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Victoria HarbourCats | Easing of outdoor crowd restrictions too little, too late for HarbourCats and NightOwls

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Teams looking at possible exhibition series this summer, full speed ahead for 2022!

For Immediate Release

June 29, 2021

VICTORIA, BC — If only things were where we are now six months ago. Even two months ago.

The Province today announced that after July 1, outdoor gatherings in British Columbia can have up to 5,000 people in attendance, or up to 50% capacity, whichever is greater. While that is great news for many, and for all of us in British Columbia moving forward, unfortunately, it is too little, too late for sports teams like the Victoria HarbourCats and Nanaimo NightOwls, who had to make critical business decisions two months ago regarding the 2021 West Coast League Baseball season.

At that time, with the border still closed – and it is still slated to be closed until July 21 – and with the vaccination levels then nowhere near what they are right now, with COVID cases still high, the HarbourCats had to make the tough decision to forego playing the 2021 season, the second-straight lost season due to the pandemic.

It also meant at the time, the HarbourCats had to release all the players they had signed, so that they could find somewhere else to play this year. So for fans hoping to see the HarbourCats rapidly put a team together and start playing games, it is not going to happen.

There may be an opportunity though for the HarbourCats to put together some sort of exhibition game or series with their sister team the Nanaimo NightOwls later this summer, and Managing Partner for both teams, Jim Swanson, is starting to explore that possibility.

“With our U.S. teams in the West Coast League already well into their 2021 WCL season, and with the border still closed, it will be impossible for us to ramp up any kind of regular season,” said Swanson. “But we are exploring some kind of exhibition series between our two teams, albeit altered from what we’ve been proud to put on the field for so many years. If something is able to be done, we will let everyone know any plans at a later date.”
On a longer term, the news today means that the HarbourCats and NightOwls can both proceed full speed ahead for a full season of West Coast League baseball season in 2022, the eighth for the HarbourCats and the inaugural first for the NightOwls, with fans in full attendance.

While the 2022 West Coast League schedule is not expected to be released until October, fans should be warned now that tickets for 2022 will be in high demand. With four new teams in the league – the NightOwls, the Kamloops NorthPaws, the Edmonton Riverhawks and the Springfield (Oregon), Drifters, and the fact that fans will be itching to get to a game after a two-year absence, it could be a record-setting attendance year at Wilson’s Group Stadium in Victoria, and close to a sell out for every game, in the smaller Serauxmen Stadium in Nanaimo.

“With many fans having vouchers to exchange from both 2020 and 2021 and the demand for tickets for people who will just want to see a game again, we are suggesting that if you have been sitting on the fence about getting HarbourCats season tickets, now is time to act,” said HarbourCats Assistant GM of Ticketing and Media Christian Stewart. “Season tickets are by far the best value for your money, and we have plenty of options available for Victoria in all seating areas, except our field level Diamond Club seats.”

Fans can also purchase 10-game flex pack vouchers now, but will have to renew them, along with all fans holding 2020 and 2021 vouchers, once the schedule is released in the fall. Flex-pack vouchers are also available as a “season ticket equivalent,” whereby for the same price as a season ticket, fans get 35 vouchers to use in any combination and for any regular season game that they wish.

“We can’t wait to entertain fans back at the ballpark again,” added Stewart. “Hopefully we can get something together for a game or two in July or August, but either way, 2022 is going to be amazing and we want as many fans as possible to be there with us when we celebrate the full return of HarbourCats baseball.”

For more information on tickets for both teams, please visit or contact:

Victoria HarbourCats
https://harbourcats.com/ticketinfo/
Contact: Christian Stewart chris@harbourcats.com
Phone: 778-265-0327

Nanaimo NightOwls
https://nanaimonightowls.com/tickets/
Contact: Raymond Kirk ray@nanaimonightowls.com
Phone: 250-709-2882

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Summer Collegiate

NorthPaws Single-Game Tickets Available for 2022 Season

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Tickets for the Kamloops NorthPaws 2022 regular season are now available. The inaugural season schedule features nine three-game series from the end of May through the beginning of August. Highlighted […]

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Victoria HarbourCats – HarbourCats start 2022 signings with local talent

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Nine from Victoria, including Golden Tide standouts, lined up for WCL season

January 6, 2022

For Immediate Release

VICTORIA, B.C. –– There’s a lot of baseball talent in the southern tip of Vancouver Island.

The Victoria HarbourCats are pleased to announce the first nine signings — yep, a full lineup, from Victoria — for the 2022 West Coast League season, and all have strong Victoria roots.

The players range from NCAA Division-1 players to those who showed their skills and work ethic with the Victoria Golden Tide, the new Canadian College Baseball Conference (CCBC) team that plays out of Wilson’s Group Stadium at RAP.

Tide pitcher Haldon Craig will join the HarbourCats in 2022 (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

“Developing local talent from the ground up has been my goal since I came on board with the HarbourCats in 2018,” said Curtis Pelletier, the team GM who was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for four years with the HarbourCats and is also the Head Coach of the Golden Tide. “The kids in the stands all hope to wear the HC one day and we’re making that a reality now. We have put together a phenomenal group of coaches to train the Golden Tide and Players Club athletes with the goal of signing them to the HarbourCats. Get used to seeing local players on the field here in the summer as there is some serious talent coming through our programs.”

Golden Tide’s Daniel Sawchyn, will bring speed to the HarbourCats outfield and base paths in 2022 (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

The nine players are:

• RHP Noah Takacs, Sacramento State, 6-3/200
• OF Josh Walker, Sacramento State, 6-1/175
• LHP/1B Eric Luchies, Lower Columbia College, 6-3/200
• RHP Owen Luchies, Lower Columbia College, 6-2/195
• RHP Dawson Hurford, Western Nebraska College, 6-3/195
• RHP Haldon Craig, Victoria Golden Tide, 6-3/215
• LHP Jacob Popadynec, Victoria Golden Tide, 5-11/175
• IF Jordan Bond, Victoria Golden Tide, 6-0/185
• OF Daniel Sawchyn, Victoria Golden Tide, 6-0/170

Takacs, a product of the Victoria Eagles of the BC Premier Baseball League (PBL), had a 4.82 ERA and made four starts for the Hornets in 2021. Sacramento State teammate Walker, a lefty hitter who came through the Victoria Mariners PBL program, has appeared in 13 games over two spring seasons.

The Luchies brothers, Eric and Owen, are both from the Eagles PBL program and are making the big jump, one year apart, to the Lower Columbia program, a junior college in the NWAC. Both bring a power game and tremendous potential. Hurford, from Victoria but a product of the PBL’s Langley Blaze, has made 18 appearances, including 11 starts for the WNC Cougars.

Pitcher Owen Luchies throwing for the Golden Tide in exhibition play last fall (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Bond, Sawchyn, Craig and Popadynec are all local products (Bond and Popadynec from the Eagles, Craig from the AAA Capitals, and Sawchyn from the Mariners) who got their first college action this last fall with the Golden Tide, and will provide valuable depth — Bond and Sawchyn for their bat and defence, Popadynec and Craig off the mound.

Jordan Bond had a strong fall season with the Golden Tide (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Takacs is thrilled to have the chance to play summer collegiate baseball in his hometown. “It means the world to me… I wanted to play HarbourCats baseball all my life and finally, through all the pandemic problems, myself and a few others will get that opportunity. Victoria is a small baseball town but at the heart of it has some of the most dedicated individuals you’ll ever meet. Whenever I come home to train I know that I will have the right dudes around me to push me to get better every day. Without the people I met in Victoria I wouldn’t be the player or person I am today.”

The HarbourCats will begin their 2022 West Coast League campaign with their Home Opener on Tuesday May 31, 2022 at 6:35 pm against the Port Angeles Lefties, the first of 34 home games that will be played at Wilson’s Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park.

Golden Tide pitcher Jacob Popadynec will be a nice left-handed option for the HarbourCats in 2022 (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Season Tickets, 2022 single-game tickets, 10-game flex packs, gift cards and HarbourCats merchandise are now on sale at the HarbourCats office at 101-1814 Vancouver Street, or by calling 778-265-0327. Single-game tickets may also be purchased directly on-line at www.harbourcats.com/tickets.

Fans holding unused tickets or flex-pack vouchers from the cancelled 2020 and 2021 seasons may also now exchange these for tickets for any 2022 regular season game. This can be done at the HarbourCats office.

For more details and to keep up with the latest news on the 2022 season, please visit the HarbourCats website at www.harbourcats.com.

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Seven New NightOwls Have Been Signed

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It’s a good thing the new uniform sets have some bigger sizes, with the seven players the Nanaimo NightOwls are pleased to announce today.

With the three pitchers coming from California Baptist University (CBU), and four position players from the University of Hawaii (UH), the expansion NightOwls will have plenty of size on the field when the team starts play in the West Coast League.

The hallmarks of the players signed — power arms, power bats, and athleticism.

LHP Mason McGarvey, CBU, 6-4/235

RHP Carson Olsen, CBU, 6-5/225

RHP Will St. Marseille, CBU, 6-0/205

1B/3B Grant MacArthur, UH, 6-4/240

OF Tobey Jackson, UH, 5-11/165

IF Xander Sielken, UH, 5-10/175

OF Logan Gibson, UH, 5-10/160

“I’m excited to see these guys at historic Serauxmen Stadium — there’s a lot of talent in the smaller guys, and big-body power in the monsters on the hill,” said Jim Swanson, GM of the NightOwls, who will open at home on June 3 after the team debuts on the road at Portland on May 31.

“We really like the network we have with top schools, and those programs are excited to have their players with our coaches, Head Coach Greg Frady and Pitching Coach Gorm Heimueller. It’s a big piece of the puzzle. Scouts we talked to for references had strong words about their college and pro potential.”

CBU is one of the true emerging programs in NCAA-D1 baseball, becoming a perennial power under highly-respected coach Gary Adcock. The UH Bows are now led by former University of San Diego Head Coach Rich Hill, a 1,000-game winner intent on turning Hawaii into a program that rolls toward the College World Series every year.

The schedule for the 2022 Nanaimo NightOwls (and Bars!) season is posted at nanaimonightowls.com — where fans can also find team merchandise, and get information on tickets and season memberships, which are moving fast.

“It’s exciting to see all the work being done at Serauxmen Stadium, getting ready for all the user groups, we think fans are going to enjoy the enhancements and the atmosphere of the West Coast League, and how it all ties into the community,” said Swanson.

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