Victoria HarbourCats GM Jim Swanson measures West Coast League all-star games as “one vehicle or two-vehicle games” in which to transport his players down.
Swanson may need to rent a mini-bus for the 2019 WCL all-star extravaganza next Tuesday in Bend, Oregon.
The HarbourCats’ strong season was rewarded Tuesday with six players from the club named to North Division all-star team. It was the second most behind the seven Corvallis Knights selected for the South Division team. Both the Knights and HarbourCats were the first-half champions of their respective divisions and have the two best overall records in the league.
“It’s a great testament to this year’s [Victoria] team,” said Swanson.
The North team will be led by the blazing bats of HarbourCats catchers Frankie Niemann from Tulane and Tyson Hays from Illinois State, respectively hitting .400 and .408. They are joined by fellow HarbourCats sluggers Parker Bramlett in the infield, Jason Willow and Nick Plaia in the outfield and pitcher Jack Hyde on the mound.
There could have been even more HarbourCats players, noted the Victoria GM.
He pointed to the most glaring omissions being slugging first-baseman Chase Wehsener, hitting .338, and lethal closer Matt Amrhein, with six saves, but added the selectors had a tough job.
Scouts from most MLB teams will be in attendance. The most watched player will be South infielder Brooks Lee of the Knights. Lee was ranked 37th overall by MLB.com for the 2019 MLB draft. He was taken by the San Francisco Giants but will instead head to the NCAA to play for his dad at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
DIAMOND DUST: The HarbourCats rode a six-run fourth inning to a 7-1 victory over the Walla Walla Sweets on Tuesday night in Washington state. Emilio Nogales had two hits and two RBIs while Harrison Spohn and Nick Adams each homered for Victoria. Starter Calvin Turchin took the win by going six innings and giving up seven hits and one run with three strikeouts.
The HarbourCats are 6-3 in the second-half of the season and 24-12 overall. The Sweets are 2-2 and 20-11. The clubs conclude their three-game set with the rubber match tonight in Walla Walla.