Wednesday, April 8, 2015

HarbourCat updates from the AAC, MW, WCC, and CCAA

It’s been a while since we meandered through the AAC, MW, WCC, and CCAA searching for future HarbourCats making news. Today’s update brings us a few gems (no not the potato kind).

The University of Pittsburgh Panthers are having a tough season. Sitting at 11-19 overall, and 4-11 in conference play is well below preseason expectations. Freshman reliever Josh Mitchell is getting minimal work out of the bullpen, pitching a total of 8.2 innings in 7 appearances so far. His 7.27 ERA is a team high, but it’s a fairly limited sample size at this point.  

Pepperdine sits at 17-16 at this point, 7-5 in West Coast play, leaving them a long-shot at making it into the sweet 16 this year – but it’s not because of starter Ryan Wilson. Wilson continues to impress, and has worked his way to a 5-1 record with a 3.10 ERA in 8 starts. His 1.30 WHIP (if you like that stat) makes him a solid #2 starter on the Waves, and should translate well onto the ‘Cats roster.
Pepperdine's Ryan Wilson, avec cheesy stash

Chase Lambert has been given a chance to start 11 games so far for the Waves and seems to have settled into starting at SS when he’s in the lineup. While playing well defensively, he seems a bit overmatched against D1 pitching, hitting a light .182 on 8 hits in 44 tries. 

St. Mary’s College is working on a fine season, posting a solid 19-13 record so far, 6-6 in conference play. Catcher Jackson Thoreson has been holding his own in a backup role for the Angels, getting the start in 12 games so far and hitting a very respectable .326 in 46 plate appearances. Pitcher Sean O’Toole continues to get an inning here and there in relief, and sits with a 5.40 ERA over the 7.1 innings he has pitched. As with Mitchell above, it’s tough to get a sense of these players with such limited experience.

The University of New Mexico Lobos are also performing well below expectations so far, sitting at 16-14 against Div 1 opponents, 8-7 within their conference. Last year’s division leader for most of the season, they find themselves in 4th behind the two powerhouses of Nevada and San Diego. Carl Stajduhar, who started the season on fire, has come back to earth a bit, sitting now at a modest .250, going 29-116 in 29 starts. He holds a hot glove though, sporting a .972 fielding percentage playing either 1B or 3B.

On the Lobo pitching side, Carson Schneider and Preston Ryan continue to get regular work. Ryan is exclusively coming in out of the pen, but has registered a 3-1 record doing so thanks to some strong late-inning Lobo comebacks. His 3.98 ERA keeps him in the heart of their reliever rotation. Schneider has been performing well in the starting rotation this season as part of the 4 or 5-man rotation the Lobos run with. He’s maintained last year’s exceptional control, giving up only 5 walks in 29.1 innings of work. He has been the victim of a couple big innings unfortunately, leaving his ERA at a lofty 5.40. Apart from a few innings like that, he’s a solid performer.

And speaking of the U of San Diego Toreros, let’s talk about two relatively new HarbourCats CF Kacy Smith and RHP Seve Romo.  Romo leads the team with a 0.00 ERA – ok, so he’s only pitched 2 innings and given up a hit, but it’s a start. Smith is also seeing very limited use, and is hitting .176 in 17 at bats. Odd for a junior to see so few AB at this point in the season, I’ll have to dig on that a bit…

Not forgetting one of our NCAA Div 2 HarbourCats down in Chico State, Cameron Santos is starting to get playing time as well. Starting 10 games so far, he’s hitting .132 in 38 tries, playing in the middle at either 2B or SS.

Don’t be overly concerned that our future 'Cats are riding more pine than they are swinging (creative licence - they use Aluminum bats in College). As the college season’s progress and teams start to realize their year-end positions, these freshmen and sophomores will see more playing time, seasoning them nicely for summer ball. The increased exposure to Div 1 pitching and hitting will be key in getting these players ready for a busy summer in Victoria.

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