Tuesday, January 1, 2013

HarbourCats' Austin Russell earns All-Canadian honours

Austin Russell
Although we only learned the identity of the first six HarbourCats players two weeks ago, one of those players has already earned his first award since signing with the team. Austin Russell has just received All-Canadian honours from the Canadian Baseball Network as a second-team outfielder. The All-Canadian voting was done by 18 college and elite coaches, 14 scouts, 10 Canadian Baseball Network writers, 9 front-office staff, three other writers, two broadcasters and two former players.

Russell, who is set to begin playing for Southern Polytechnical State University in Georgia, hit .402 with one homer and 37 RBI in 56 games for Colby Community College last season. He also stole 18 bases in 20 attempts and had an excellent .462 on-base percentage.

In addition to Russell, two other players from Victoria received All-Canadian Second Team honours. Scott Jones, a teammate of Russell's with both Colby Community College and the Victoria Mariners, was named the second-team second baseman. Jones hit .358 with 8 homers and 37 RBI last season for Colby CC. He will play for the UBC Thunderbirds this season.
Jag Gordaya

Victoria's Ricky Alvernaz was named as the second-team designated hitter. Alvernaz hit .372 last season as a senior at Mayville State, an NAIA school in North Dakota. He smacked three homers and knocked in 43 runs in only 145 at-bats.

Three other Victoria players received honourable mentions in the All-Canadian voting: Kelly Norris-Jones (catcher, University of Illinois), Jag Gordaya (second base, Texas Southern University) and Duncan Blades (third base, Abilene Christian University).

As we pointed out in an earlier post, over 700 Canadians were playing college baseball in the United States last year and 24 of those were from Victoria. The fact that six out of the 24 Victorians went on to receive All-Canadian honours is an impressive feather in the cap for this city's baseball community. Congratulations to everyone named, especially the HarbourCats' Austin Russell!

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