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Victoria HarbourCats – Team Black prevails in Game 1 of Golden Tide Intersquad World Series

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Above: Team Black’s Zeke Holt celebrates scoring one of six runs in the second inning against Team Gold Wednesday.

Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart

October 28, 2021, Victoria, BC – Team Black jumped out to an early 6-0 lead but then had to hang on for an exciting 14-13 win over Team Gold in Game 1 of the Victoria Golden Tide Inter-squad Wold Series on Wednesday afternoon at Wilson’s Group Stadium in Victoria.

Team Black shortstop Brandon Green puts the tag on Team Gold baserunner Tyler Burton during this first inning rundown on Wednesday.

The World Series, the first for the inaugural year of Golden Tide baseball, pits Team Gold (coached by Ethan Fox) against Team Black (coached by Kyle Orr) in a best of three series. The winning team not only gets bragging rights, but will be awarded with a night in the Wilson’s Transportation Group suite at a Victoria Royals game.

Team Gold’s Brody Alexandre had two hits, a walk and two runs scored in the loss to Team Black Wednesday.

The Series is being played under some unique rules, designed to speed up game play and keep the games exciting, as due to other events scheduled in the evenings at the stadium, games have to be completed by 6:30pm.

As such, pitchers are required to pitch within 10 seconds and teams have to hustle on and off the field between innings. Any delays or infractions will warrant a warning from Head Coach Curtis Pelletier and if a team is notified a second time, a run is granted to their opponents.

Team Black left-handed slugger Ryan Deagle had two singles, a double a walk and two RBI to lead the Team Black offence Wednesday.

Batters are also not allowed to call time outs, or a strike will be called, catchers have pinch runners at all times and in all the even numbered innings, teams begin the inning with a runner on second base.

While there were a few warnings in Wednesday’s game, there were no penalty runs awarded under the rules, however the runner at second in the even innings had a dramatic impact on the game, with seven of those eight runners ultimately scoring.

Team Gold’s Daniel Sawchyn, here celebrating a score, would have three hits and two RBI to pace the Team Gold offence.

This aspect came into effect immediately Wednesday, as Team Black would jump on Gold starter Brady Wilson for six runs in the top of the second inning, thanks to five five consecutive base hits, one of which, by high schooler Ryan Deagle, scored Alex Mclauchlan, the special runner, with the first run of the game.

Team Black’s Brett Paterson would be credited with the win in relief on Wednesday.

Team Gold would get one of those runs back in the second, when special runner Brody Alexandre scored despite a 1-2-3 inning and then they would jump into a brief 7-6 lead in the third, when they finally got to Black starter Ethan Dean for six runs on the strength of six hits.

A three-run fourth inning, keyed by an RBI single from Jaxson Cordle, would put Team Black back in front 9-6 and they would extend that lead to 14-9 heading to the bottom of the eighth (the agreed upon final inning due to curfew).

Team Black’s Jaxson Cordle slides safely into second base ahead of the throw to Team Gold second baseman Myles Wall.

Team Gold would not go down without a fight however and after a pair of walks and singles from Parker Harris, Daniel Sawchyn and Alexandre, they had closed the gap to 14-13 with the tying run sitting on second base. Reliever Haldon Craig would not be fazed however and struck out Jordan Bond to end the game and preserve the crucial game one win.

Team Gold’s Will Podmoroff hustles to third base during action Wednesday against Team Black.

For Team Black at the plate, Parksville Royal product Deagle had a great night, slashing two singles, a double, two RBI and scoring twice. Zeke Holt also had a three hit night with two runs scored, while Cordle, Ryan Whelan and Witt Nevins all had RBI base hits.

On the hill, Dean was picked up with some solid middle-inning relief by Brett Paterson, who gets credit for the win, going three innings and surrendering two runs on one hit and two walks. Nate Major pitched the seventh and part of the eighth innings and Craig would get the save.

Team Gold’s Jayden Puri would provide four innings of solid relief in Wednesday’s game.

For Team Gold, Sawchyn would lead the offence with three hits, two RBI and a run scored, while Alexandre would chip in with two hits a walk and two runs scored. Tyler Burton was his usual instigator in the leadoff spot, with a single, walking three times and scoring twice, while Victoria Eagle product Ryder Green would single, walk and score three times in the losing effort.

Team Black’s Zeke Holt would make a valiant effort to catch this foul pop-up in Wednesday’s game.

On the mound, Wilson would pitch through the fourth, taking the loss. Jayden Puri would take over in relief, finishing the game and giving up five runs on five hits and three walks in his four innings of work.

Game two in the series was scheduled for 4:00 pm on Thursday afternoon, but has now been cancelled because of extreme rain and weather. It will now be played Friday at 4:00 pm. Game three then (if needed), would likely then be held Sunday afternoon, with a time to be determined.

Tam Gold’s Jordan Bond slides safely into second, ahead of the throw to Team Black second baseman Austin Gurney.

The Golden Tide will also be in action on Saturday for their last formal game of the fall season, when they take on the Ontario Giants at 3:00 pm at Wilson’s Group Stadium in a single nine-inning game. Tickets are available at the gate. That game will be preceded by a game at 12 noon between the HarbourCats Players Development Club and the Giants U16 club. That game is included with the ticket for the Tide game at 3:00pm.

Team Black catcher Andrew Baxter puts the tag on Team Gold’s Jordan Bond on this play at the plate Wednesday.

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Summer Collegiate

Star player returning, NightOwls loading up on pitchers and catchers.

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One of the top performers on the first edition of the Nanaimo NightOwls is returning for a second stint.

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Versatile right-handed hitter Cody Hendriks of Cal State-Bakersfield, a dual Dutch-Canadian citizen, will be back at Serauxmen Stadium. The 6-2/195 Hendriks, who can play short/third/second in the infield and either corner outfield spot, now lives in Coquitlam and in summer of 2022 hit .275 with a team-record 13 doubles and 14 extra-base hits (one triple), along with eight stolen bases. He was second to infielder Tim Holyk (42) in hits with 39.

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Holyk, infielder Aaron Marsh, lefty Nathan Buchan, and outfielder Brandon Hupe are among those slated to return, with work still happening behind the scenes on other fan favourites from 2022.

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“Cody does so much that any coach values, and we’re glad to have him back,” said GM Jim Swanson. “He’s strong on the left side of the infield and was our hottest bat at times in 2022. He’s a key piece for CSUB and definitely has pro potential.”

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Also announced today, a total of six players:

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IF/OF Cody Hendriks, Cal State Bakersfield, sophomore, 6-2/195, Coquitlam, B.C.

C/RHP Ayden Hadley, Barton CC, freshman, 6-0/220, Langley, B.C.

LHP Aidan Sowers, Barton CC, freshman, 6-4/185, Dodge City, KS

RHP Talon Mihalinac, New Jersey Tech, freshman, 6-1/235, New Galilee, PA

LHP Blake MacMillan, Niagara, Redshirt-senior, 6-5/205, Mississauga, ON

C Matt Ward, Niagara, Redshirt-junior, 6-0/185, Mississauga, ON

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The announced 2023 roster to this point can be found HERE.

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Hadley and Sowers are teammates at Barton, a strong junior college in Kansas, and Hadley is a curious mix of a lefty bat with power, and a strike-thrower off the mound when he’s not catching or in a DH role. Sowers is a lanky lefty who has seen a jump in velo since he was with the Kansas Curve travel program, and lefties are valued with the setup of Serauxmen Stadium.

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Mihalinac is a developing power arm topping 92mph, while Niagara teammates MacMillan and Ward team as an experienced battery — MacMillan made 11 starts for the Purple Eagles in the spring of 2022, and Ward hit six home runs and batted .303 for Swift Current in the WCBL last summer.

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More signings will be announced in the coming months, as paperwork and passports are secured.

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“We’re excited about the size, experience and track record of the players filling roster spots,” said Swanson. “Adding depth, compared to last summer, is important for the pace of the WCL.”

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Victoria HarbourCats – Big-name schools sending key players to HarbourCats this summer

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday Feb 8, 2023

VICTORIA, B.C. — Texas. Washington. Oregon. Big-name schools, that lure the best recruits.

With LHP Reece Usselman of the Oregon Ducks, LHP David Shaw of the Texas Longhorns, and corner infielder Max Clark of the Washington Huskies, there will be no shortage of star college baseball players for HarbourCats fans in the summer of 2023 at Wilson’s Group Stadium at RAP.

Add in a catcher from the local collegiate Victoria Golden Tide, Lee Grey, and Victoria head coach Todd Haney is excited to see the roster grow with the season less than four months away.

David Shaw, here pitching for Rice, should be a dominant force from the left side for the HarbourCats in 2023.

“You always love finding and signing top pitching like Shaw and Usselman, and Clark is an exciting prospect,” said Haney, who will be at the helm for his third season, interrupted by two pandemic non-play summers. “Grey is also showing promise and developing under the Golden Tide coaches, important depth for what is a real grind at times in the West Coast League.”

The current, announced roster of the HarbourCats can be found HERE.

Another lefty, Langley’s Reece Ussleman gave the Canadian Junior National Team a number of quality innings in 2022.

Shaw is a monster at 6-7/205, a transfer from Rice where he made 18 appearances last spring. Usselman brings Team Canada Junior experience and isn’t exactly small at 6-3/185, a product of the Langley Blaze. He also played with White Rock (Team Canada) at the 2017 Little League World Series in Williamsport.  Clark is one of the top-rated high school players in the state of Washington, and Grey came west at the suggestion of former MLB catcher Gregg Zaun and is expected to be a key contributor for the Golden Tide in the CCBC.

Details on the players announced today:

  • LHP Reece Usselman, Oregon, incoming freshman, Langley, B.C., 6-3/185
  • LHP David Shaw, Texas, sophomore, Houston, TX, 6-7/205
  • 3B Max Clark, Washington, incoming freshman, Mercer Island, WA, 6-0/200
  • C Lee Grey, Victoria Golden Tide, freshman, Toronto, ON, 6-0/180

Oakville, Ontario’s Lee Grey will give the HarbourCats some depth at the catcher position.

The HarbourCats celebrate their 10th Anniversary in 2023 and the season kicks off with the home opener against the Kamloops NorthPaws on Friday June 2, 2023.  Single game tickets for that game and all 31 HarbourCats home games in 2023 are now on sale and can be purchased on-line through our one-and-only ticketing partner, Select Your Tickets, at harbourcats.com/tickets.  They can also be purchased at the HarbourCats office at 101-1814 Vancouver Street, or at the Select Your Tickets box office at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.  Fans can also call 778-265-0327 to order over the phone.

Season tickets and 10-game flex packs are also now on sale.  For details on all ticketing options, including our special $10.00 Tuesdays, Forces Fridays and Save-on-Food Vouchers, please visit harbourcats.com/ticketinfo.

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The Kamloops NorthPaws Award Scholarship to Pitcher Kolby Lukinchuk

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The Kamloops NorthPaws Award Scholarship to Pitcher Kolby Lukinchuk

By Jodie Cooper

Kamloops, BC, February 2, 2023: The Kamloops NorthPaws team is delighted to announce a $500 scholarship being awarded to pitcher Kolby Lukinchuk.

Photo Taken by: Allen Douglas Graphic Created by: Fallsway Marketing & Media

The Kamloops NorthPaws are thrilled to announce that they are awarding a $500 academic scholarship to pitcher Kolby Lukinchuk, who is completing a Bachelor of Business Administration at Thompson Rivers University. The NorthPaws would like to commend Kolby for his achievements both on and off the field. His willingness to go above and beyond has made him an exemplary role model in the community.

Kolby says he decided to come and play in Kamloops because he wanted to play college baseball and wanted to work with Ray Chadwick, a former professional baseball player and a coach at Thompson Rivers University, who would help him develop and grow his chances at cracking the NorthPaws roster. One of the things that drew him to the team especially was their involvement and work ethic within the community, and the opportunities that he has received because of that. He has especially enjoyed being a role model for the young players who attend their kids’ camps.

Being able to give back to the community that has supported him is extremely important to Kolby. He loves being able to interact with people and hopes to continue his efforts in the community into this upcoming summer, especially when it comes to the development of young players, who are “the next generation”. He hopes to continue being a role model within this community going forward, and the NorthPaws scholarship will help him continue his efforts on the academic front.

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