Sunday, April 5, 2015

HarbourCats player updates - WAC showdown edition

The mighty Sacramento State Hornets travelled to Bellevue, Washington this weekend to take on Seattle University in a showdown for first place in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). Although the Hornets were the pre-season favourites to repeat as WAC champions, the Redhawks pulled off a surprising three-game sweep of Sacramento State, thanks largely to a Seattle U pitching staff that only allowed five runs (four earned) in the entire series.

Griffin Andreychuk was inconsistent on the weekend, but he still played a pivotal role in the series for Seattle U. In Friday’s thrilling 11-inning victory, the Nanaimo native turned an outstanding double play in the top of the 11th to shutdown a Sacramento State rally. With a runner on first and one out, the base runner took off on a 3-2 pitch and Andreychuk went to his left and dove for a ground ball up the middle. After snaring the ball, Andreychuk tagged second and then got to his feet to throw out the the batter at first to end the inning.

Andreychuk’s week, which also included a mid-week matchup against the Oregon Ducks, was less than perfect though. Not only did he snap his eight-game hitting streak on Wednesday, but he went a mere 3-for-15 with two RBI over the four games. Andreychuk also committed three errors this week to lower his fielding percentage to a sub-par .905. For the season, he’s hitting .291 with a .375 on-base percentage in 110 at-bats, and he is second on the team with 20 RBI in spite of hitting at the top of the order for nearly the entire year. Andreychuk has also chipped in with five stolen bases in six attempts this spring.

Sacramento State’s PJ Floyd has encountered defensive troubles of his own of late and it’s starting to eat away at his playing time. Floyd committed three more errors at third base this week to lower his fielding percentage to a dreadful .806 mark. Head coach Reggie Christiansen has even resorted to using the infielder in left field and at DH to get his bat in the lineup, but Floyd went 0-for-7 at the plate over the last four games and the freshman now sports an unimpressive .258 / .324 / .323 slash line (BA / OBP / SLG) in 62 at-bats this season.

The other (2015) HarbourCat who plays for the Hornets is Dane Fujinaka. The 5-foot-8-inch Hawaiian has continued to see regular playing time with Sacramento State as their DH, with the occasional start behind the plate. In four games this week, Fujinaka went 5-for-15 at the dish with a pair of walks. He now sports a .357 batting average with 11 RBI in 42 at-bats this season.

Seattle U now sits atop the WAC standings with an 8-1 record in conference play, while Sacramento State’s record falls to 6-3.

Chris Fougner
  • Victoria native Chris Fougner has been hitting the cover off the ball for Salt Lake Community College. The left-handed slugger has gone 9-for-19 with four RBI, four extra-base hits, four walks and a pair of steals over the last couple of weeks and he currently has a 10-game hitting streak going. Fougner has also been brilliant defensively for the Bruins, as the former Victoria Mariner has a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in 54 total chances, including three outfield assists. His outfield defence has been so good, in fact, that he has been moved to centre field from his usual position in right field for the last couple of games. Fougner is hitting an impressive .313 with two homers and 21 RBI in 112 at-bats in his freshman campaign.
  • Trinidad State Junior College’s Alex Rogers has been wildly inconsistent recently. He had his best outing of the year on March 28th against Western Nebraska Community College, a three-hit, complete-game shutout.  Rogers then gave up eight earned runs in 3 ⅓ innings pitched against Northeastern Junior College on April 2nd, which was easily his worst outing of 2015. On the season, the Nanaimo native is 4-4 with a 4.07 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in 42 innings pitched. His underlying numbers are outstanding (32 strikeouts and only 5 walks), so his ERA should improve as the season goes on.

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