Former Kelowna Falcons Infielder Andrew Firth Named University of British Columbia Male Athlete of the Year
Canada's most-decorated athletics program, the UBC Thunderbirds, celebrated its best and brightest stars, both past and present, at the 93rd annual UBC Big Block Awards and Hall of Fame Banquet on April 1. Ex-Falcons' infielder Andrew Firth was honored earning the Bobby Gaul Memorial Trophy as UBC's graduating Male Athlete of the Year. (read more)
WCL Alums Power Big West Conference
The Big West featured three teams in Baseball America's Top 25 on Monday, March 24 - #5-ranked Cal Poly, #9-ranked Cal State Fullerton and #15-ranked UC Santa Barbara. All three teams are led by former WCLers and their aces all pitched in the WCL; Matt Imhof of Cal Poly (Walla Walla), Thomas Eshleman of Fullerton (Klamath) and Justin Jacome of UCSB (Medford). Read more about WCL alums excelling in the Big West by clicking here.
Washington Huskies Andrew Ely (Bellingham) and Brian Wolfe (Kelowna), Both WCL Alums, Earn Back-to-Back Pac-12 Player of the Week Honors
Former WCLers infielder Andrew Ely and outfielder Brian Wolfe of Washington have earned the past two Pac-12 Player of the Week honors. Ely played for the Bells in 2012 and Wolfe for the Falcons in 2010. The Huskies swept Arizona in their new home park March 21-23 to improve to 5-1 in the Pac-12. Wolfe went 9-for-16 with a homer versus the Wildcats. (read more)
Former Cowlitz Black Bears Pitcher Jeff Gold of Oregon Undefeated and in Spotlight.
Ex-Black Bears ace Jeff Gold of University of Oregon beat Utah 3-1 on Sunday, March 23 to improve his spring record to 6-0 and lower his ERA to 2.04. Gold pitched for Cowlitz in 2010 and 2011, earning first-team all-WCL honors in 2011. The senior was recently featured in The Oregonian in a story titled Oregon's Jeff Gold, a rapping college graduate, might be the key to the Ducks' success.
Valaika's are to Shortstops what Manning's are to Quarterbacks; Former AppleSox Pat Valaika Featured in Latest Issue of Sports Illustrated
Wenatchee AppleSox alum Pat Valaika was featured in the latest issue of SI in a story titled "Last of the Bros" by Lee Jenkins. Valaika led UCLA to a national title last spring and played for the Sox in the summer of 2011. He is one of four brothers that starred at short for Hart High in California. Check out the March 17, 2014 issue to read more.
Victoria Inks Multi-Year Sponsorship Deal with Sports Traders; HarbourCats to Start Play at Sports Traders Diamond at Royal Athletic Park in 2014
Royal Athletic Park is now Sports Traders Diamond at Royal Athletic Park. HarbourCats' GM Jim Swanson announced Victoria's extensive sponsorship arrangement with Sports Traders, which features park naming rights, on Wednesday, March 19. (read more)
Victoria HarbourCats, Victoria Baseball Association Team with Blue Jays to Host Super Camp in July
HarbourCats' GM Jim Swanson announced that Victoria has partnered with the Toronto Blue Jays of the American League to host a two-day youth camp, July 2-3, at Royal Athletic Park. The instructors feature five former Jays including Hall of Fame second baseman Roberto Alomar. (read more)
Yakima Valley Pippins to Take Field in 2014; Yakima Valley CC Head Coach Marcus McKimmy to Manage Pippins
The WCL's 12th team will be called the Pippins. Yakima's expansion club introduced their name and brand identity on Wednesday, December 18. The Pippins also announced that current Yakima Valley CC head coach Marcus McKimmy will skipper Yakima Valley in its inaugural WCL campaign. (check out the Pippins' logo)
West Coast League Tops 400,000 in Overall Attendance in 2013
The WCL released its overall total attendance figures for the 2013 season, and for the first time the league eclipsed the 400,000 mark by drawing 402,958 fans to WCL member team parks last summer. (read more)
Dennis Rogers and Bob Miller to Return as Co-Head Coaches of Victoria HarbourCats
New Victoria General Manager Jim Swanson announced that Victoria's coaching staff is returning for summer 2014. Riverside CC and Cuesta College skippers Dennis Rogers and Bob Miller, respectively, will continue as co-head coaches. Assistant coach Ben Jackson is also returning. (read more)
Victoria HarbourCats Name Jim Swanson New General Manager
HarbourCats' president John McLean announced the hiring of Jim Swanson as Victoria's new general manager. Swanson was Chair of the World Baseball Challenge, which was hosted at Citizen Field in Prince George, British Columbia in 2009, 2011 and 2013, featuring national teams from Cuba, the United States, Canada, Japan, Chinese-Tapei, Germany, the Bahamas and China. (read more)
Bellingham Announces Hiring of Jeff James to Manage Bells in 2014
Bells' GM Nick Caples announced the hiring of Seattle University volunteer assistant coach Jeff James to manage Bellingham in 2014. James will join pitching coaching and recruiting coordinator Jim Clem and assistant Dane Siegfried on the Bells' coaching staff. James was an assistant coach with Kelowna in 2010. (read more)
WCL Coach of the Year Brooke Knight of Corvallis to Manage Adelaide Bite of ABL
Adelaide of the MLB-affiliated Australian Baseball League recently hired Corvallis Knights skipper Brooke Knight to manage the Bite for the 2013/2014 season. Knight previously managed the Perth Heat to two ABL titles. (read more)
Marty Hunter of George Fox to Manage Bend Elks
Bend owner/gm Jim Richards announced the hiring of George Fox head coach Marty Hunter to manage the Elks in 2014. Hunter replaces Joe Dominiak as Bend's skipper. Ex-MLB pitcher Alan Embree and ex-OSU star Aaron Mathews return as assistant coaches. (read more)
Kelowna Introduces New Skipper, Billy Clontz to Manage Falcons in 2014
Kelowna general manager Mark Nonis announced the hiring of Billy Clontz of Ohlone College (CA) to manage the 2014 Falcons. Clontz, who was the head assistant coach of the Corvallis Knights last summer, replaces Geoff White. (read more)
West Coast League Re-Aligns, Moves to Three Divisions
The WCL is moving from two divisions (North and South) to three for the 2014 season. The South will feature Bend, Corvallis, Klamath Falls and Medford. The new East includes Kelowna, Walla Walla, Wenatchee and expansion Yakima while the new West is made up of Bellingham, Cowlitz, Kitsap and Victoria. (complete list)
Former WCL Southpaw James Paxton Makes MLB Debut for Seattle
Ex-Kelowna Falcons ace James Paxton of Kentucky made his MLB debut Saturday, September 7 for the Seattle Mariners. The Canadian lefty tossed six solid innings of one-run ball to earn the win in the Mariners' 6-2 victory over Tampa Bay at Safeco Field. Paxton pitched for the 2007 Falcons and went 3-5 with a 2.94 ERA.
Baseball America Posts WCL Top Ten Prospects List; Walla Walla
s Cody Poteet of UCLA Rated #1
Baseball America released its West Coast League top ten prospects list on Friday, September 6. Walla Walla right-hander Cody Poteet of UCLA was the national publication's pick as the league's top pro prospect. (read more)
Perfect Game Crosschecker Names Four WCLers All-America; Bellingham's Alex Calbick Earns First-Team All-America Honors
Four West Coast League players were named to PG Crosschecker's 2013 summer collegiate baseball all-America teams including first-team selection Bells' third baseman Alex Calbick of Maine, second-team all-America Corvallis outfielder Blake Drake of Concordia and third-team all-Americans AppleSox first baseman Connor Spencer of UC Irvine and Knights' pitcher Jorge Perez of Grand Canyon University. (read more)
All-WCL Teams Announced; Bellingham Slugger Alex Calbick of Maine Named WCL MVP
WCL president Dennis Koho released the West Coast League's award winners and All-WCL teams on Wednesday, August 21. Alex Calbick of Bellingham was named MVP. Klamath Falls Gems southpaw Nick Sabo of Long Beach State earned WCL Pitcher of the Year honors. Brooke Knight of Corvallis was the WCL's Coach of the Year pick and Victoria GM Holly Jones earned WCL Executive of the Year honors. The Bellingham Bells were the recipients of the Jim Dietz Sportsmanship Award. (read more)
Perfect Game Crosschecker Ranks Corvallis #3 in Final National Poll
The Corvallis Knights were ranked #3 in Perfect Game Crosschecker's final summer collegiate baseball national poll released on Tuesday, August 20. WCL North champion Walla Walla was ranked #41 in the nation and the Wenatchee AppleSox were ranked #50. (complete rankings)
Corvallis Knights Win Third WCL Title; Edge AppleSox in 1-0 Thriller
The Corvallis Knights swept Wenatchee two games to none by blanking the AppleSox 1-0 at Goss Stadium before a crowd of 1,224 to capture their third West Coast League crown. Knights' starter Jorge Perez of Grand Canyon tossed a two-hit shutout to out-duel Sox southpaw Trevor Lubking of Pacific Lutheran who only allowed two hits and one run. Perez was masterful walking none and striking out 6 in a game that lasted only 1 hour and 28 minutes. The Knights (46-17, 37-17) finished the season on a 14-game win streak and 21-game home win streak. (read more)
Bend Elks Lead WCL in Attendance
The Bend Elks topped the expansion Victoria HarbourCats to lead the West Coast League in attendance for 2013. The Elks drew 40,920 fans to Vince Genna Stadium for WCL games this past summer for a per game average of 1,574. In their inaugural season, Victoria was a close second in total attendance as the HarbourCats drew 38,793 fans to Royal Athletic Park for a per game average of 1,437. And the Cats smashed the single-game attendance mark with its WCL All-Star Game crowd of 4,210.
Bellingham Third Baseman Alex Calbick of Maine Captures WCL Batting Crown
Bells all-star Alex Calbick of Maine captured the WCL batting crown by hitting .384 this summer. Other league leaders included Bend's Derek Dixon of George Fox who led the WCL in RBIs with 37 and Klamath slugger Cody Hough of UC Riverside in home runs with 8. Corvallis southpaw Elliot Surrey of UC Irvine posted the WCL's lowest ERA at 1.27 and his teammate Grant Melker of San Diego led the West Coast League in stolen bases with 26. Gems' ace Nick Sabo of Long Beach State led the league in wins (6) and strikeouts (57), and Walla Walla closer Sean-Luke Brija topped all relievers in saves with 13.
Kitsap BlueJackets Ace Spenser Watkins of Western Oregon Twirls Perfect Game
Right-hander Spenser Watkins of Western Oregon tossed a perfect game Friday, July 26 vs. Victoria at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds as the BlueJackets stung the HarbourCats 2-0. It was the first perfect game thrown in the WCL, which was established in 2005. Watkins, who pitched a scoreless inning Tuesday in the WCL All-Star Game, struck out 10 and lowered his ERA to 3.05 over 7 starts. (box)
South Beats North 7-5 Before Record Crowd of 4,210 at Royal Athletic Park in Victoria at the 2013 WCL All-Star Game
The South edged the North 7-5 at the 2013 WCL All-Star Game at Royal Athletic Park. UCLA starter Cody Poteet of the Walla Walla Sweets was voted the All-Star Game's top prospect by MLB scouts. Lewis-Clark State outfielder Kyle Knigge of the Cowlitz Black Bears was named the ASG's MVP. Knigge went 2-for-3 with a double and 2 RBIs.
Victoria Breaks Single-Game Attendance Record at All-Star Game
The expansion HarbourCats drew a WCL All-Star Game and single-game record crowd of 4,210 on Tuesday, July 23rd at Royal Athletic Park. This mark breaks the previous records held by the Corvallis Knights (2011 All-Star Game, 2,517) and Klamath Falls Gems (July 22, 2011 regular-season game, 4,156).
Klamath Falls Gems Slugger Cody Hough of UC Riverside Wins 2013 WCL All-Star Game Home Run Derby
In an all UC Riverside final, Cody Hough edged his spring teammate Kevin Davidson of the Medford Rogues to win the ASG HR Derby at Royal Athletic Park in Victoria. Hough, Davidson, Bend's Turner Gill of Portland and Wenatchee's Andre Real of Hawaii advanced to the semi-finals.
League President Dennis Koho Talks About Future Plans
New WCL President Dennis Koho visited the local Bellingham Bells radio station and discussed his new role and future plans for the league. (read more)
WCL Alum Michael Aquino 2013 TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby Winner
Former Bellingham Bells player (2011) Michael Aquino of Rice University won the 2013 TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby. The event was televised live on ESPN on July 4th in front of 23,731 people. (read more)
Ex-Kelowna Falcons Slugger Chris Davis Baltimore Top MLB All-Star Game Vote Getter
West Coast League alum Chris Davis of the Orioles was the top MLB All-Star Game vote getter. Davis garned 8,272,243 votes. He will start at first base for the American League at the 2013 All-Star Game on July 16th at Citi Field in New York. Chris starred for Kelowna in 2005. He is currently hitting .324 with 33 home runs and 85 RBIs. (read more)
The West Coast League Appoints New President
The Board of Directors of the West Coast League announce the appointment of Dennis Koho as league president. (read more)
WCL Alums Power UCLA to National Championship
Former Wenatchee AppleSox led UCLA to a sweep of Mississipi State in the best-of-three CWS finals. In game one, Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Pat Valaika knocked in the game-winner in the first with a RBI single and right fielder Eric Filia, another former AppleSox, increased UCLA's lead to 3-0 with a two-run single in the fourth. Ex-Wenatchee pitchers James Kaprielian and Zach Weiss held the Bulldogs at bay relieving Adam Plutko and making way for All-American David Berg to set the NCAA DI saves record. In game two, Eric Filia drove in 5 runs as the Bruins stomped MSU 8-0 to go 10-0 in the post-season. (read more)
Victoria Sets WCL Opening Night Attendance Record
The expansion HarbourCats drew a West Coast League Opening Night record crowd of 3,026 on Wednesday, June 5 at Royal Athletic Park. Victoria beat Kelowna 8-6 in the team's first WCL game.
Five WCL Alums Earn Louisville Slugger All-America Honors; Eight ex-WCLers Named All-Pac-12
Five WCL alums earned spots on the Louisville Slugger All-America teams as announced by Collegiate Baseball News May 30, 2013 including first-team pick Thomas Eshelman of Cal State Fullerton (Klamath Falls), second-team selection Jimmie Sherfy of Oregon (Corvallis), and third-team selections Matt Boyd of Oregon State (Corvallis), Taylor Sparks of UC Irvine (Wenatchee) and Marco Gonzales of Gonzaga (Wenatchee). (read more)
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)
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.
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)
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."