VICTORIA B.C. – The pitching staff of the 2016 Victoria HarbourCats was bolstered in the latest wave of signings which is headlined by the addition of seven pitchers, including four from power NCAA division one schools, in addition to an impact signing for the infield.
RHP CALVIN FAUCHER, UC Irvine, (Junior), Chula Vista, CA, 6-1/170
RHP CHRIS VARGAS, UC Irvine, (Junior), Orange, CA, 5-10/190
RHP BLAKE HANNAH, UC Davis, (Freshman), Vacaville, CA, 6-3/190
RHP RYAN STEINDORF, UC Davis, (Freshman), Chico, CA, 6-3/195
IF BRAD PLUSCHKELL, UC Davis, (Sophomore), Pleasanton, CA, 5-11/180
RHP SKYLER HENDERSON, Vernon College, (Sophomore), South Padre, TX, 5-9/175
RHP BRENDAN HORNUNG, University of Hawaii, (Junior), Corona, CA, 6-3/200
RHP MASON HILTY, Dixie State University, (Junior), Richland, WA, 6/190
LHP ZACH CORDOVA, Dixie State University, (Redshirt-freshman), Phoenix, AZ, 6-2/185
Calvin Faucher is a product of NCAA division one powerhouse, UC Irvine from Chula Vista, CA. He is a transfer from Southwestern Community College, where in his sophomore year, he was 2-2 with two saves, while recording 36 strikeouts in 29 innings with a stellar 0.93 ERA. Faucher is expected to have an opportunity to become the closer for UC Irvine head coach Mike Gillespie.
Chris Vargas is another right-hander on coach Gillespie’s pitching staff at UC Irvine, and is a product of Orange, CA. As a graduate of Villa Park High School, Vargas is a two-year letter winner for the Anteaters, and is expected to have an important role for the team as a junior.
Blake Hannah is a talented young arm from UC Davis, competing in the division one Big West Conference. He is a 2015 graduate of Vacaville High School where he enjoyed a stellar career, going 14-6 with a 1.92 ERA in 24 appearances, 15 starts in his four years. Hannah was recognized by Perfect Game USA as an all-region honorable mention as a senior.
Ryan Steindorf is another product of UC Davis and a native of Chico, CA, who enjoyed an extremely successful high school career at Pleasant Valley High School. In his senior season, he posted a 0.44 ERA and a 6-2 record in 12 appearances, allowing just 25 hits with 73 strikeouts in 64 innings pitched.
Brad Pluschkell emerged as the starting third baseman for the Aggies, midway through his freshman season in 2015. Overall, he appeared in 47 games and started 37. He hit .227 with four doubes, two triples, and 11 RBIs, while scoring 15 runs. Pluschkell is expected to play shortstop in Victoria and is regarded as an excellent defender, committing just four errors as a freshman, good for a .973 fielding percentage.
Hannah, Steindorf, and Pluschkell bring the number of UC Davis Aggies on the 2016 HarbourCats roster to four, as they join previously-signed outfielder Ryan Anderson.
Skyler Henderson is a product of of Vernon College, a top junior college program in Texas.
As a freshman in 2015, he made 13 appearances, pitching 45 innings and recording 40 strikeouts. Now a sophomore, he is expected to take on a leadership role on the Chaps pitching staff under head coach Sam Hayden.
Brendan Hornung is a highly regarded pitcher in his first year at the University of Hawaii, after pitching his first two collegiate seasons at Chaffey College in California. He had two very strong seasons at Chaffey, highlighted by his sophomore season when he went 5-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 12 starts, spanning 64.1 innings pitched. He is expected to take on a key role at Hawaii.
The HarbourCats and the University of Hawaii have formed a pipeline of sorts in recent years. Two players are coming to Victoria in 2016 (Hornung and Chayce Ka’aua), following in the footsteps of Quintin Torres-Costa, who came to Victoria from Hawaii in 2014, and is now pitching in the Milwaukee Brewer organization.
Mason Hilty is a top end starter at Dixie State University, a division two program in St. George, Utah. Prior to transferring to Dixie State, Hilty enjoyed an outstanding two years at the College of Southern Idaho, pitching a total of 147 innings and winning 11 games, nine of them coming as sophomore when he was the staff ace, posting a 2.33 ERA in 14 starts.
Zach Cordova is a lefthander at Dixie State, who was aggressively recruited out of high school. After being courted out of high school by many of the top programs on the west coast, Cordova spent a redshirt year at UNLV before transferring to Dixie State. The 6’3’’ left-hander was a three-year letter winner in high school, in addition to All-Arizona second team, all-section second team, and all-region first team accolades. He is the nephew of former Major League outfielder Marty Cordova.
“We’ve worked hard to add top-end depth to this year’s pitching staff,” said Jim Swanson, Managing Partner. “Graig Merritt (head coach) and Alec Adame (pitching coach) have approached this in a tremendous way, and it truly is an honor to have players coming from these great programs.”
More signings will be announced in the weeks leading up to the June 3 season-opening game in Walla Walla. The HarbourCats play their first regular season home game, the Drive for 5,000/Whiteout Game, on June 7 against the Wenatchee AppleSox.
Current roster for 2016 (34 players)
*2B/SS Griffin Andreychuk, Seattle University
2B Rykker Tom, University of San Diego
1B/OF/LHP Matt Warkentin, University of San Francisco
IB/DH/Util Brayden Resch, North Dakota State
IF/SS Shawn Silva, Fresno State University
SS Cameron Cannon, Arizona
IF Dakota Dean, New Orleans
SS/3B Brad Pluschkell, UC Davis
OF Matt Smith, Sacramento State
*OF AJ Alcantara, UC-Irvine
*OF/IF PJ Floyd, Sacramento State
OF Ryan Anderson, UC-Davis
OF Jake Stone, Fresno State University
*C Nick Meyer, Cal Poly
C James Outman, Sacramento State
C Joe Prior, Fresno State University
C Chayce Ka’aua, Hawaii
RHP Colin Ashworth, Orange Coast College
*RHP Austin Dondanville, Cal Poly
RHP Kyle Peeler, Colorado State-Pueblo
*RHP Josh Walker, Orange Coast College
*LHP Nick Wojtysiak, Paradise Valley CC
RHP James Kannenberg, University of San Francisco
RHP Mark Reese, Fresno State University
RHP Josh Burgmann, University of Washington
RHP Will McAffer, South Dakota State
RHP Casey Costello, Orange Coast College
RHP Calvin Faucher, UC Irvine
RHP Blake Hannah, UC Davis
RHP Ryan Steindorf, UC Davis
RHP Skyler Henderson, Vernon College
RHP Brendan Hornung, University of Hawaii
RHP Mason Hilty, Dixie State University
LHP Zach Cordova, Dixie State University
*– Returning player