Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
March 29, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The BC Premier Baseball League has yet to throw its first pitch of the 2013 season, but already two members of the Victoria Eagles are enjoying early season success, as pitcher Kurt Horne and GM/Coach Gautam Srivistava have both been invited to the Canadian Junior National Team’s Spring Training Camp in Orlando, Florida from April 12 to 21st.
Horne, a 16-year old, 6’4″, 175 lb. left-handed pitcher, will join 28 other players from across Canada and will compete at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Florida April 12 to April 21. The Spring Training Schedule for the Junior National Team is online at http://www.baseball.ca/files/2013%20JNT%20Schedule.pdf .
Horne, who also attended the Junior National Team’s Fall Instructional Camp, enjoyed a successful rookie season with the Victoria Eagles Premier team, logging 55 innings on the mound with an ERA of 2.00 and a 5-2 record. The Sooke teen, in Grade 11 at Edward Milne Community School, also helped the BC Selects capture a silver medal at the Canada Cup last summer throwing eight innings while striking out 10, including two shutout innings in the final.
Victoria Eagle Kurt Horne has been invited to the 2013 Canadian Junior National team spring camp in Orlando in April (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)
Hamilton said the Spring Training Camp will allow the Junior National Team coaching staff to evaluate players in a highly competitive environment and better prepare for the IBAF 18U World Championship in Taiwan in September. “The Junior National Team coaches are really impressed with Kurt’s size and athleticism. He has a fluid delivery and the ball jumps out of his hand. With continued hard work and development, Kurt has a chance to challenge for a roster spot on our 2013 World Junior team,” said Greg Hamilton, Baseball Canada’s Director of National Teams and Head Coach of the Junior National Team.
The annual Spring Training Camp will feature daily practices along with seven exhibition contests against MLB extended spring training clubs. Included on the schedule is a match-up against the extended spring training club of the Toronto Blue Jays April 16 at the Bobby Mattick Complex in Dunedin, Florida.
With a 6’4″ frame and the benefit of being a smooth-throwing lefty, Victoria’s Kurt Horne has a solid chance to make the 2013 Junior National team (Photo: Christian J. Stewart).
For players, training camp offers the chance to represent their country while improving their skills and gaining exposure to various scouts who use the camp as an opportunity for talent evaluation.
Horne won’t be the lone Eagle in Orlando as the Victoria Eagles also announced that their General Manager Gautam Srivastava will be joining the Junior National Team as a guest coach for the Spring Training Camp.
Srivastava, the General Manager of the Victoria Eagles Baseball Program, boasts a lengthy baseball resume. Recently named a regional scout for the Minnesota Twins of the American League, Srivastava has played a significant role in the growth of the Eagles since the program’s inception in 2010.
In addition to being the Manager of the Premier Eagles, Srivastava was Baseball Canada’s 2010 Coach of the Year and for the last two years he has been the Manager of the B.C. Selects team representing B.C. at the National Cup. Head Coach Hamilton affirmed that Srivastava’s impressive accomplishments were a factor in his guest coach invitation, “I’ve been watching Gautam’s progress over the last few years and I felt he had earned an introduction to the Junior National Team. He is a young coach with a bright future in Canadian baseball.”
Eagles GM and coach Gautam Srivistava will be a guest coach at the Canadian Junior National Camp in Orlando in April (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)
More information on the Canadian Junior National team can be found at www.baseball.ca
Victoria Eagles Baseball is the high-performance division of the Greater Victoria Baseball Association that includes the Bantam AAA Red Eagles, the Bantam AAA Black Eagles, the Midget AAA Selects, the Junior Premier Eagles and the Premier Eagles.
For more information about Eagles Baseball, visit www.VictoriaEagles.com.