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Former HarbourCats, ex-pros highlight host Victoria entry in Men’s Nationals

Former Victoria HarbourCat and 2017 Victoria Maverick Connor Russell returns in 2018 to lead the Victoria host team into the 2018 Baseball Canada Men’s Nationals (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Tournament runs Aug 22-26 at Wilson’s Group Stadium and Lambrick Park

VICTORIA — Three former pro baseball players and eight former Victoria HarbourCats highlight the final roster of the host entry for the Baseball Canada Men’s Championship, slated for Aug. 22-26 in Victoria.

The team, which will be managed by Jim Swanson, who runs the HarbourCats, will also have two members of the HarbourCats on the coaching staff, with Troy Birtwistle joining Swanson. Scott Thompson and Mike Cressey are the other coaches.

Kyle Orr (Los Angeles Dodgers), Kurt Horne (New York Mets) and Charlie Strandlund (Victoria Seals), all from Victoria, are the former professional players. Strandlund is also a former HarbourCats coach.

The ex-HarbourCats named to the final 21-player roster include LHP Dylan Thorp, RHP Connor Russell, OF Austin Russell, IF Broden Bydeweg, RHP Eric Hegadoren, and twin brothers RHP Alex Rogers and IF Brady Rogers.

The team is comprised of 19 Vancouver Island players — 13 players from Victoria, six from Nanaimo — and two from Vancouver, as Swanson and the coaching staff have loaded up on pitching, intent on competing for the gold medal.

“We think this team will be able to pitch with anyone at this tournament, and one thing the local players can do is swing the bats,” said Swanson, who has two national gold and two bronze in his coaching resume. “Playing in front of the home crowd, with so much on the line, I’m expecting big things from this roster — it took a lot of work to find what we think is the right combination.”

The Victoria host club will open on Thursday, August 23, in the evening feature game against New Brunswick, which finished second last summer in the first of two years the event has been in Victoria. The next day, Victoria faces Ontario at noon, then has a night game against Nova Scotia. The round-robin portion ends with a Saturday afternoon game against Manitoba.

“This is a very good level of baseball, competitive with so much pride — and a chance to be crowned national champion, so every pitch is important,” said Swanson.

  1. Connor Moughtin, C, Victoria
  2. Kyle Orr, IF, Victoria
  3. Brady Rogers, IF/OF, Nanaimo
  4. Broden Bydeweg, IF/OF, Nanaimo
  5. Duncan Blades, IF, Victoria
  6. Lanny Burrows, IF, Victoria
  7. Charlie Strandlund, IF/OF, Victoria
  8. Liam Goodall, OF/RHP, Nanaimo
  9. Aidan Goodall, RHP/OF, Nanaimo
  10. Justin Clarkson, IF/RHP, Nanaimo
  11. Josh Larsen, RHP, Victoria
  12. Dylan Thorp, LHP, Vancouver
  13. Alex Rogers, RHP, Nanaimo
  14. Jason Gibson, LHP, Victoria
  15. Connor Russell, RHP, Victoria
  16. Brandon Chernoff, RHP, Vancouver
  17. Adam Cessford, RHP, Victoria
  18. Eric Hegadoren, RHP, Victoria
  19. Austin Russell, OF, Victoria
  20. Kevin Pockett, U, Victoria
  21. Kurt Horne, LHP, Victoria

The 2018 Baseball Canada Men’s Nationals begins on Wednesday, August 22 at 6:00 pm with a home run derby at Wilson’s Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park. Admission is $5. Round robin play begins Thursday morning and continues through Saturday at both Wilson’s Group Stadium and at Lambrick Park.  Playoff rounds begin Saturday afternoon and evening with semi-finals and the bronze and gold medal games happening Sunday, all at Wilson’s Group Stadium.

FULL SCHEDULE HERE

2018 Men’s Nationals Tickets are now on sale at the HarbourCats offices at 1814 Vancouver Street in Victoria, or by calling 778-265-0327.  Game Day passes are $20 Thursday, Friday and Saturday and $30 Sunday. Individual game tickets are $8 for games Thursday, Friday and Saturday and $10 for games Sunday. Games at Lambrick Park are by donation, or covered with your purchase of a day pass or tournament pass.

About The Victoria HarbourCats
The HarbourCats are Victoria’s entry in the West Coast League (WCL), a summer, collegiate, wood bat baseball league, featuring the top college-age players from across North America and the world. One of the elite teams in the league, the HarbourCats won a record 40 games in 2016 and followed that up in 2017 as the WCL’s North Division Playoff Champions, coming one game short of their first ever WCL Championship.  In 2018, their sixth season, the team will play a 54-game regular season schedule, with 27 of those games and eight additional non-league games, being played at Wilson’s Group Stadium at historic Royal Athletic Park in Victoria. Opening night is June 1, 2018 with games scheduled through mid-August.   See harbourcats.com for more details.

2019 SEASON TICKETS NOW ON SALE! Season Tickets are now being offered for the Victoria HarbourCats 2019 season! Purchase new, or renew your existing seats BY SEPTEMBER 15th, 2018 and we will lock you in at 2018 rates!  Visit the office at 101-1814 Vancouver Street or call 778-265-0327 to order.

Office Hours:  
MONDAY-FRIDAY: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
SATURDAY: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
SUNDAY: By Appointment Only

101-1814 Vancouver Street, Victoria, BC V8T 5E3
Phone: 778-265-0327
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