend against their future NorthPaws teammates, including week one NCAA hits leader Ryland Zaborowski, with Grand Canyon University.

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

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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For immediate release

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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