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Victoria HarbourCats – The host family tale of Helen and her boys

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July 3, 2024

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VICTORIA B.C. — It’s all about the cookies — and the boys.

Helen Edwards is known for many things, her trademark red HC hat perhaps foremost among them at Victoria HarbourCats games.

But for “her boys,” she’s known for her cookies — as a symbol of her hospitality.

Helen is the epitome of opening a home for HarbourCats baseball players, providing a host stay for a combined 14 players since the end of the pandemic. And each one of them has fallen in love with her baking — chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin, the cookie jar may just be the busiest place in her Fairfield character home.

“We also had some with mini M&M’s, they love their cookies,” said Helen, a season ticket holder with the HarbourCats since 2014, and one of the foremost experts on Victoria sports. After all, she’s literally written the book on the history of professional hockey in the city, and has a book in publishing mode chronicling the first 10 years of her beloved HarbourCats.

“They’ll eat anything I make, they like my cooking — chili, chicken wings, lasagna, and you should’ve seen the mac and cheese that disappeared last night. That would have been enough for my family for a few days, and it was gone! It’s great that they love it, and it’s nice to have someone to cook for, and see it being eaten.”

Helen has written other books, on her father-in-law’s diary during WW1, and on heritage buildings in Victoria. She’s also part of the ownership group of the HarbourCats, joining the group in 2020 and being the significant contributor to the Edwards Family Training Centre on Cook Street, the indoor facility that serves the HarbourCats, the collegiate Golden Tide, and at least a dozen local baseball and softball groups, providing a sheltered place for training.

This season, Helen has pitchers Devin Holmes, Spencer Hatch, and Cade Rusch, son of former MLB pitcher Glendon Rusch. In 2023, she had a somewhat revolving door with stalwart Jesse Brown leading a Helen-homed group that included Ben Smedshammer, Kevin Shea, Rei Kimura and Zak Johnson. In the 2022 year coming out of covid, she took in Addison Sells, Jace Walker, Walker Bordovsky, Tyler Attal, Nick Taylor and Aidan McCann.

Edwards, a former shareholder of the Vancouver Canucks who also now provides charitable help to many causes as a philanthropist, truly enjoys her interactions with the players, spoiling them with dinners at team sponsor Moxie’s — and she’s a proud advocate of the HarbourCats program, standing up for the organization at all times, in all situations.

“I’m the age of their grandparents, but it doesn’t seem to matter — because we all love baseball and we talk baseball,” said Edwards.

“They are getting me into doing fantasy baseball even, that’s what we talked about. It’s all so cool. Being able to watch them is like watching my own kids play sports, there is a connection, and the people around me always ask which guys are my players. It’s fun to know that I’m helping them, too, and one of them may make it to the Majors one day, and even if they don’t — I’m proud of them.

“The other benefit is meeting the parents, with some there’s an instant connection, and it’s like you’ve known each other forever.”

Every organization needs ambassadors, and people who will go above and beyond — Helen is such an example for not just the HarbourCats, but the West Coast League.

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Summer Collegiate

Victoria HarbourCats – Late runs harpoon HarbourCats in road opener in Ridgefield

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Raptors stay hot and move to 11-0 in the second half of the season.

July 19, 2024

RIDGEFIELD, WA — The Victoria HarbourCats were within a clutch hit of taking a big lead in the top of the seventh inning.

That didn’t materialize, and the bottom of the seventh spelled doom.

The Ridgefield Raptors scored seven times in their half of the seventh to lock down a 10-5 victory on Friday over the visiting HarbourCats to open a three-game West Coast League series in the southwest Washington community.

FULL BOX SCORE

The win pushes the Raptors win streak to 11 in a row to begin the second half of the season.

The HarbourCats were outhit 13-7. Victoria tried to rally in the ninth with three runs scored and the bases loaded, but ran out of outs.

STANDINGS

Sky Collins had two hits and Tyrus Hall had a two-run double. The HarbourCats struck out 14 times collectively, 11 of which were courtesy of Raptors starting pitcher Isaiah Magdaleno, who was dominant over six full innings of work.

Spencer Hatch was also outstanding as the ‘Cats starting pitcher, going four innings with no runs and four hits allowed. The bullpen after that ran into a lot of troubles.

The HarbourCats are on a six-game road trip to Ridgefield and Port Angeles, starting the second series on Monday across the strait from Victoria. They next return to the friendly confines of Wilson’s Group Stadium at RAP for a weekend home series with the Kamloops NorthPaws, evening games on Friday and Saturday nights (6:35pm) and Sunday afternoon. Tickets are available at the gate, online at the team’s official website, or general admission vouchers can be purchased at all Save On Foods in the South Island.

HarbourCats.com/tickets

 

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Victoria HarbourCats – Former HarbourCats lead the way as Mavericks win 8-6

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July 18, 2024 

For immediate release 

VICTORIA, B.C. — The Victoria Mavericks held on to beat the Victoria HarbourCats 8-6 in the final exhibition game of the season,

The Mavericks took the lead in the first inning courtesy of an Austin Russell single, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead.

The Mavericks doubled their lead in the fourth inning through a Josh Walker home run, making it 2-0.

BOX SCORE

Mavericks starter Fynn Chester faced the minimum through three innings, striking out four. Chester was one of nine former HarbourCats suiting up for the Mavericks tonight, the group of ex-Cats also including Russell and Walker.

Kerim Orucevic (UCSD) drove home Sky Collins (Fresno State) with a hard-hit single in the bottom of the fourth to get the Cats on the board. Cam Schneider (Fresno State) hit into a fielder’s choice to tie up the ballgame at 2-2. A wild pitch and defensive mishap in right field added two more runs, giving the HarbourCats a 4-2 lead.

Jack Finn (Illinois State), Garrett Villa (Angelo State), Brooks Brewster (Panola College), and Jacob Thompson (Minot State) all pitched an inning each for the Cats.

WCL STANDINGS

Mavericks shortstop Jay Willow hit a two-run home run in the top of the sixth to level the score at 4-4.

The Mavericks continued piling on runs in the seventh inning adding three more to give them a 7-4 lead.

WATCH GAMES HERE

The visitors increased their advantage through a Lance Burrows double in the eighth making it 8-4.

A Josh Cunnigan (Seattle) popup dropped between the Mavericks catcher and pitcher in the bottom of the eighth which allowed two runs to score cutting the deficit in half.

Luke Hayhow (Hawaii), Mason Chamberlain (Missouri Valley), Jalen Sami (Golden Tide), Brett Harvey (Puget Sound), and Dustin Davidson (Brookhaven) also pitched an inning each for the HarbourCats.

The Cats could not rally in the ninth inning, losing tonight’s game 8-6.

The HarbourCats begin a six-game road trip Friday against the Ridgefield Raptors. After a three-game set in Ridgefield, the Cats visit Port Angeles to take on the Lefties. The HarbourCats return home on July 26 against the Kamloops NorthPaws. It’s Kids Free Weekend! Thanks to Peninsula Co-op, all children 12 and under get free tickets! 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.

 

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Selects Hold Off NightOwls in Friendly Battle of Local Teams

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NANAIMO, B.C. — The first college-level home run for Kurt Felix went to waste.

The Nevada high school baseball player of the year, a cacher with the Nanaimo NightOwls before he heads to Cal Poly (SLO) in fall, went deep over the left field wall for a two-run shot in the fifth inning on Thursday in a non-league exhibition game played at historic Serauxmen Stadium.

The Nanaimo Selects, a team made up of many current and former college players from the mid-island area, many of whom played for the PBL Pirates, earned a 5-3 victory in the second of two non-league games played this week to provide more baseball value to Nanaimo fans during the WCL all-star break.

The NightOwls outhit the Selects 7-6 but made the only error. The NightOwls scored their three runs in the fifth inning, almost erasing a 4-0 Selects lead.

Taiwanese second baseman Hsu He-Chieh had two hits for Nanaimo.

Former NightOwls infielder Brandon Nicoll had two hits for the Selects, who got quality pitching contributions from Jordan Moffat, Darren Kolk, Steve McKinnon, Liam Goodall and Garrett Goodall.

Cole Carmichael had a strong start on the mound for the NightOwls, with two scoreless innings, including two strikeouts.

The NightOwls now head out on a road trip that will give the team a chance to keep pace for the second half North Division championship, with three games in Kamloops starting on Friday, and three games in Edmonton on Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday before a day off next Thursday. The next home action for the NightOwls is a weekend home set against the division-rival Bellingham Bells next Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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