Victoria is getting a new collegiate baseball team.
The new Victoria Golden Tide will play in the now eight-team Canadian College Baseball Conference (CCBC), which takes on university teams from Nanaimo, Kelowna, Kamloops, the Okanagan, Chilliwack and Abbotsford, as well as Calgary, Edmonton and Lethbridge.
The team has already begun recruiting and will debut next fall. Games are intended to be played out of Wilson’s Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park.
Curtis Pelletier, hitting and recruiting coach for the HarbourCats, has been named head coach and program director for the Golden Tide. He will remain the head of player and youth development for the HarbourCats organization.
“Our goal is to see as many local kids play for the HarbourCats as possible – at least that’s my goal,” said Pelletier, a former Junior National Team, college and a professional player whose been on the coaching staff since 2018. “To be able to develop these kids, bring them through college and hopefully have them play for our summer team is the ultimate goal for me.”
The program will be open to full-time students at the University of Victoria or Camosun College. The team will play a fall schedule and take part in a spring trip to the U.S., along with playing the regular season involving the rest of the CCBC teams. The Golden Tide has no official affiliation with either university, which according to the HarbourCats is not uncommon as CCBC teams are either club teams or have an “arms-length relationship” with the schools in their city.
The announcement of the Golden Tide comes on the same day as the opening of a new training centre, transforming the former Cook Street Squash Club into an all-year training space. The HarbourCats Players Club Training Centre, located at 1821 Cook St., now houses three batting cages, four pitching tunnels and a small fitness and workout area.
The Golden Tide will fall under the same leadership as the HarbourCats, which has been playing out of Wilson’s Group Stadium since 2013.