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Victoria HarbourCats – Tide Sweep Away Thunderbirds in Sunday Doubleheader

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Above: Victoria’s Brandon Green is safe at second as the throw escapes UBC second baseman Brett Zazuluk.

Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart

October 17, 2021, Victoria, BC – The Victoria Golden Tide were not daunted at all by facing the top college baseball program in the country, as they defeated the UBC Thunderbirds in both games of a doubleheader Sunday at Wilson’s Group Stadium in Victoria by identical 9-1 scores.

Tide game one starting pitcher Owen Luchies delivers a pitch during the game with UBC Sunday.

The weatherman cooperated on the day, keeping the rain at bay, and it was Golden Tide pitchers in game one who kept the UBC hitters at bay with Victoria Eagle product Owen Luchies getting the start and giving up a run to UBC in the first, but then settling down to keep them off the board in the second and third.

Victoria’s Brandon Green slides safely into third base ahead of the tag by UBC third baseman Jordan Gamble on this play in game two Sunday.

Cameron Dunn would then take over in relief and shine, giving up just a pair of singles in his four innings of work, with Jacob Popydynec pitching the final two innings, with just a walk, to close out the 9-1 win.

Golden Tide pitchers would get all the offensive support they would need when the Tide put up a four-run third inning, the highlight of which was a Zeke Holt two-run home run over the right field fence.

Zeke Holt had a two-run home run to key a four run third inning in the Tide’s 9-1 win over UBC in game one Sunday.

Also contributing in the 12-hit attack were Dom Biello with a walk, double and run scored, Brendan Morrison with a pair of singles and a run scored and Alex McLauchlan with a pair of runs scored.

Golden Tide third baseman Alex McLauchlan makes a nice play on a ground ball in game two against UBC on Sunday.

In game two, the Thunder would jump into a 1-0 lead thanks to a second inning lead-off home run from Tyler Sharples, but that would be their only run to cross the plate, as once again Golden Tide pitching ruled the day.

UBC’s Tyler Sharples is all smiles after his second inning home run in game two Sunday.

Starter Brady Wilson would follow-up his outstanding three-hit performance last week against Calgary at the CCBC Fall Championship by giving up just one more hit to the Thunderbirds and keeping them off the board the rest of the way in his four full innings of work.

UBC shortstop Daniel Gonzoloz awaits the throw as Tide baserunner Alex McLauchlan slides in safely to second.

Relievers Jackson Belanger (two innings), Haldon Craig (two innings) and Triston Seitz (one inning) would shut the door the rest of the way, with a single against Belanger and one against Seitz in the ninth being the only other UBC hits of the game.

Tide second baseman Myles Wall puts the tag on UBC baserunner Trevor Tong on this play at second during game two Sunday.

Offensively, the Tide once again blew things open in the third inning, this time scoring five runs, with the big blows being a two-RBI triple from Brody Alexandre and an RBI single from Parker Harris.

The Tide would score two more on a two-RBI single from Alex McLauchlan in the fourth and add another two in the sixth to put the game out of reach.

Jordan Bond arrives safely at first as the ball skips away from UBC first baseman Sean Coventry.

Other offensive notables in the game included Zeke Holt, with another strong game, notching a pair of double and two walks, and Jaxson Cordle, with a single and a double.

Victoria’s Jaxson Cordle starts on his way to first during action with UBC on Sunday. Cordle would have a base hit in game two.

The Tide now get ready for another pair of double headers next weekend as on Saturday the VI College Prep Mariners come to town and on Sunday, the BCPBL Parksville Royals pay a visit. Both days have first pitch scheduled for 1:00 pm. Tickets are $5.00 and $10.00 and will be available at the gates.

Victoria’s Ryan Deagle beats out the throw to UBC first baseman Sean Coventry on this play in game one Sunday.

TIDAL WAVES: The two wins Sunday mark the first time this fall season that the Tide have swept a doubleheader; The Tide lineup Sunday was supplemented by five members of the Victoria Eagles BCPBL squad that finished second in this year’s provincials, including game one starter Owen Luchies, Ryder Green, Jai Berezowski, Kai Gray, and Dom Biello. Parksville Royals product Ryan Deagle also played in both games today.

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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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Summer Collegiate

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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