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Victoria HarbourCats | Déjà vu All Over Again

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All five Canadian WCL teams will now sit out the 2021 season.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 14, 2021

VICTORIA and NANAIMO, B.C. — The virus continues to win — in life, and in sports.

With great sadness, following extensive evaluations and consultations with Canadian West Coast League (WCL) teams in Kamloops and Edmonton, the ownership group that leads both the Victoria HarbourCats and Nanaimo NightOwls is announcing the cancellation of their 2021 seasons due to the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the HarbourCats, this will be the second, devastating season in a row with no baseball at Wilson’s Group Stadium, while the NightOwls were gearing up and looking forward to their inaugural season in the league under the brand-new lights at historic Serauxmen Stadium in Nanaimo.

The Edmonton Riverhawks and Kamloops NorthPaws were also looking forward to their first year in the league. The Kelowna Falcons previously announced their withdrawal from the 2021 WCL season in March. The 10 U.S.-based WCL teams, thanks to more effective vaccine roll-outs and COVID-19 mitigation efforts in Washington and Oregon, will be playing a modified, U.S.-only schedule, with teams being allowed to have fans in some capacity.

Unfortunately for the Canadian teams, given the ongoing nature of the pandemic — the recent rise in case numbers and variants, the Provincial Health Officer’s guidelines and current and possible future restrictions in both British Columbia and Alberta, along with the ongoing Canadian-US Border closure — ownership felt they had no other choice but to cancel the 2021 season.

“There are simply too many things working against us,” said Jim Swanson, currently the GM of both the HarbourCats and the NightOwls. “We certainly appreciate the efforts of the NorthPaws and Riverhawks in truly exploring all options for a 2021 season, they will be great additions to the WCL and the Canadian side of the league, now starting in 2022.”

“We are also very appreciative of both our fan base and our sponsorship base, who have continued to support both teams and remain patient,” added Swanson. “The groundswell of support in Nanaimo has been nothing short of tremendous, with major partners such as Island Savings, Save On Foods, Panago on Fourth, and Mid Island Co-op to name a few, coming on board as inaugural partners. And in Victoria, we appreciate that the long-time partners we have cultivated over the last few years, are sticking by our side and will be ready to roll again in 2022.

“This is hard on our staff and coaches, and we now give players time to find places to develop further this summer, likely somewhere in the U.S. Make no mistake — the HarbourCats will be back at Wilson’s Group Stadium, and the NightOwls are going to get off the ground in 2022.”

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps also expressed her disappointment in not being able to see the HarbourCats in action this season. “Right about now, what many people would like to do is something normal like having a burger and a beer and cheering on our home team. I respect the decision of the HarbourCats management and thank them for keeping our community safe. In the meantime, I know we’ll all look forward with anticipation to the 2022 season.”

Fans who have purchased tickets, or ticket vouchers for both HarbourCats and NightOwls 2021 games, will receive full value for their purchases. Season Ticket holders who have paid in full, will automatically have their tickets rolled over into the 2022 season. Fans with 2020 or 2021 specific game tickets (HarbourCats) or 2020 or 2021 flex pack vouchers (both teams), will be able to redeem those for tickets into the 2022 season once that schedule is announced.

With regard to the 2022 schedule, there is hope that the league makes developing that a priority over the next few weeks, despite the fact that the 10 U.S. teams will be playing in 2021. “One of the best things that the league can do for the Canadian teams right now, in fact for all the teams, ” said Christian J. Stewart, the HarbourCats Assistant GM, Ticketing and Media, “is to develop and release a 2022 schedule as early as possible. In that way, our teams can immediately start marketing and planning for that schedule, rather than having to wait until the late fall, when the WCL schedule is traditionally released.”

Both the HarbourCats and the NightOwls will continue to build to what will certainly be a celebratory return to baseball in 2022 and will find ways to add special events when allowed to do so. 2022 Season tickets, 10-game flex packs, gift cards and merchandise will continue to be available for both teams, and new sponsors are of course welcome to join both teams and be part of that celebration. Substantial stadium improvements will continue in Nanaimo and both teams will continue to be involved as key members of their communities.

Victoria fans can also look forward to the launch of the Golden Tide, the HarbourCats-backed entry in the Canadian College Baseball Conference (CCBC) who are slated to begin play in September at Wilson’s Group Stadium, under the guidance of Head Coach Curtis Pelletier. Fans will be encouraged to come down and take in practices and games when they begin, with no cost for admission.

“While it will be another tough summer missing our fans, the excitement of the game and the fun things we do at the park,” noted Stewart, “we know that our fans will be back in force in 2022 and that is the motivation that we will all use to get us through this. Opening day in 2022 is going to be one heck of a party and we can’t wait to see everyone there!”

Further details and updates on ticket exchanges and timing, as well as other teams updates can be found on the team’s respective websites at www.harbourcats.com and www.nanaimonightowls.com. Fans are also urged to sign-up for the e-mail lists of both teams and follow both teams on social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) for all the latest news.

MEDIA CONTACTS
Jim Swanson
Managing Partner, HarbourCats and NightOwls
jim@harbourcats.com
Cell: 250-889-5204

Christian Stewart
Assistant GM, HarbourCats
chris@harbourcats.com
Cell: 250-744-7277

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Summer Collegiate

Victoria HarbourCats – Baseball is Back! Golden Tide Split DH with VIU

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First baseball at Royal Athletic Park in over two years

Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart

September 19, 2021, Victoria BC – The smell of hot dogs was in the air and the crack of the bat was back, as baseball made it’s first appearance at Wilson’s Group Stadium in over two years, as the Victoria Golden Tide hosted the Vancouver Island University Mariners in Canadian College Baseball Conference exhibition play.

A pretty decent crowd was on hand Sunday to witness the first baseball back at Royal Athletic Park in over two years (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Over 300 fans came out to enjoy the return of baseball on what turned into a beautiful fall day and they got their money’s worth, watching an exciting 11-10 Mariners win in game one, with the home team rebounding for a 16-3 win in game two.

The Mariners, including Dillon Bowie were on base early and often against the Tide in game one (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

In game one, the Mariners came in with their bats hot, vaulting themselves to a 10-2 lead after three innings of play, thanks in part to a second inning grand slam from Keegan Chard-Hill, but then watched as the Tide chipped their way back into the game.

VIUs Keegan Chard-Hill (right) is congratulated after his second inning grand slam in game one (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

A big part of the Tide rally was their own grand slam homerun in the sixth inning by Alex McLauclan that made the score 10-7 at the time.

The Mariners would score what turned out to be the winning run in the seventh, and then hung on as the Tide scored two in the bottom of the eighth and another in the bottom of the ninth, leaving the tying run on base, as the Mariners escaped with the 11-10 win.

Victoria’s Alex McLauclan launches his sixth inning grand slam in game one Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

For the Mariners, Chard Hill led the way with his slam and an RBI single. Trevor Nicoll also had a single, triple, home run, four RBI and three runs scored, while Ty Farwell and Max Kolopeniuk added a single and double each.

For the Tide, in addition to his big blast, McLauclan added a single and pair of runs scored. Brady Alexandre, Brendan Morrison and Brandon Green also had a pair of hits each, while Tyler Burton had a double and run scored in the losing effort.

The Golden Tide’s Brandon Craven head’s to third base during the Tide’s 16-3 game two win (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Jaden Patrick got the start for the Mariners and was effective through six innings of work, his only real mistake being the grand slam to McLauclan. Carter Chard-Hill, saw action in relief.

For the Tide, Triston Seitz got the start and was roughed up early. Nick Lee, Cameron Dunn and Haldon Craig all saw action in relief.

In game two, the Tide kept their offence rolling, jumping into a 4-1 lead after three innings of play and then cruising to an easy 16-3 win.

The Tide’s Nate Horricks delivers a pitch in game two Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Nine of those runs came in the eighth inning, as a short staffed Mariners squad surrendered six walks in the innning, forcing the game to be called as a result of a mercy rule.

Leading the way for the Tide was Andrew Baxter with a single, double and pair of runs scored, while Austin Wall had a pair of hits and an RBI. Jaxson Cordle also had a pair of singles and a run scored.

The Tide’s Austin Wall had a pair of hits and an RBI in the game two win (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

On the mound, Wyatt Mohr-Royer got the start, giving up one run in his three innings of work. Nate Horricks and Ethan Lynn saw work in relief.

The Golden Tide are back in action next Saturday, September 25th as they host University of the Fraser Valley for a doubleheader at Wilson’s Group Stadium. First game time is 1:00 pm. Tickets are just 5.00 and 10.00 and are available at the gate or in advance at the HarbourCats office at 101-1814 Vancouver Street, or by calling 778-265-0327.

 

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Victoria HarbourCats – Golden Tide ready to roll

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Mark Brennae named PA announcer for Golden Tide

VICTORIA, B.C. — The Victoria Golden Tide are ready to begin their 2021 Canadian College Baseball Conference (CCBC) Fall Season tonight – weather permitting – and when they do, a familiar voice will be the park voice of Victoria’s newest sports team.

Mark Brennae (photo, right), well-known from his days on the afternoon drive at CFAX 1070, is as big a baseball fan as they come — he will never give up the dream of his beloved Expos returning to Montreal. A former beat writer for the AAA Ottawa Lynx, then the farm team of the Expos, Brennae covered the NHL and CFL for The Canadian Press for 15 years, and also worked in radio covering a variety of topics in Toronto and Ottawa, including Parliament Hill.

“We’re glad to have Mark handling this key role for our new CCBC team, and he’s excited to be behind the microphone,” said Christian Stewart, Assistant GM of the parent Victoria HarbourCats.

The first game for the Golden Tide, operated by the HarbourCats, presented by Hub International Insurance and led by Head Coach Curtis Pelletier, is slated for tonight (Friday), 6pm first pitch against the Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack at Wilson’s Group Stadium at RAP — the first baseball at the historic sports facility since August of 2019, when the HarbourCats played in the WCL final. The Golden Tide also have a doubleheader slated for 1pm on Sunday vs. the Nanaimo-based VIU Mariners. Gates for all games open one hour before the scheduled game time.

Some notes for the first home weekend of Golden Tide baseball:

FOOD TRUCKS AND TIDE GEAR

For a number of reasons, including COVID, there will be no beverage service and less-than-usual food options, but we are glad to announce that Greek on the Street and Little Piggy hotdog stand will be on site on Friday. Fans are welcome to bring their own food to this weekend’s games, or take advantage of the food options. Limited merchandise will be available, Golden Tide and HarbourCats.

TICKETS

There will be tickets sold during the day at the HarbourCats office (1814 Vancouver St. or call 778-265-0327), and at the door (gates open 1 hour before game time), for $10 in the covered Main Grandstand, or $5 in the blue seats. Golden Tide Booster Club members have priority seating in the Campbell Club and Diamond Club (front row) seating area. Booster Club memberships are $200 and include admission to all fall and spring 2022 games, plus a free hat and t-shirt (contact chris@harbourcats.com to set up).

COVID CONSIDERATIONS

The Golden Tide and City of Victoria, owner of the facility, will follow the PHO guidelines for outdoor events. Masks are recommended, and vaccination cards are not required. All Golden Tide staff, volunteers, coaches and players are vaccinated, as required internally by the organization. We ask people to act with kind courtesy — we recommend that masks on when not actively eating or drinking, pay attention to distancing, and respect those who may have some discomfort in crowds as the pandemic is now in its 18th month.

WEATHER

Yes, the forecast is iffy. As none of us can control the weather, we wait, watch, and react — and hope the system moves over and douses someone else. In the case of a rainout, all tickets will be honored at a later Golden Tide game.

GOLDEN TIDE FALL HOME SCHEDULE

SEP. 17, 6PM – TRU WOLFPACK
SEP. 19, 1PM – VANCOUVER ISLAND UNIV. (DH*)
SEP. 25, 1PM – FRASER VALLEY (DH)
SEP. 26, 3PM – MID-ISLAND PIRATES (DH)
OCT. 2, 6PM – VICTORIA MARINERS
OCT. 16, 1PM – VAN. ISLE PREP (DH)
OCT. 17, 1PM – UBC (DH)
OCT. 23, 1PM – TBA (DH)
OCT. 24, 1PM – PARKSVILLE ROYALS (DH)
OCT. 26-31 INTERSQUAD WORLD SERIES
*DH = Double Header

 

 

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Victoria HarbourCats – Rain wins, Friday game cancelled

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VICTORIA, B.C. — Unplayable field conditions and an unfavourable forecast have combined to cancel tonight’s planned home debut of the Victoria Golden Tide collegiate baseball team.

The Golden Tide’s fall home schedule, presented by HUB International Insurance, was slated to open Friday at 6pm at Wilson’s Group Stadium at RAP, vs. the Kamloops-based Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack, another team in the eight-team Canadian College Baseball Conference.

The Golden Tide, operated by the Victoria HarbourCats and with Head Coach Curtis Pelletier at the helm, will play a doubleheader on Sunday, Sept. 19, starting at 1pm vs. the Nanaimo-based Vancouver Island University Mariners. Gates open at noon, a hotdog stand will be at the games, fans are welcome to bring their own food.

NOTE — Masks are recommended, distancing will be respected, and all Golden Tide personnel are required to be vaccinated — the organization is following PHO orders for outdoor events, cards will not be required but it is highly recommended that all attendees be vaccinated.All tickets for tonight’s game (Friday) will be able to be used at a future Golden Tide game this fall.

SUN SEP. 19, 1PM – VANCOUVER ISLAND UNIV. (DH*)

SAT SEP. 25, 1PM – FRASER VALLEY (DH)

SUN SEP. 26, 3PM – MID-ISLAND PIRATES (DH)

SAT OCT. 2, 6PM – VICTORIA MARINERS

SAT OCT. 16, 1PM – VAN. ISLE PREP (DH)

SUN OCT. 17, 1PM – UBC (DH)

SAT OCT. 23, 1PM – TBA (DH)

SUN OCT. 24, 1PM – PARKSVILLE ROYALS (DH)

OCT. 26-31 INTERSQUAD WORLD SERIES

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