KELOWNA, B.C. — Aidan Russell was untouchable, Hsu He-Chieh (we call him Shaq) was unstoppable.

After a smooth trip to Kelowna on Friday, the Nanaimo NightOwls got off to strong start to the franchise’s third West Coast League season with a well-pitched 7-0 victory over the Kelowna Falcons, in the lid-lifter for both clubs.

Russell, a right-hander from San Diego State, fanned six and gave up just one hit in five innings. David Stewart (University of Mary), followed him with one hit allowed in three innings. Kurt Felix (Cal Poly SLO) a catcher who is no stranger to pitching as well, had a spotless ninth to end the night.

Hsu, the team’s first Taiwanese player along with pitcher Li Sih-te (both from Fu Jen Catholic University) was dynamite not only at second base, but the lead off hitter was a force on the basepaths with three stolen bases and some key baserunning plays that extended innings. He was 3-5, as was first baseman David Draayers (UBC).


Catcher Clark Spring’s smart baserunning was a key part of getting an early lead.

The Greg Frady-coached NightOwls stick around in the Little Apple for two more days, playing Saturday night and Sunday afternoon against the Falcons.

The home opener for the ‘Owls is slated for Tuesday, June 4 at Serauxmen against the Cowlitz Black Bears, the first ever visit to Nanaimo by the team now coached by 14-year MLB player Kelly Stinnett.

The NightOwls will announce Monday they will unveil First Nations jerseys sporting the outstanding logo designed by Snuneymuxw artist Noel Brown, sponsored by the Kwumut Lelum Foundation — with all team season ticket holders receiving a special surprise gift this week related to that. Being a season ticket holder has its perks!


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