Author: Larry Read
KAMLOOPS BC—It was a noteworthy weekend for the Kamloops NorthPaws.
The NorthPaws finally got into the win column in the West Coast Baseball League. It took them six games to do it, but the North Paws won a game. They did it against the six-time league champion Corvallis Knights. Friday night (June 9), the Paws shutout the Knights 1-0.
They then did something they have done only twice before since entering the league: that was play a doubleheader. After being rained out Saturday (June 10), the Paws and Corvallis played a ‘double dip’ on Sunday (June 11) playing a pair of seven inning affairs.
The first game saw a brilliant pitching performance from Hayden Walker propel Kamloops to a 2-0 victory. The night cap saw the Knights shutout Kamloops 9-0 as they hammered out 15 hits and scored six runs in the sixth inning.
Kamloops moves to 2-7 on the year while Corvallis is 6-3.
The NorthPaws hit the road now for three games in Edmonton against the Riverhawks. The set begins June 13th at ReMax field. The Knights are off until June 15th when they begin a nine game homestand with a trio of contests against the Bend Elks. Three of those home games will be against the NorthPaws. They will hook up beginning June 24th.
All West Coast League games are available via their website: https://wcleague.watch.pixellot.tv/
The Paws played two doubleheaders in their inaugural West Coast League season. All of them were on Dearborn Ford Field at Norbrock Stadium. June 2, 2022, Kamloops swept the Edmonton RiverHawks 8-7 and 4-3. On July 23, 2022, they split with the Nanaimo Night Owls. They lost the opener 8-0 but won the nightcap 8-7.
Friday, June 9, 2023-Kamloops NorthPaws 1 Corvallis Knights 0
526 people were on hand to see the NorthPaws notch their first win of the young season. All the scoring was done in the first inning. Tommy Green (Courtenay, BC) singled to start the inning. He scored on an RBI triple off the bat of third baseman Drew Giannini (Tracy, CA). Giannini was one for three at the plate. Green was one for four.
Griffin Almond (Thornbury, ON) made his second start of the year and went six innings for the win. Almond surrendered two hits, walked one and struck out three. Kolby Lukinchuk (Prince George, BC) earned the save in one inning of work. He was the fourth pitcher of the game for Kamloops.
Lefty Merit Jones (Idaho Falls, ID) struck out eight and had two walks in five innings of work. He was the losing pitcher. Tyler Quinn (Mililani, HIJ), Tyler Howard (Vancouver, WA) and Ty Yukumoto (Waipahu, HI) were all one for four at the dish for the Knights. They fell to 5-2 on the year with the setback.
Link to Scoresheet: http://baseball.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=598108
Sunday, June 11, 2023-Game 1-Kamloops NorthPaws 2 Corvallis Knights 0
The first game of the doubleheader saw a brilliant pitching performance from lefthander Hayden Walker (Corrales, NM). Walker, who transferred to New Mexico State this year after two seasons at Pepperdine threw 90 pitches over six innings. He had seven strikeouts, gave up four hits and walked one for his first victory of the year. Noah Louw (Chelon, WA) came on in the seventh to earn the save as he struck out three.
The Knights were threatening in the top of the seventh with two men on before Louw struck out the side.
Both Kamloops runs were scored in the fifth inning. Catcher Joey Adge (Parker, CO) walked and scored on a wild pitch delivered by Knights losing pitcher Neil Feist (Torrance, CA). The other Kamloops run was scored by Landon Clark who was hit by a pitch and plated on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Drew Giannini.
Stanley Schoppe (Tigard, OE) and Johnathan Stone (Roseberg, OE) were both one for three.
Kamloops had only one hit in the ball game. That came from Tommy Green (Courtenay, BC). He singled in the third inning.
Link to Scoresheet: http://baseball.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=601168
Sunday, June 11, 2023-Game 2-Corvallis Knights 9 Kamloops NorthPaws 0
The Knights had a 3-0 lead until the sixth inning when they scored six runs on five hits. Corvallis was led offensively by right fielder Sam Stern (Erie, CO) who was four for five with an RBI and two runs scored. Third baseman Tyler Quinn (Mililani, HI) who was two for five with two runs scored. Catcher Tyler Howard (Vancouver, WA) was three for four with three RBI. JC Ing (Foster City, OE) was one for three with two runs batted in and a run scored.
Ethan Collins (Rossmoor, CA) went three innings for the win. He gave up one hit, struck out four and walked three. Wyatt Hardy (Parker, CO) went the first two and two thirds’ innings and was tagged with the loss. He gave up three runs on seven hits, with two strikeouts and two walks.
Catcher Joey Aldge was the only NorthPaw to garner a hit. The Parker Colorado backstop is hitting .350 for the season.
Link to Scoresheet: http://baseball.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=598110
NORTH AWS HEAD COACH KEITH FRANCIS:
“If you would have told me Thursday night that ‘Hey Keith..you were only going to get five hits this weekend total between three games but you were going to win two out of three, I would have said you were out of your mind. It was impossible. But that was the case. Our pitching was outstanding the first two nights. It struggled a bit today in the third game. We have some issues at the plate which we have to get worked out. I don’t have a magical answer. We have to start hitting the ball. We can’t win games with five hits over a weekend.”
On pulling Hayden Walker in game two after six innings (of a seven-inning contest):
“ There was some thought of having him pitch a complete game. But when I asked how many pitches he threw and found it was 91, he was done for the day. He has a career ahead of him and this is a long season. It was a short-lived consideration.”
NORTHPAWS PITCHER HAYDEN WALKER:
“It was a good performance by the team all around (when asked about the win in game two). I got the win which was nice. Joey Adge did a great job behind the plate for me getting some throw downs. Today my fastball and changeup were going well. I was able to locate the fastball on both sides of the plate which helped a ton.”
On chemistry with a new catcher:
“It hard to build a relationship super quick. I think we both know we can trust each other with whatever we need to do on the field. It helps us out a lot.
NORTHPAWS CATCHER JOEY ADGE:
“It was a pretty good weekend getting two victories. I thought we could have got more hits but I thought our pitching was great which helped us out a lot.”
On Hayden Walker’s six inning victory in game two:
“He had great command of his three pitches. He pitched with a lot of confidence and was a pleasure to catch.
NEXT UP FOR THE NORTHPAWS:
The NorthPaws and Edmonton Riverhawks will square off at ReMax Field in Edmonton starting Tuesday June 13th. In 2022, These teams met four times with Kamloops sweeping a series at home in early June (8-7,4-3,1-0). The Riverhawks beat the NorthPaws when the teams met in Edmonton. The score was 12-3 on July 26th.
Their next home series will be Friday June 16 th when the Port Angeles Lefties will venture onto Dearborn Field at Norbrock Stadium. Kamloops took four of six games against the Lefties last year including 6-5 and 7-4 at home. They were played June 24-25, 2022.
PLAYERS TO WATCH ON THE RIVERHAWKS:
Tom Poole – 1B/3B – Dallas Baptist University, not quite with the team as DBU made a push at regionals
KJ Ward – RHP – Park University Gilbert
Jonny McGill – OF – University of British Columbia
Jack Wheatley – MIF – Liberty University
Kelly Corl – MIF – Niagara University.
If you can’t make the home games, they are all webcast on https://wcleague.watch.pixellot.tv/ . Some home games will also be shown on Shaw TV in Kamloops (Cable 10 or 105 with Blue Curve).
The Molson’s Tailgate Party is hoppin’ before every NorthPaws home game. It runs Tuesday through Saturday 5-630 PM. The Party runs Sundays noon-1 PM. Hotdogs and a Pilsner are sold for $ 12.00 plus tax.
For “Everything NorthPaws-Go to the website : https://www.northpawsbaseball.ca/ “
Kamloops North Paws tickets: email@example.com
West Coast League: westcoastleague.com.