by Jim Swanson
January 20, 2014, VICTORIA, B.C. (ISN) – Baseball teams can go a long way with pitching and power – and that’s the plan with the latest additions to the 2014 Victoria HarbourCats roster, announced today.
“This is an exciting group to add to the mix for our second season in the West Coast League,” said HarbourCats GM Jim Swanson. “You look at the 14 players on our roster now, their abilities, and we feel very good about the way this roster is coming together. Our coaches believe they can have a pitching plan every night, and a defence and offence to support them. That will give us a great chance from start to finish, each game and during the season. Depth is so important when you are playing 54 games in 66 nights, you don’t contend without depth.”
Among the latest signings are two left-handed pitchers – one a starter, one a side-arm closer – plus a veteran right-hander, and a drafted outfielder and a big bat that contributed to the Corvallis Knights in 2013, as that team won the WCL title.
The five new signees are:
(pictured) LHP QUINTIN TORRES-COSTA, UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII (NCAA-D1) – Adjusting to life on an island will not be a problem for Torres-Costa, who is from Hilo, Hawaii. A 2012 grad of Waiakea High School who pitched six no-hit innings in the state final in 2012 and was named state high school pitcher of the year as his team posted a perfect 20-0 record. Member of Hawaii youth team that won 2011 Senior Little League World Series. An habitual winner who features a sharp slider and a fastball that tops 90mph. Redshirted as a freshman with the University of Hawaii Rainbows due to an injury – Tommy John surgery, the recovery timeline will have him ready for the 2014 WCL season. Can also play the outfield, where he is rated as a good hitter with speed. Listed at 5-11/185.
LHP WILL DENNIS, SEATTLE UNIVERSITY (NCAA-D1) – The closer for the Redhawks and teammate of HarbourCats infielder Griffin Andreychuk (a freshman from Nanaimo). Dennis is completing his sophomore season. From Saratoga HS in Saratoga, California, bats left and throws left, listed at 6-1/190. Dennis made 31 appearances out of the bullpen as a freshman, pitching 32.1 innings, and didn’t surrender a single longball while posting a 2.78 ERA. Interestingly, his sister Clare is a member of the sailing team at Yale University.
RHP MATT SUSAC, UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA-RENO – The junior classman will be looked to not just for his work on the mound, but for leadership. Has a strong curveball and changeup. A transfer from Sacramento Community College. Product of Jesuit High School in Roseville, California, listed at 6-2/210, bats right and throws right.
1B GABE CLARK, OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY (NCAA-D1) – Clark is in his sophomore season with the Beavers, recruited after a senior year in high school at North High School in Riverside, California, in which he hit .511 with 11 home runs. He is 6-1/200 and with the WCL champion Corvallis Knights in 2013, he had three home runs, 14 RBIs and six stolen bases while hitting .198 in 31 games. In his junior year in high school, he played in an all-star game at Dodger Stadium. Bats right, throws right, will turn 20 on Oct. 5.
OF ANDREW CALICA, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-SANTA BARBARA (NCAA-D1) – Right-hand-throwing switch-hitter with gap power, considered the classic top-of-order sparkplug and centerfielder. Drafted in the 17th round by the Cleveland Indians in 2012 out of Eastlake High School in Chula Vista, California, but declined to sign to attend UCSB. Listed at 6-2/190. Majoring in economics-mathematics. Had his freshman season hampered and cut short by a back injury. Once hit four home runs in a game, has earned “best work ethic” awards throughout his athletic career. Born in La Jolla, California, turns 19 on March 5. Here’s what Andrew Checketts, head coach at UCSB, said at the time Calica was announced as a committed recruit for the Titans — “Andrew is a spark-plug type of player, he’s a well-rounded individual with a tremendous work ethic in the classroom and on the field,” Checketts said. “We expect Andrew to be a top of the order bat and centerfielder. His history of success at everything he does was very appealing to our coaching staff.”
2014 roster to date
C – Kelly Norris-Jones
IF – Brandon Feldman, Griffin Andreychuk, Gabe Clark
OF – Danny Collier, Nick Rutckyj, John Grimsley, Andrew Calica
P – LHP Carson Schneider, RHP Jacob McAdams, RHP Cameron Cotton, LHP Quintin Torres-Costa, LHP Will Dennis, RHP Matt Susac
The HarbourCats, coached by Dennis Rogers and Bob Miller, open the WCL season on the road in Kelowna against the Falcons, on Friday, June 6. After that three-game series, the HarbourCats return to RAP for the home opener – Tuesday, June 10, 7 pm, against the Cowlitz Black Bears. The HarbourCats will play a combined Eagles/Mariners (BCPBL) team in an exhibition game on Thursday, June 5, 7 pm at RAP.