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.
- Connor Moughtin, C, Victoria
- Kyle Orr, IF, Victoria
- Brady Rogers, IF/OF, Nanaimo
- Broden Bydeweg, IF/OF, Nanaimo
- Duncan Blades, IF, Victoria
- Lanny Burrows, IF, Victoria
- Charlie Strandlund, IF/OF, Victoria
- Liam Goodall, OF/RHP, Nanaimo
- Aidan Goodall, RHP/OF, Nanaimo
- Justin Clarkson, IF/RHP, Nanaimo
- Josh Larsen, RHP, Victoria
- Dylan Thorp, LHP, Vancouver
- Alex Rogers, RHP, Nanaimo
- Jason Gibson, LHP, Victoria
- Connor Russell, RHP, Victoria
- Brandon Chernoff, RHP, Vancouver
- Adam Cessford, RHP, Victoria
- Eric Hegadoren, RHP, Victoria
- Austin Russell, OF, Victoria
- Kevin Pockett, U, Victoria
- 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.
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.