Unfortunately, the four Canadians who have been inked to full-season deals continue to under-perform this spring. It will be interesting to see what happens in June, because the Cats have signed some quality players to 10-day contracts who could end up taking playing time away from the “full-season” guys if they don't turn it up a notch. No matter what happens, competition on any team is always a good thing.
Brandon Feldman of Otero Junior College got into three games in right field against McCook (Nebraska) Community College on March 15-16 and went two-for-eight with a walk and a run scored. He’s only hitting .167 over 24 at-bats on the season, but he still sports a solid .355 on-base percentage. Feldman hasn't pitched recently and his ERA for the season remains at 0.00, although he has only pitched two innings of relief so far. It has been tough to follow his progress this season, as Otero Junior College box scores seem to take at least a week to get posted online. The Rattlers are 13-14 overall and 7-11 in conference play.
Left fielder Nick Rutckyj went 2-for-12 with two RBI and a run scored for Cuesta College this week. The freshman is hitting .167 on the season with two homers and 9 RBI in 72 at-bats. The Cougars, who are a very young squad, now hold a 5-17 record, including a 1-8 mark in conference play. With a team batting average of .212 and a team ERA of 4.63, it’s unlikely that the team will be playing much past the end of their regular season on April 24th.
After playing their first 16 games on the road, the University of Illinois finally had their home opener this past Tuesday. The Fighting Illini won four of their five home games this week to raise their overall record to 11-10. Kelly Norris-Jones caught one of the five games and went 0-for-5 at the plate to lower his batting average to .150 on the season. The University of Illinois play Purdue next weekend in their first conference games of the year.
The University of Seattle Redhawks had the week off for final exams, but they resume play on Tuesday. Nanaimo’s Griffin Andreychuk is hitting .160 with 4 RBI in 25 at-bats so far this season. The Redhawks play their first conference games of 2014 next weekend against Texas Pan-American.
- Freshman Hunter Mercado-Hood has earned more playing time in right field for the USD Toreros of late. Mercado-Hood went 3-for-11 with three walks this week and was even slotted into the leadoff position for a game. The sweet-swinging HarbourCat is now hitting .358 with no homers and eight RBI in 53 at-bats. He also has an impressive .469 on-base percentage.
- Although he is normally an infielder, Bryce Greager has been getting spot starts in right field recently with the University of Nevada. In the last couple of weeks Greager has gone 4-for-11 with two RBI to raise his batting average to .261. He also has a homer and four RBI in his 23 at-bats.
- The expansion Yakima Valley Pippins announced that former HarbourCats broadcaster Ryan Rouillard will be the voice of the Pippins this summer. Rouillard did a great job last summer in the Cats’ inaugural season. The bloggers at the VHCBB wish him all the best in his new job. The HarbourCats are expected to name their broadcaster in the near future and they have the good fortune of being able to hire from a talented pool of local candidates.