Sunday, May 19, 2013

HarbourCanucks corner – May 19th edition

Nick Pivetta (27) and a horde of scouts. Photo by Clayton Jones.
The New Mexico Junior College Thunderbirds were eliminated last Monday in the NJCAA Region 5 baseball tournament, bringing Nick Pivetta’s college season to a close. Pivetta went out with a bang the day before, although he ended up the hard-luck loser in a 2-1 decision to Howard College in which the Thunderbirds stranded 16 runners on base. Pivetta gave up seven hits and two earned runs in 8 1/3 strong innings. He walked three and struck out five batters.

Pivetta finished the season with an impressive 9-3 record, 3.25 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. He also averaged 2.6 walks per nine innings and 6.0 strikeouts per nine – numbers that justify the attention he has received all season long from MLB scouts. June will be an interesting month for Pivetta: The HarbourCats season kicks off on June 5th and then the MLB draft starts the following day. Given the interested he has attracted, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Pivetta taken in the third, fourth or fifth round of the draft.

Connor Russell’s VIBI Mariners were also eliminated last weekend after they dropped a 4-3 decision to the University of Calgary in the Canadian College Baseball Conference semi-final game. Russell pitched the tournament opener and picked up the complete-game win against Thompson Rivers University. In seven innings of work, Russell only gave up three hits, one walk and two earned runs. He also struck out six batters. Russell finished the year with a 2.96 ERA in conference games, striking out 54 batters and walking 20 in his 51 2/3 innings on the hill.

Outfielder Austin Russell of the Southern Polytechnic Hornets has been receiving treatment on his injured elbow since returning home to Victoria in early May. He’s expected to be ready to go by Opening Day. Russell finished his season with the Hornets with a .292 batting average and six RBI in 65 at-bats.

  • The HarbourCats have released pitchers Matt Cooper (University of Hawaii), Kevin Behnke (Grand Canyon University) and Andrew Nelson (Cuesta College).
  • The team has signed ace reliever Ty Provencher from the Long Beach State Dirtbags. Provencher has a sparkling 2.08 ERA in 21 relief appearances and has held opponents to a minuscule .193 batting average. The redshirt freshman has also shown exceptional control, walking only five batters in 26 innings pitched. Provencher is the third Dirtbag on the HarbourCats roster (reliever Logan Lombana and second baseman Alex DeGoti are the others).
  • The HarbourCats have also signed left-handed pitcher Clark McKitrick from Linn-Benton Community College. He is the third southpaw on the 12-man pitching staff -- Bryan Conant (Cal State Fullerton) and Will Ballowe (University of Washington) are the others.
  • The HarbourCats roster now stands at 27 players.
  • There are only 16 days remaining until the inaugural game for the Victoria HarbourCats!!

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