Sunday, March 8, 2015

HarbourCanucks Corner returns!

Fougner has been getting rave reviews on his defense
As our regular readers are well aware, we’re big supporters of the Vancouver Islanders and British Columbians who play in the West Coast League. Not only is it the patriotic thing to do, but our boys have consistently shown that they compete favourably against tough WCL competition. While the HarbourCats have only signed three Canadians to full-season contracts, I would expect a number of other local players to be inked to 10-day contracts to help out at the beginning and end of the summer season, especially considering the impressive array of local talent that is available. Now let’s get you caught up on the progress of the three Canucks who will be suiting up for the 2015 HarbourCats.

Salt Lake Community College continues to post box scores online at a glacial pace, but we can update you on Chris Fougner’s progress from February 22nd to March 1st. The Victoria native hit his first collegiate home run on February 25th and went a combined 5-for-13 with a pair of runs batted in and two walks in the period. As of the beginning of this month, Fougner had a five-game hitting streak and was hitting .314 with a homer and eight RBI in 51 at-bats. He has started 16 of the Bruin’s first 19 games in the outfield and he has been outstanding defensively. Although this week’s boxscores have yet to be posted, we do know that Fougner also hit a three-run homer on Friday (that homer is not yet included in his season stats). The former Victoria Mariners star has not pitched recently, so his pitching numbers are limited to the scoreless inning of relief that he threw on February 16th.

Alex Rogers
Nanaimo native Alex Rogers finally got to take to the mound on Saturday after seeing seven consecutive games cancelled due to nasty winter weather in Colorado. The Trinidad State Junior College hurler bounced back from two sub-par outings, as he threw six solid innings against Miles Community College to pick up the win. Rogers, who raised his record to 2-1 on the year, only gave up one earned run on seven hits and one walk while striking out five. He now has a 4.00 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in 18 innings on the hill. He also sports a tidy 4:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, so you can expect that ERA to continue to drop as the season progresses.

Seattle U head coach Donny Harrel juggled his lineup and moved Griffin Andreychuk down to ninth in the order this weekend after having him bat leadoff or in the number two hole for the first 13 games of the season. The move paid immediate dividends, as Andreychuk’s two-run single in the seventh inning on Friday broke the game wide open and led to an 8-3 win over UC Davis. Andreychuk went four-for-eight with two RBI, a walk and a run scored in the three games against the Aggies. He is now hitting .273 with a .359 on-base percentage in 55 at-bats this season. I would expect Andreychuk to be moved back into the leadoff spot once he gets his on-base percentage back up to historical levels -- he had an OBP of .409 in his freshmen season and .407 with the HarbourCats last summer. Seattle U’s leadoff hitter this weekend, Sheldon Stober, leads the team with a .467 slugging percentage, so it’s unlikely that he will remain in the leadoff spot for an extended period of time.

  • Bellevue College’s Zander Clouse picked up the save in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Pierce College. Clouse struck out one in a clean inning on the hill to preserve the victory. He now has a 1.80 ERA and a minuscule 0.20 WHIP in five innings pitched this season.
  • Jamie Umbinetti was channeling his inner Ty Russell for Edmonds Community College this weekend. Umbinetti went one-for-six with seven (!!) walks and two runs scored over the four games. The third baseman is now hitting .300 with no homers and two RBI in 20 at-bats this season. Oh, and his on-base percentage is a Russell-like .576.
  • Matt Fish struck out the side in a perfect inning of relief on Wednesday. However, his start for Pierce College on Saturday was similar to his outing on Opening Day in that he struggled to find his control. Fish gave up three earned runs on only three hits, but he also issued four walks in his six innings on the mound and was tagged for the loss. He now has a 0-1 record with a 5.22 ERA and 1.74 WHIP on the season, but he has held opponents to a .244 batting average. Fish has walked eight batters in 10 ⅓ innings pitched.
  • Everett’s Kyle Francis made his second career collegiate start on Sunday, but unfortunately it paled in comparison to his debut a week earlier. Francis struggled with his control and gave up two earned runs on five walks and six hits in 7 ⅓ innings pitched while striking out only three. While he was fortunate to surrender only two earned runs, he still took the loss in a low-scoring affair. Francis also saw some time at DH this weekend and went 1-for-8 at the plate.  On the season, Francis has a tidy 1.25 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in 14 ⅓ innings pitched, but he’s hitting a mere .100 with one RBI in 20 at-bats.  
  • First baseman/outfielder John Naff went 3-for-17 with a homer, one RBI, a walk and a stolen base for Everett CC this weekend. He’s hitting a disappointing .152 with a homer and an RBI in 33 at-bats so far. Look for Naff to break out in a big way in the near future.
  • Curtis Bafus had a pair of relief outings for Everett CC this weekend and he gave up a combined two earned runs on three hits and a walk while striking out a pair of batters in 2 ⅔ innings. Bafus has a 5.06 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in a total of 5 ⅓ innings pitched this season.

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