Sunday, March 1, 2015

Future HarbourCats kick off NWAC season

While Week 3 of the NCAA Division I baseball season has just wrapped up, Saturday marked the season opener for players in the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC). The HarbourCats have signed six NWAC players for the summer of 2015, including a trio from Everett Community College, so let’s get you caught up on their exploits during the first weekend of competition.

Jamie Umbinetti
Photo by Wilson Tsoi / Edmonds CC
Although he will be playing first base for the HarbourCats this summer, Jamie Umbinetti spent most of the weekend at third base, his usual position for Edmonds Community College. The left-handed slugger hit in the cleanup spot and went 4-for-12 with a pair of RBI, a run scored and two hit-by-pitches. Umbinetti helped Edmonds CC, the defending NWAC champions, take three of four games from Mt. Hood Community College.

Everett Community College may have dropped three of four games on the weekend, but at least their three future HarbourCats saw plenty of playing time. Kyle Francis made the first start of his college career on Sunday and it was a beauty. Francis picked up the win by pitching seven shutout innings and only giving up three hits and a pair of walks, while striking out five Southwestern Oregon CC batters. Francis was also Everett’s Designated Hitter for all four games and the Redmond native went a combined 2-for-15 with an RBI and two walks.

Curtis Bafus made his collegiate debut on Saturday with a scoreless two-inning relief outing. Bafus limited Southwestern Oregon CC to only one hit and a walk in his two innings, while he racked up an impressive five strikeouts and picked up the save in a 5-1 Everett victory. Unfortunately, he couldn’t duplicate that performance in his second outing of the weekend, as Bafus took the loss against Yakima Valley Community College by giving up an earned run on two hits in ⅔ of an inning.

John Naff batted in the heart of the Everett CC order and played first base all weekend, although he’ll be moving to the outfield with the HarbourCats this summer. Naff’s season got off to a slow start, as he went a combined 2-for-15 with two walks, a run scored and a stolen base.

Sophomore right-hander Zander Clouse tossed a masterful four innings of relief on Sunday for Bellevue College, surrendering only one earned run on one hit. Clouse did not walk any batters and struck out three.

Sophomore Matt Fish earned the Opening Day start for Pierce College, but his 2015 debut didn’t exactly turn out as planned. Fish struggled with his control, issuing four walks and a wild pitch in 3 ⅓ innings on the hill against Columbia Basin College. He gave up three earned runs on seven hits, but picked up a no-decision thanks to some help from his offense. The lefty from Kalamazoo, Michigan only notched a single strikeout yesterday, although he did strike out 13.1 batters per nine innings last season. I’m expecting a big bounce-back outing from Fish in his next appearance.

  • This morning the HarbourCats released details regarding their Sunday July 19th exhibition game, which takes place during the WCL All-Star break. The 'Cats will be taking on current and former Nanaimo Pirates at Serauxman Stadium in Nanaimo in a 1 p.m. start. Additional details on the game can be found on the HarbourCats' official website. To purchase tickets for this game, contact Jodi Rogers at (250) 756-7899 or
  • Box scores from Salt Lake Community College games have been slow to be posted online all season, but we can give you an update on Chris Fougner’s performance in the four games played from February 19th-21st. The former Victoria Mariner went 3-for-13 with a pair of RBI in that span, and he continues to start in right field and bat seventh for the Bruins. Fougner is hitting .289 with six RBI and two stolen bases in 38 at-bats this season and he has also thrown a scoreless inning of relief.
  • The Seattle U Redhawks were supposed to play in the USA Baseball-Irish Classic this weekend, but the tournament was cancelled due to a nasty winter storm in North Carolina. Instead of travelling across the country, the Redhawks quickly organized a three-game series at home against Fairleigh (“Don’t call me Angie”) Dickinson University, a Division I school that plays in the Northeast Conference. Seattle U easily swept the series to put an end to their eight-game losing streak. Nanaimo native Griffin Andreychuk had a pretty decent weekend, going 3-for-11 in the leadoff spot with an RBI, three walks, a stolen base and two runs scored. He also played flawless defense at shortstop, bringing his fielding percentage to .933 on the season. Andreychuk is now batting .256 with a .353 on-base percentage in 43 at-bats.

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