Victoria Eagles Mike Musselwhite Has Been Lights Out for HarbourCats

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Victoria Eagles pitcher Mike Musselwhite has joined the Victoria HarbourCats for the remainder of the 2017 season and to the surprise of many, has been one of the team's best pitchers out of the bullpen in the home stretch (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

By Martin Winstanley, Victoria Eagles

August 9, 2017, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The West Coast League’s Victoria HarbourCats are happy to have the BC Premier Baseball League’s Victoria Eagles in the same town. Eagle’s pitcher Mike Musselwhite took the mound and closed the eighth and ninth innings for the HarbourCats in the first game of the best of three playoff series against the Kelowna Falcons Tuesday evening. With 1,720 fans HarbourCats fans cheering every pitch, Musselwhite sat down all six batters he faced to cement the HarbourCats 8-2 victory in the team’s second straight WCL playoff appearance.

Muselwhite has made five appearances for the HarbourCats this season and has yet to give up an earned run in six innings of work, striking out seven, while walking three (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)
Muselwhite has made five appearances for the HarbourCats this season and has yet to give up an earned run in six innings of work, striking out seven, while walking three (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

In addition to his stellar playoff performance, the Grade 11 lefty made four appearances during the HarbourCats regular season, striking out six and giving up two hits with no earned runs against some of the best collegiate hitters in the US and Canada.

HarbourCats GM Brad Norris-Jones praised the young Eagles pitcher, “It is very important that the HarbourCats have the ability to pull up young local players. Mike has stepped up and competed at this high level of collegiate baseball. We have the confidence to give him the ball in any situation.”

Musselwhite is excited to have this opportunity with the HarbourCats, “I am honoured to have this opportunity to play at this level and pitch against some of the best collegiate hitters in Canada and the US.” (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)
Musselwhite is excited to have this opportunity with the HarbourCats, “I am honoured to have this opportunity to play at this level and pitch against some of the best collegiate hitters in Canada and the US.” (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Premier Eagles Manager Charlie Strandlund is not surprised at Musselwhite’s success competing against WCL players, “Mike’s performance as a high school age pitcher against top Div. 1 college hitters matches the results he had this season against BCPBL hitters. He’s a fierce competitor who draws energy from pressure situations to get outs and win games.”

Joining the HarbouCats comes with a little bit of celebrity status, as Musselwhite recently gave the jersey off his back (autographed of course) to a lucky young fan following  a HarbourCats game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)
Joining the HarbouCats comes with a little bit of celebrity status, as Musselwhite recently gave the jersey off his back (autographed of course) to a lucky young fan following a HarbourCats game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Musselwhite, who showed the poise and focus of a veteran in Tuesday evening’s game, admits that his heart was pumping fast but he credits Manager Strandlund and Eagles Pitching Coach Anthony Pluta for his ability to stay focused, “Coach Strandlund and Coach Pluta have not only helped fine-tune my mechanics, they have shown me how to succeed when the game is on the line.”

In Tuesday's playoff game against Kelowna, Musselwhite pitched a pair of scoreless innings to close out the HarbourCats 8-2 win over the Falcons (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)
In Tuesday’s playoff game against Kelowna, Musselwhite pitched a pair of scoreless innings to close out the HarbourCats 8-2 win over the Falcons (Photo: Christian J. Stewart)

Musselwhite also expresses his gratitude to the HarbourCats, “I am honoured to have this opportunity to play at this level and pitch against some of the best collegiate hitters in Canada and the US.”

Other Eagles on the HarbourCats 2017 playoff roster are Junior Eagles catcher Jayden Cull, and left-handed pitcher Stephen Wade, a 2016 Eagles graduate. Eagles graduates Tyson Abbot (C) and Ethan Skuija (RHP) were on the team’s regular season roster for various stints during the year.

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