More pitching — namely more lefty pitching — and speed on the basepaths.
The latest round of finalized roster players for the 2023 Nanaimo NightOwls includes left-handed pitchers Hayden Cuthbertson of Parksville, along with Conner Gleissner of Cal State-San Marcos and Lucas Hines of Golden West College, and returning right-handers Seth Gurr, a Nanaimoan, and Cooper Littledike, a Utah product at College of Southern Idaho back for a second summer as a NightOwl.
“(Pitching coach) Gorm (Heimueller) likes this announcement, I’ll tell you that,” said GM Jim Swanson. “Arms with velocity and pitchability make him smile. Gurr and Littledike showed they can get WCL hitters out last year, when they stick to the program, and the lefties will help us at Serauxmen Stadium, with the right-field monster and how it is part of play.
“Adding versatile offensive guys in Niko Diaz and Drew Dalton, strong defensive players, will only make the pitching staff even better.”
Diaz is an on-base machine for San Marcos and started every game so far this season for the Cougars. Dalton, who had a hand injury, returned to his spot at shortstop and leadoff late in the season at Cumberland (.327, three home runs), where he was a teammate with local infielder Tim Holyk.
Hines has 27 strikeouts in 18 innings this season, while Gleissner (11 starts) is a rotation mainstay at San Marcos. Cuthbertson (18 strikeouts in 12.2 innings) and Gurr (6-0 in 11 starts) both pitched at Bossier Parrish this spring, with Gurr named second team all-conference. Littledike (15 Ks in 9.2 innings this spring) was 1-3 in seven starts for the NightOwls in 2022.