Monday, April 13, 2015

HarbourCats player updates - Pac-12 edition

Washington Huskies catcher Zach Bonneau
It's been a couple of weeks since we checked in with the future HarbourCats of the Pac-12, so I am happy to help quench your thirst for information on the boys of this western conference. It's now time for a lot of conference play as the teams get into the meat of their season.

UCLA is the most successful Pac-12 team, climbing to number three in the rankings which is up from number six a week ago. Scott Jarvis, the six foot two freshman third baseman, has yet to play a game so not much to report there, and neither has newly announced 'Cat Jake Pries. In Pries' case though, this is not a bad thing as he is still a senior at JSerra Catholic High School in California.

Jake is a towering six foot four outfielder who helped lead the Lions to a Trinity League championship in 2014 while being named to the Second Team All League. More recently, he and his companions have JSerra as a "Team to Watch" while just last week winning the Boras Classic tournament going away. Our boy Jake had a fine second game where he went three for four with a double, triple and four RBI's. It's always tough to know how these high school freshman will transition to ball at the next level, but we will be able to see for ourselves this summer as he patrols the open fields at the RAP.

Up in Washington, the Huskies have gone 6-4 over the past couple of weeks which includes a convincing 5-1 win and two extra innings losses to the number twelve ranked USC Trojans. One of Victoria's four left handed pitchers, Henry Baker, got a start against the Gonzaga Bulldogs a few days earlier, but unfortunately for him, it lasted only five pitches - a walk and then a hit by pitch - before he was sent to the showers. The Zags eventually loaded the bases without swinging at a pitch and marched a couple of runs across as well, but a seven run fourth inning saved Baker from the loss. He has had a couple of rough outings this year and has not pitched again since this game on March 24. With conference play underway, he might go a little longer before he sees any more action but here's to hoping he gets back on the horse and gets some solid innings under his belt to boost his confidence.

Backup Washington catcher Zach Bonneau has seen the odd inning but has not had an official at bat in his last four outings, mostly coming into games in the late innings as a pinch hitter or simply to catch. Bonneau did, however, drive in a run in a 13-1 thumping of Stanford, getting the Huskies their first series win in Palo Alto since 1997. Zach is one of four signed catchers for the HarbourCats for next season.

Moving on to Oregon State, fan favourite Gabe "the Babe" Clark has recently had a nice run for the Beavers, hitting safely in four of his last six games at a .375 clip in his starting role at DH. His best game in that stretch was a three for four effort in a losing cause to the mighty UCLA Bruins. As a team, the Beavers have fallen away from the national ranking sheet by stumbling to a 4-6 record in their last ten.

Clark is third on the team in strikeouts with 22 in 97 at bats, which is no surprise to HarbourCats fans as he does hold the season record for K's set last year at 42. But that, my friends, is the price you pay for his power. The Babe also holds the 'Cats record for most home runs in a season (with 8) and is third all time in slugging percentage at .494. He is also tied for the OSU team lead with seven round trippers. I, for one, am looking forward to having him shield the sun from his eyes at first base this year in HarbourCat blue and white!

Finally, Oregon State third baseman Michael Gretler has inched his average above the .200 mark and did have a nice two hit game in a losing cause against Oregon this past weekend in the series opener. The following day was not as kind as Gretler stranded five runners while going zero for five, but the Beavs' still managed to sneak away with a 4-2 win.

So overall, not a super-eventful past couple of weeks for our boys in the Pac-12, but lots more baseball to go. I'm hoping some of the lads get a few more innings so we can get a better feel for what they are made of and start to guess at how they will fit into Big Brother's lineup this summer.

  • The HarbourCats announced earlier today that the University of New Mexico’s Carson Schneider will not be joining the team this summer due to an arm issue. Schneider went 1-1 with two saves and a 3.37 ERA in 17 appearances with the ‘Cats in 2014.

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