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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 – 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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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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