The Victoria HarbourCats mascot Harvey strikes a pose before a game at Royal Athletic Park

The Victoria HarbourCats mascot Harvey strikes a pose before a game at Royal Athletic Park

Victoria HarbourCats release 2015 season schedule

Victoria HarbourCats face Kelowna Falcons in baseball season opener

The Victoria HarbourCats Baseball Club has released its 2015 West Coast League schedule  and start its season batting off against the Kelowna Falcons.

The Falcons will be in Victoria for a three-game series on June 5 to 7 at Royal Athletic Park.

The ‘Cats will play their first six games at home, taking a day off after the Kelowna series before welcoming division-rival Kitsap BlueJackets from June 9 to 11.

The HarbourCats have made a tradition of starting the season with games against their B.C. rivals.  The Falcons visited Victoria in 2013, the local team’s first year here and in 2014, Victoria opened in Kelowna.

Other highlights include a Father’s Day home date (June 21), and additional exhibition games The first fireworks game is set for June 6. June 7 is notable as the first day game, and the team will hold a special day game on June 11.

Tentative plans are for evening games to start at 6:35 p.m., with day games slated for 1:05 p.m.

The HarbourCats appreciate the intricate work that goes into preparing a league schedule, with all the challenges that come with it – working through facility availability, schedule rotations, and community requests that are so important to how West Coast League teams operate in their markets,” said general manager Jim Swanson.

“We think this schedule will give us a great chance to get off to a good start and we will have to be ready to play our division rivals for those key three-game series, starting with Kitsap coming to Victoria on June 9,” said Swanson.

“Those divisional games are important for any team to contend, and we remain focused on getting the HarbourCats to the playoffs. From a fan entertainment perspective, the promotional opportunities with this schedule are endless, and we’ll work very hard at adding in all sorts of exciting new wrinkles that will increase the fun-factor at HarbourCats games.”

The 54-game regular season runs from June 5 to Aug. 9, with playoffs to start on Aug. 11. The three division winners and the wild card team (best record of non-division winners) advance to best-of-three semifinal series, with the winners meeting in the best-of-three championship series.

Fans can check out the full schedule here or on the team website at harbourcats.com.