Klamath Falls Gems Alum Tommy Thorpe of Oregon Earns Civil War Win
Ex-Gems' southpaw Tommy Thorpe combined with ex-Corvallis Knight reliever Jimmie Sherfy to shutout Oregon State 3-0 at PK Park in Eugene in game one of a three-game series that wraps with games on Saturday and Sunday, May 18-19. Thorpe improved to 6-4 and lowered his ERA to 2.39 and Sherfy recorded his 20th save. With the win, the Ducks are now tied with the Beavers for first-place in the Pac-12 with 20-5 records. (read more)
Former Bend Elk Pitcher Evan Reed Makes MLB Debut for Tigers
The Detroit Tigers called up hard-throwing right-handed reliever Evan Reed this past Wednesday, May 15. Reed's trip to meet the Tigers in Arlington, Texas was filled with misadventure as storms were ravaging north Texas. Reed of Cal Poly pitched for the Bend Elks in 2006. Evan debuted Thursday, May 16 tossing 2.2 innings in the Tigers 10-4 loss to the Rangers.
Ex-Cowlitz Black Bear Ace Cole Irvin of Oregon Earns Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week Honors
Oregon Ducks southpaw Cole Irvin was named the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week on Monday, May 13. Irvin earned second-team All-West Coast League honors with the Cowlitz Black Bears last summer. Cole and his 10th-ranked Ducks (19-5 in the Pac-12) face the 6th-ranked and Pac-12 first-place Oregon State Beavers (20-4) May 17-19 at PK Park in Eugene in what should be an epic Civil War series.
West Coast League President Ken Wilson Steps Down
WCL President Ken Wilson announced that he will be stepping down from his role with the League. Wilson will remain as an advisor and consultant to the West Coast League through August 31st of this year. Current WCL Vice President Eddie Poplawski will serve as the League's primary contact and administrator until a successor for Wilson is hired.
Pacific Baseball Ventures Awarded West Coast League Membership in Yakima
The WCL is expanding to 12 teams with the addition of Yakima to its lineup of member clubs. Baseball is returning to Yakima in 2014! Pacific Baseball Ventures, the owners of the Walla Walla Sweets, will own and operate the West Coast League's latest expansion club. (read more)
Former WCLers Featured on Front Page of The Oregonian Sports Page
Ex-Corvallis Knights southpaw Matt Boyd of #5-ranked Oregon State and Cowlitz Black Bears alum Jeff Gold of #10-ranked Oregon were featured in separate articles in the Thursday, April 18 edition of The Oregonian titled Beavers' Seattle-area ace focuses on his game and UO pitcher is primed for speech about lupus, respectively. Boyd pitched and played first base for Corvallis in 2010 and earned All-WCL honorable mention honors. White Gold pitched two summers for the Bears earning first-team All-WCL honors in 2011.
Ex-Kelowna Falcons Slugger Chris Davis of Baltimore Sets MLB Records
Former Falcon star Chris Davis of the Orioles has now homered in 11 consecutive regular-season games and the first four games of the 2013 season. Davis is the first player in MLB history to have collected 3 or more RBI in his team's first three games and he broke the MLB RBI record of 12 over the season's first four games by registering 5 more RBIs last night in Baltimore's 9-5 win over the Twins. Davis is hitting .600 (9-for-15) with four home runs and 16 RBI. Chris torched WCL pitching for Kelowna in 2005.
Three Big Leaguers Who Pitched for WCL Teams Earn Opening Day MLB Wins
West Coast League alums went 3-for-3 in Opening Day appearances. Sunday night it was Bud Norris of the Astros who recorded a win vs. Texas. Yesterday, former Kelowna Falcon Jim Henderson of the Milwaukee Brewers collected an Opening Day win in relief at Miller Park as the Brewers beat Colorado 5-4 in 10 innings. And, today (4/2/2013) Orioles starter Jason Hammel, an alum of the Wenatchee AppleSox, earned a win in Baltimore's 7-4 victory at Tampa Bay. Henderson tossed a scoreless 10th with a strikeout and Hammel pitched six solid innings allowing three hits and 3 runs.
Rogues and HarbourCats Unveil Official Mascots
It's official, the Medford Rogues and Victoria HarbourCats have unveiled their first mascots - Rowdy and Harvey the Harbourcat. Rowdy was introduced at Lone Pine Elementary School in Medford while Harvey was introduced this past Thursday, March 28 at the Hotel Rialto in Victoria.
WCL Alum Bud Norris of Houston Tosses First Pitch of 2013 MLB Season; Earns Opening Night Win
The Astros tabbed ex-Aloha Knights star pitcher Bud Norris to start their home opener at Minute Maid Park versus the Texas Rangers on Sunday, March 31. Norris tossed the very first pitch of the MLB season in a game televised nationally on ESPN. Bud went 5.2 innings to earn the win as Houston beat Texas 8-2. (read more)
WCL Moves to Three Man Umpiring Crews
The West Coast League Supervisor of Umpires Tom Hiler announced that the WCL will move from 2-man umpiring crews to 3-man crews for the 2013 season. The change was made to further develop umpires in the region and improve officiating with the additional umpire. (read more)
Kelowna Falcons Name New Skipper
Kelowna, British Columbia native Geoff White is the new head coach of the Kelowna Falcons. White replaces Al Cantwell, who resigned following the season to devote more time to his family. White has spent the last five years developing the baseball program at Okanagan (B.C.) College. "Geoff certainly has the credentials with what he has done with the OC program", said Falcons' general manager Mark Nonis. "Not too often does a baseball mind like Geoff's come out of Kelowna, and we are lucky to have him in our own backyard." A former pitcher, White served briefly as a Falcons' assistant coach in 2005, and pitched professionally for Edmonton in the Northern League.
2013 West Coast League All-Star Game to be Played in Victoria, British Columbia
The West Coast League announced that the 2013 WCL All-Star Game will be hosted by the Victoria HarbourCats and played at Royal Athletic Park on July 23rd. "Victoria was an easy choice," said WCL president Ken Wilson. "Victoria is now the largest market in the league, a city with a rich baseball tradition, and already a great fan base." HarbourCats owner John McLean and general manager Holly Jones made the announcement, along with Victoria mayor Dean Fortin, and representatives from Tourist Victoria and SportHost Victoria.
It's The Rogues!
The West Coast League's newest team will be called the Medford Rogues. The selection followed a Name The Team Contest, and reflects Medford's geographical location in the Rogue Valley. The Rogues have also launched the offical team website, www.medfordrogues.com.
Klamath Falls Hires Head Coach
Mitch Karraker, currently assisting head coach George Horton at the University of Oregon, is the new skipper of the Klamath Falls Gems. "Mitch is energetic, knows the game, and has the contacts to bring in top college players to the Gems," said Gems' general manager Grant Wilson in making the announcement. Karraker, a Fresno, California native, played for the Ducks, and played in the West Coast League in 2010 with the Bend Elks. "I'm extremely excited to have the opportunity to coach the Gems," said Karraker.
Grant Wilson Named General Manager of the Klamath Falls Gems
Klamath Falls Gems owner Jerry Walker has named Grant Wilson the new general manager of the ball club. "Grant has been around baseball his entire life," said Walker. "He is passionate about the game, and his experience, especially in the West Coast League, puts us in a great position as a franchise to hit the ground running. He is a fabulous addition to our team." The 33-year-old Wilson spent the last three seasons as general manager of the WCL Cowlitz Black Bears. Prior to joining the Black Bears, Wilson worked for Walker as a senior account executive with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, Class A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants.
Victoria's West Coast League Team Unveils Nickname
The expansion Victoria team will be known as the HarbourCats. "We are excited to introduce the HarbourCats brand to the City of Victoria and to our fans," said general manager Holly Jones. "We feel the name fits well with the geography of the region, as it's a nod to the importance and beauty of Victoria's Inner Harbour. It also fits well with other team names in the West Coast League and Minor League Baseball in general." The team held a Name the Team Contest that saw fans make over 600 suggestions. The team also introduced their new website www.harbourcats.com.
Klamath Falls Gems Sold to Owner of Affiliated Team
Jerry and Lisa Walker of the San Francisco Giants Class A affiliate, the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes have purchased ownership of the Klamath Falls Gems. The transfer of the team and franchise from an ownership group comprised of various West Coast League executives and local owners will be immediate. "We are very excited about this opportunity. Klamath Falls and Kiger Stadium have a long and rich baseball tradition which we are proud to become a part of," stated Jerry Walker. The couple will retain their ownership in the Volcanoes. "The league is thrilled to welcome such experienced owners to the league," said West Coast League president Ken Wilson. "The community has fallen in love with the Gems, and everyone is looking forward to continued success in Klamath Falls."
Medford Names Head Coach for Inagural Season
Josh Hogan will be the first head coach for the expansion West Coast League team in Medford, Oregon. Hogan, an assistant coach at Lane Community College (OR), served as head coach of the Klamath Falls Gems last season. He played at the University of Oregon and for the Corvallis Knights of the WCL. Jeff Lyle, also an assistant at Lane CC, will serve as Hogan's pitching coach.
Veteran General Manager Accepts Post with New Medford Club
The West Coast League's newest team announced the hiring of its front office staff. Chuck Heeman will be the first general manager for the yet to be named Medford, Oregon team, while Mayra Heeman will fill the position of sales representative and administrative assistant, and Kyndra Miles will be a sales representative for the club. The Heemans join the organization after two seasons with the WCL's Klamath Falls Gems. The team is owned by CSH International, Inc., and will operate the team and Harry & David Field, home stadium for the team, on a full-time basis. The team also announced a "Name the Team" contest, presented by the Southern Oregon Media Group and the Mail-Tribune. Fans may enter the contest by visiting to www.mailtribune.com.
Dennis Rogers Named Coach of Expansion Victoria Club
The Victoria Baseball Club has named Dennis Rogers as head coach and Bob Miller as co-head coach. Rogers, head coach at Riverside CC (CA), has managed in the Pittsburgh Pirates and Oakland A's organizations. Miller, head coach at Cuesta College (CA), won three titles coaching in the Alaska League. "Dennis is respected as a great mentor and has sent many players to Division I programs and the major leagues," said team co-owner John McLean. The expansion team begins play next season.
Holly Jones Named General Manager of New WCL Team
The expansion Victoria, British Columbia team will join the West Coast League in 2013, and the club now has a general manager. Holly Jones will lead Victoria, which has also launched a "Name The Team Contest". Jones held marketing positions with JetBlue Airways, Creative Artists Agency, and the NBA in New York City before accepting her position with Victoria. She is a graduate of the University of Oregon, and started her career in sports with the Corvallis Knights. The August 21 press conference at Royal Athletic Park announcing Holly as the club's first GM got great media coverage including the feature story on that night's CTV News broadcast and a feature article in the Island Sports News.
Wenatchee Captures Fifth WCL Title Taking 2012 Championship Series in Three Games
The deciding game of the 2012 West Coast League Championship Series went to the Wenatchee AppleSox as they downed defending champion Corvallis, 8-3. The AppleSox won their fifth WCL crown by breaking a 3-3 tie in the second inning Saturday night in Wenatchee, rolling from there to the victory in the best-of-three series. It was the third time the AppleSox and Knights have battled in the Championship Series, with Wenatchee winning twice now. (read more)
West Edges East 3-2 in Exciting WCL All-Star Game at Borleske Stadium in Walla Walla, Washington
In a thriller at Borleske Stadium the West beat the East 3-2 behind outstanding pitching. Before a crowd of 2,006, Corvallis outfielder Connor Hofmann of Oregon earned WCL All-Star Game MVP honors going 3-for-4. And, the MLB Scouting Bureau named Cowlitz pitcher Taylor Williams of Mt. Hood CC and future UCLA Bruin southpaw Hunter Virant of Walla Walla co-Top Prospects of the All-Star Game as voted on by the MLB Scouts in attendance. (read more)