HarbourCats off to hot start

The early season has been a wild ride for the Victoria HarbourCats fans and many of their players.

BY Jonathan Hodgson

The early season has been a wild ride for the Victoria HarbourCats fans and many of their players, with the club off to an 11-3 start and currently riding a franchise-record 11-game winning streak.

The streak started at the HarbourCats home opener before 4,544 fans at Royal Athletic Park who were spurred on by special guest Krazy George, former B.C. Lions and world famous cheerleader, who is noted as being the inventor of the wave. The team responded with an 11-1 victory over the Wenatchee AppleSox and starting right-handed pitcher Dalton Erb carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning.

The next week, Erb, a junior from Chico State University was drafted and signed by the San Diego Padres.  The six-foot-eight, 250-pound right-hander was one of eight current or former HarbourCats selected in this year’s MLB draft, which is an all-time high for the club. Cameron Cannon, a shortstop for the HarbourCats, was selected in the 21st round by the Arizona Diamondbacks but will remain with the HarbourCats as he has elected to attend the University of Arizona this fall.

As a league, 83 current or former players in the West Coast League were selected in this year’s draft, an all-time high for the summer-collegiate league, further cementing it’s status as one of the elite leagues of it’s kind.

“Summer ball” as it is commonly referred to, is a unique and crucial time in a player’s career. It is a 10 or 11-week period of time where a college baseball player can focus solely on baseball without the added pressures of class schedules, assignments and papers that they have to balance during the college season. The summer ball experience is designed to create a structure similar to professional baseball, playing nearly every day in ballparks that simulate a professional atmosphere and often playing before professional scouts.

All of this gives the player a first look at what it takes to be a professional baseball player, and also gives evaluators an idea of if a player will succeed in the pro environment.

Many players are not far away from professional contracts and beginning the climb up major league organizations. Dalton Erb of the HarbourCats is the perfect illustration of this. On June 7, he was dominating on the mound in Victoria, and on June 18 he pitched two shutout innings for the Padres single-A affiliate in Tri City, Washington.

When you attend Victoria HarbourCats games, you are seeing elite collegiate talent, and chances are somebody you watched at your home ballpark is starring professionally soon after.

 

 

Just Posted

Advanced polls see 29 per cent increase in voter turn out from 2015

Some 4.7 million people took part, says Elections Canada

Everything you need to know before getting the flu shot

Local pharmacist shares concerns, recommendations before flu season hits

‘Panda’ Goodlife runner searches for his head

Facebook post for help leads to ‘unconfirmed panda head sightings’

Victoria’s Ultimate Toy Fair bounces back into Pearkes

The family-friendly event runs Oct. 19-20 at Pearkes

WATCH: Greater Victoria’s top stories of the day

A round-up of the day’s top stories

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Potent power play paces Canucks to 5-1 win over Detroit

Miller nets a pair as Vancouver wins third straight

UPDATE: British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in U.S. after crossing border

CBP claims individuals were denied travel authorization, crossing was deliberate

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

B.C. massage therapist reprimanded, fined for exposing patients’ breasts

Registered massage therapist admits professional misconduct

B.C. boosts legal aid funding in new payment contract

‘Duty counsel’ service restored in some communities, David Eby says

VIDEO: Bear spies on cyclists riding by on Campbell River street

Riders seem unaware the bruin is mere feet away on the side of the road

Most Read