(ISN) – VICTORIA, B.C. – Summer is fast approaching – fewer than three months to Opening Night – and the Victoria HarbourCats continue to add top talent for the coming season.
Head coach Graig Merritt is pleased to announce the signing of seven players, bringing the roster count to 36 players. Six of the seven players added today are from NCAA Division-1 schools, and five of them more than know how to handle a bat.
“Anytime you can work with great programs like the University of San Diego and Cal Poly-SLO, you know you’re going to get great players,” said Jim Swanson, General Manager of the HarbourCats. “One of our top players, Hunter Mercado-Hood, came from USD and he’ll play in the Cape Cod League this summer. We’ve had strong players like Jordan Ellis and the Schuknecht brothers from Cal Poly in the past. We know with this latest group, and with speedster Reno Rankin, that we have added guys who can be front-line assets for Graig and his staff, or valuable depth to make this a well-rounded squad. Mostly, we know these are players who are going to develop with our program, and be better for their time here.”
OF Mareno (Reno) Rankin, 6-0/180, LA Mission (junior college), bats-S, throws-R
RHP Seve Romo, 6-1/182, University of San Diego (D-1)
OF Kacy Smith, 5-10/190, University of San Diego (D-1), bats-L, throws-R
OF Kevin Collard, 6-0/205, University of San Diego (in fall), bats-L, throws-R
C Nick Meyer, 6-0/175, Cal Poly-SLO (in fall), bats-R, throws-R
RHP Austin Dondanville, 6-0/195, Cal Poly-SLO (D-1)
OF Ben Polshuk, 6-4/195, Cal Poly-SLO (D-1), bats-R, throws-R
Rankin, who was recommended to the HarbourCats by former Cincinnati Reds great Eric Davis, was leading his California junior college league in hitting a few weeks ago. From Winnetka, CA, the switch-hitting product of Cleveland High School is a ‘tools’ guy who is on the pro radar. He’s batting .273 with three stolen bases this season.
Nicholas Serveriano (Seve) Romo, currently a sophomore at USD, was recruited by a half-dozen top schools. Romo has yet to allow a run this season, throwing two innings and giving up one hit and two walks.
Smith, currently a junior at USD, transferred from Grossmont College where he hit .474 with seven doubles, three triples and a home run while leading the league in walks in 2014. He is from La Mesa, CA. He’s batting .286 for the Toreros this spring, playing alongside Mercado-Hood and John Grimsley.
Collard, who graduates from Rancho Buena Vista HS this year, is a fall commit to USD. Collard has been high on many MLB draft lists for the June amateur draft and didn’t hurt his reputation when he hit .417 at the 2014 Area Code Games.
Nick Meyer is a highly-rated catcher from Mission Viejo, CA, who is completing high school at Santa Margarita Catholic HS and will go to D-1 baseball next year at Cal Poly-SLO. Meyer played for the Brewers at the Area Code Games last summer, and he was part of his school’s section championship at Dodger Stadium. Interesting note – Meyer was born with two thumbs on his left hand, one of which was removed when he was 2 years old.
Dondanville is a freshman from Walnut Creek, CA and De La Salle HS. Was a pitcher and third baseman in high school, helping his team to a 21-7 record and league championship last spring. He is a business administration major at Cal Poly. Dondanville has yet to see his first NCAA action for the Mustangs.
Polshuk, a freshman who played on the same high school team as Dondanville, played in the 2013 Area Code Games and hit .333 as a senior after batting .319 with four home runs as a junior. Polshuk has played in eight games as a freshman.
The HarbourCats also announce that UC-Irvine outfielder Evan Cassolato won’t be joining the team in Victoria this season due to another commitment.
CURRENT ROSTER (36 players)
CATCHERS (4) – Zach Bonneau, University of Washington; Jackson Thoreson, St. Mary’s; Dane Fujinaka, Sacramento State; Nick Meyer, Cal Poly-SLO
INFIELDERS (9) – Gabe Clark, Oregon State; Jamie Umbinetti, Edmonds CC; Griffin Andreychuk, Seattle University; Cam Santos, Chico State; Ryan Anderson, UC-Davis; PJ Floyd, Sacramento State; Michael Gretler, Oregon State; Chase Lambert, Pepperdine; Carl Stajduhar, University of New Mexico
OUTFIELDERS (6) – John Naff, Everett CC; AJ Alcantara, UC-Irvine; Ben Polshuk, Cal Poly-SLO; Reno Rankin, LA Mission; Kacy Smith, University of San Diego; Kevin Collard, University of San Diego.
RH PITCHERS (12) – Curtis Bafus, Everett CC; Alex Rogers, Trinidad State (North Dakota State next fall); Alex FaGalde, Cuesta College; Preston Ryan, University of New Mexico; Sean O’Toole, St. Mary’s; Kyle Francis, Everett CC; Matt Blais, UC-Davis; Chris Fougner, Salt Lake CC; Mikey Wright, Consumnes River CC; Zander Clouse, Bellevue CC, Austin Dondanville, Cal Poly-SLO; Seve Romo, University of San Diego.
LH PITCHERS (5) – Henry Baker, University of Washington; Carson Schneider, University of New Mexico; Josh Mitchell, Pittsburgh; Ryan Wilson, Pepperdine; Matt Fish, Pierce CC.
*Clark, Andreychuk, FaGalde, Rogers, Schneider, Ryan and Wright are returning players.
HARBOURCATS HOME GAME TICKETS ON SALE, ON-LINE
HarbourCats fans can get to the front of the line now by going on-line to purchase tickets for the 2015 season – that includes Opening Day (June 5), Father’s Day (June 21), the added number of day games this season, and special Fireworks Games, slated for June 6, June 30, and August 3.