Friday, May 30, 2014

HarbourCats extend the arms race

The Victoria HarbourCats signed two more pitchers earlier this week and now boast a pitching staff of 21 -- count ‘em -- 21 hurlers. The latest to be inked to deals are right-handed relievers Mark Marinch from Dixie State University and Cuesta College’s Alex Fagalde.

Marinch just finished his junior season at Dixie State, a Division II school in St. George, Utah  (as an aside, fans of the defunct Victoria Seals may remember the old St. George Roadrunners of the Golden Baseball League). He posted a 5.25 ERA in 12 innings on the hill this spring. Marinch showed excellent control, but only struck out 4.5 batters per nine innings.

Fagalde was scheduled to play for Bob Miller’s Cuesta College Cougars this spring, but he didn’t see any action due to injury. In his freshman season in 2013, Fagalde posted a 1.86 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 19 ⅓ innings pitched. Like Marinch, he also has good control but doesn’t strike out many batters.

  • A number of HarbourCats players are already in town, including Kelly Norris-Jones, Brandon Feldman, Brett Hull, Wyler Smith and Eric Hegadoren. The team’s first workout is Monday.
  • The HarbourCats will be selling a much-improved set of merchandise this summer. Not only has the quality gone up, but the sheer variety of merchandise is staggering. Cat-head logo hats? Check. HarbourCats shoes? Check. HarbourCats necklaces? Check. Prepare to be amazed -- even a noted cheapskate like myself took a crowbar to his wallet recently to buy some team swag.
  • The HarbourCats take on a combined squad of Victoria Mariners and Eagles in an exhibition game next Thursday night at Sports Traders Diamond at RAP. The easiest way to get tickets is to purchase them online on the team’s website.
  • The H-Cats open the regular season on Friday June 6th in Kelowna against the Falcons. Look for the Falcons to be a much better team in 2014 than they were last season, so winning the opening series is definitely not a given for Victoria.
  • The Home Opener is set for Tuesday June 10th versus the Cowlitz Black Bears. It will be Cowlitz’s first-ever trip into Victoria.
  • Bin 4 Burger Lounge will be featured in the BBQ area at RAP this summer. If you haven’t eaten at Bin 4 then you are in for a real treat. I highly doubt that you’ll find a better burger in the entire West Coast League (or anywhere in the Capital Regional District for that matter). Try them -- they are outstanding!
  • The HarbourCats roster now includes 42 players -- 4 juniors, 15 sophomores, 19 freshmen and 4 high school seniors. Broken down by level, there are 26 NCAA Division I players, 2 from NCAA Division II, 6 from California Community Colleges, 3 from the National Junior College Athletic Association, 1 from the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges and 4 recent high school grads.

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