The Victoria HarbourCats have made a pair of impactful additions to their 2017 roster, signing outfielder Hunter Vansau from Mississippi State University and left-handed pitcher Jack Owen, a Freshman-commit of Auburn University. Both players come from schools in the NCAA Div. 1 SEC, one of the deepest and most competitive conferences in college baseball.
The HarbourCats have also signed pitchers Sam Crocker of Florida Tech University (NCAA Div. 2) and Jacob Castillo from Mt. San Antonio College.
OF/INF Hunter Vansau, Mississippi State University, Junior, Crawford, TX, 6-3/195
LHP Jack Owen, Auburn University, Freshman-commit, Coto de Caza, CA, 6-2/170
LHP Sam Crocker, Florida Tech University, Sophomore, Merritt Island, FL, 6-1/190
RHP Jacob Castillo, Mt. San Antonio College, Freshman, Glendora, CA, 5-11/205
Hunter Vansau is a gifted player with capability to be a difference maker with the bat and with his glove. Vansau signed with Dallas Baptist University out of high school, spending one year there before transferring to Northeast Texas Community College. Vansau hit .378 with 11 doubles, three triples, five home runs and 40 RBIs while posting a .488 on-base percentage as a sophomore at Northeast Texas.
Vansau played in the Alaska Baseball League during the summer of 2016, finishing seventh in the league with a .297 batting average in 46 games. He transferred to Mississippi State for his junior year in 2017 where he is expected to compete for a role in the outfield and at first base.
Vansau joins his Mississippi State teammates, infielders Harrison Bragg and Reed Smith on the 2017 HarbourCats roster. The trio are the first-ever players signed by the HarbourCats from Mississippi State, a program that has reached the College World Series nine times and produced 185 major league draft picks.
The first Auburn Tiger to sign in Victoria, Jack Owen is a highly touted pitching prospect committed to Auburn for the fall of 2017. A senior at J Serra High School in southern California in 2017, Owen features an upper-80’s fastball, having earned 2016 Underclass Second Team and 17u Tournament All-American Team honors from Perfect Game. He also competed in the 2016 WWBA World Championship in Jupiter, FL, earning All Tournament recognition.
Sam Crocker is another talented lefthander who is in his first year at Florida Tech University after signing out of high school and spending his freshman year at the University of Central Florida (NCAA Div. 1; AAC) where he made four scoreless appearances as a freshman. Crocker was a two-sport star in baseball and basketball at Merritt Island High School while graduating with a 4.28 GPA.
Jacob Castillo is a workhorse as a freshman right-hander at Mt. San Antonio College. Early in the 2017 spring season, Castillo leads the Mounties with 20 innings pitched over five appearances, three starts, posting a 1-1 record with a save and 14 strikeouts.
“All of these players add quality depth to our roster for head coach Brian McRae to utilize as we aim to build on the success of last season’s playoff berth,” says HarbourCats general manager Brad Norris-Jones. “Hunter Vansau is a proven run producer who will come battle tested from Mississippi State and the SEC. Jack Owen is regarded as a top high school arm in the United States resulting in his commitment to Auburn, while Crocker and Castillo possess tremendous repertoires, making each of them tremendous assets to our pitching staff.”
The HarbourCats open the 2017 season on the road, June 1, in the inaugural game for the Port Angeles Lefties. Victoria’s home opener is set for Monday, June 5, a 6:35pm first pitch against the Wenatchee AppleSox.
WINTER BASEBALL TRAINING
The HarbourCats are offering a series of instructional youth baseball camps at the Westshore Training Academy (2950 Westshore Parkway, Victoria, BC).
HarbourCats personnel will conduct the camps including Jim Swanson (MLB scout), Troy Birtwistle (HarbourCats assistant coach), Andrew Wilson (HarbourCats assistant coach), Brad Norris-Jones (HarbourCats general manager) and other guest instructors.
February 25 – 26
March 11 – 12
March 25 – 26
Saturday sessions run from 3:00pm until 5:00pm, and Sunday sessions run from 6:00pm until 8:00pm.
Registration for all 12 sessions (six sessions remain) costs $175 or $20 for single sessions.
A HarbourCats t-shirt and hat is included with registration.
Brad Norris-Jones will be conducting individual or group sessions on select weeknights (Monday to Thursday).
2017 SEASON TICKETS
Over 60,000 fans attended HarbourCats games in 2016 for an average of 2,239 fans per game, which led the West Coast League and ranked ninth in all of North America among summer-collegiate clubs. Secure your favorite seat today for the 2017 season.
Seating location and pricing options are as follows—
DIAMOND CLUB SEATS (Field Level Box Seats in 2016)
$550 (SOLD OUT)
MAIN GRANDSTAND (Section 10, covered)
PREMIUM SEATING (Sections 6-7-8-9-11-12, blue bucket seats)
GENERAL ADMISSION (Silver bleachers, picnic areas, wheelchair seating, soccer grandstand)
*All prices listed are base price, and do not include fees or GST.
Visit the HarbourCats office at 101-1814 Vancouver Street or call (778)-265-0327 to purchase season tickets or for more information. You can also email email@example.com for further details, or go to the team website at harbourcats.com.
2017 SEATTLE VACATION
The HarbourCats are staging their second consecutive fan vacation to Seattle in 2017 to see the Blue Jays take on the Mariners.
The 2017 vacation takes place June 9-11, 2017 and will include:
Travel on Wilson’s Transportation buses from to and from Victoria and Seattle. Ferry cost also included.
Field level tickets for all three Blue Jays @ Mariners games at Safeco Field.
Two nights at the Hilton Embassy Lynnwood.
Total cost is $798 per person (based on double occupancy). Different rates available for triple as well as single occupancy.
Registration for HarbourCats season ticket holders is $725 (based on double occupancy). The trip is not expected to interfere with the HarbourCats home schedule, as the team is expected to be on the road during this time.