HarbourCats bolster 2016 roster

The Victoria HarbourCats have confirmed half a dozen players are now coming back from the 2015 team.

The Victoria HarbourCats have confirmed half a dozen players are now coming back from the 2015 team.

RHP Austin Dondanville and C Nick Meyer, both from Cal Poly, will be in familiar HarbourCats colours in 2016. Joining them on the roster that now sits at 12 players are RHP Colin Ashworth of Orange Coast College and IF Rykker Tom, a Team USA standout who has committed to the University of San Diego.

“It’s always a good thing to have returning players and Austin and Nick both fit well with our program, and we’re glad to see them back,” said general manager Jim Swanson. “Cal Poly has come to trust our program and we’ve established a good relationship with that great baseball school.”

Meyer, who is entering his freshman season, was a strong catch-and-throw receiver for the HarbourCats in 2015 and came on strong the second half to post a .227 average in 25 games. Dondanville received votes for the WCL post-season all-star teams after going 4-3 with a 2.80 ERA, striking out 42 and allowing 54 hits and 19 walks in 57.2 innings — the second-highest total on the team behind Dominic Topoozian (Fresno State).

Tom was highly recruited and much like future teammate Kevin Collard, is high on MLB draft charts. He hit .429 with 13 extra-base hits in 23 games as a high school junior and has been part of the USA baseball national team program for a few years.

Ashworth was at Arizona State but has transferred to Orange Coast College. The product of well-known sports school Whittier Christian, Ashworth is the nephew of former MLB pitcher Floyd Bannister.

“Colin will bring experience to our pitching staff, and Rykker’s raw skill level is something our coaches are excited to work with,” said Swanson. “Both these players have been watched closely by scouts and the top college programs, and we think they will develop even more with a summer in Victoria.”