A trio of athletes with Greater Victoria ties are being rewarded for their hard work and dedication to their sport.
Pitcher Nick Pivetta, a former Victoria HarbourCats player and local minor baseball product, has enjoyed a strong start to his second season with MLB’s Philadelphia Phillies. The 25-year-old right-hander has a 1-0 record in five starts this season, posting a 2.57 earned-run average with 28 strikeouts in as many innings pitched and allowing just five walks.
In Sunday’s 3-2 Phillies victory over Pittsburgh, Pivetta recorded no decision but left his team in position to win, striking out seven and allowing two earned runs over 6-1/3 innings. He helped his own cause in the fifth inning by slapping an off-field RBI double down the right field line. The win saw much-improved Philadelphia enter this week with a 14-7 record following an awful 66-96 season in 2017.
A fourth-round draft pick of the Washington Nationals in 2013, Pivetta’s improvement matches that of his team. He made his Major League debut last season with the Phillies, going 8-10 with a 6.02 ERA.
Cougars goalie heading south to play college hockey
A solid season between the pipes with the Victoria Cougars has helped goaltender Patrick Ostermann take the next step in his hockey career. The 20-year-old native of Calgary committed last week to the University of Alabama for the upcoming 2018-19 season.
“I can’t thank the Victoria Cougars enough for helping me reach my dream of playing university hockey. I truly believe Victoria is one of the best junior programs in the country,” he said in a release. “The coaches, ownership, trainers, billets, board members, and volunteers are all top notch.”
The six-foot, 175-pound goaltender posted a 2.81 goals against average, a .912 save percentage and led all Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League goalies with 19 wins.
“I’m very happy with Ozzy. He worked very hard this past season and has earned the opportunity to be a starter at Alabama,” Cougars head coach Suneil Karod said.
Ostermann will be studying pre-med.
Royals mid-season acquisitions aim for pro playoff success
Noah Gregor, one of the veteran forwards brought in by the WHL’s Victoria Royals to bolster their late-season push, is tasting playoff hockey in the pros. After recording 65 points in 60 games between the Royals and Moose Jaw Warriors in the regular season, and adding another 12 points in 11 playoff contests, the three-year junior was assigned to the American Hockey League’s San Jose Barracuda by the NHL’s San Jose Sharks.
The Barracuda are tied 1-1 in their opening round best-of-seven series against Phoenix farm team the Tucson Roadrunners, with Game 3 scheduled for Wednesday (April 25). Gregor, who signed a three-year entry level contract with the Sharks on April 6, played in last Thursday’s 4-2 loss in San Jose and was held off the scoresheet, while posting a minus-2 rating.
Former Royals teammate Tanner Kaspick, who ended his WHL season injured but was assigned last week to the AHL’s Manitoba Moose by the St. Louis Blues, is in a similar spot. While he has yet to play in the series, his new team is tied 1-1 with the Grand Rapids Griffins heading into their Game 3 on Wednesday.