The 21-player host team that will look to mine gold at the Yates Street Taphouse Baseball Canada Men’s Championship, presented by B.C. Lotteries Corp., will have a decidedly local and Island flavour to it, with strong outside additions to bolster both pitching and hitting.
The Victoria Mavericks, host entry for the Aug. 23-27 event at Royal Athletic Park and Lambrick Park, are highlighted by the return of ex-HarbourCats stars Griffin Andreychuk (infield) and Connor Russell (RHP), and ex-pro players Kyle Orr (infield/outfield), Bobby Scott (OF/C), Sean Murphy (infield), and Charlie Strandlund (C/RHP).
Orr (Dodgers, 2006) and Scott (Blue Jays, 2004) were both drafted by MLB teams. Strandlund was a fan favourite as a member of the Victoria Seals of the Golden League.
Former and current college players make up the rest, including catcher Connor Moughtin, veteran infielders Lanny Burrows and Kevin Biro, pitchers Brendan Orr, Cooper Misic, Luke Manuel, Jordan Broatch, Mitch Davidoff, Kevin Pockett, Jeremy Campbell and Jason Gibson. Nanaimo brothers Liam Goodall (OF/P) and Aidan Goodall (RHP), who starred at the college level, bring front-end ability to the roster.
“This is a team we think can be a strong threat to play in the gold-medal game on Sunday,” said Jim Swanson, who led a group that selected the roster – including Brad Norris-Jones, Mavericks team manager Dave Diachuk, and coaches Troy Birtwistle, Scott Thompson and Mike Cressey.
“It’s always key to find good pitching, and with these being seven-inning games, there is a greater feeling of urgency with a pitching staff. We think the lineup is one that will be able to score runs, and the defence should be solid behind our pitchers.”
The tournament starts with the Victoria Mobile Radio Harbour Derby, a home run derby into the Pacific Ocean off Ogden Point (cruise ship piers), on Wednesday, August 23. The host will have two entries in the home run derby, with Kyle Orr and Sean Murphy taking part. First pitches in the derby will be served up at 6:00 pm.
Tournament play itself gets going on the morning of Thursday, August 24, with the host team playing its first game that evening against New Brunswick (7:00 pm).
VICTORIA MAVERICKS ROSTER
2017 BASEBALL CANADA MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Aug. 24-27, Royal Athletic Park and Lambrick Park
COACHES – Dave Diachuk, Troy Birtwistle, Scott Thompson, Mike Cressey
*From Victoria unless noted
1. C – Connor Moughtin
2. C – Charlie Strandlund (also P/util)
3. 1B – Kyle Orr
4. 2B – Lanny Burrows
5. SS – Griffin Andreychuk (Nanaimo)
6. 3B – Duncan Blades
7. IF/OF – Kevin Biro
8. OF – Liam Goodall (Nanaimo)
9. OF – Bobby Scott
10. OF – Jeremy Campbell
11. IF/DH – Sean Murphy
12. P – Connor Russell, R (Nanaimo)
13. P – Aidan Goodall, R (Nanaimo)
14. P – Luke Manuel, R (Vancouver)
15. P – Jason Gibson, L
16. P – Brendan Orr, R
17. P – Mitch Davidoff, R (also OF)
18. P – Kevin Pockett, R (also OF)
19. P – Jordan Broatch, R (White Rock)
20. P – Matt Campbell, R
21. P – Cooper Misic, R (Langley)
ABOUT MEN’S NATIONALS
The 2017 Baseball Canada Men’s National Championship presented by Yates Street Taphouse is a 26-game tournament featuring nine provincial teams and the host team from Victoria. The tournament will take place in Victoria on August 24-27 with Royal Athletic Park, home of the Victoria HarbourCats, serving as the primary field, hosting 18 games including the entire playoff Sunday. The remaining games will be played at Lambrick Park.
The full tournament schedule is available at: http://harbourcats.com/