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Victoria HarbourCats | HarbourCats to Welcome Springfield Drifters to WCL in 2022

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Springfield, OR –  The Victoria HarbourCats will, depending on scheduling, be welcoming some Drifters to town in 2022.

NO, not those kind of drifters, but instead, the baseball kind, as on Wednesday, the West Coast League announced the addition of the expansion Springfield Drifters as the league’s 16th member team. The Drifters will join the Bend Elks, Corvallis Knights, and Portland Pickles as the league’s fourth Oregon-based team.

“When you look at a map,” said WCL Commissioner Rob Neyer, “adding another team in the Willamette Valley is an easy call for us. We were simply waiting for the perfect situation, and with the Springfield Baseball Project, that’s now exactly what we’ve got.”

The Drifters, Bushnell University, and Huddle Up Foundation comprise the Springfield Baseball Project, which is partnering with Springfield Public Schools to renovate the Hamlin Sports Complex baseball field, located at Hamlin Middle School. Beginning in 2022, both the Drifters and the Bushnell Beacons will call the Hamlin Sports Complex home in their inaugural seasons.

“Bringing the high-level play of the West Coast League to Springfield is a baseball dream come true,” said Drifters General Manager Jamie Christopher. “Through the Springfield Baseball Project and Springfield Public Schools’ partnership, we are not only building a first-class baseball facility; we’re also bringing a community facility to an under-served youth population.”

The Drifters join the Edmonton Riverhawks, Kamloops NorthPaws and Nanaimo NightOwls as the four expansion teams set to begin play in 2022. Edmonton, Kamloops and Nanaimo, along with the Victoria HarbourCats and Kelowna Falcons, are gearing up for the 2022 campaign after withdrawing from the 2021 season due to continuing pandemic-related border and gathering limitations.

Springfield’s ownership team of Ike Olsson, from Olsson Industrial Electric; and Kelly Richardson of Richardson Sports, have been planning this venture for a year. “In partnership with the school district,” said Olsson, “we are honored to present our community with another phenomenal baseball complex that builds upon Huddle Up Foundation’s success with Rich Schwab Field at Maple Elementary School. This new project will continue Huddle Up’s mission of providing mentorship and after-school programs to underserved local youth.”

“The Springfield School District has been an ideal partner. Without their cooperation and shared vision, the Drifters Baseball Club and this new facility would not be possible,” said Richardson. “We are excited to bring collegiate baseball to the Springfield community and provide a first-class facility for local kids to use and be proud of.”

Fans can follow the team on social media: @driftersbball on Facebook and Twitter.

About the West Coast League: The West Coast League is the West’s premier summer collegiate baseball league. Encompassing Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and now Alberta, the WCL showcases pro prospects from major collegiate conferences around the nation. Every summer, the league features unparalleled fan and player experiences, with North America’s best baseball weather. The 2019 MLB amateur draft began with former Corvallis Knight Adley Rutschman selected with the overall No. 1 pick by the Baltimore Orioles. Also in 2019, 317 WCL alums were active in affiliated professional baseball, including 45 in the major leagues, while overall attendance in the West Coast League increased to nearly half a million fans.

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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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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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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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