And on the same day two Victoria Eagles grads soared high: INF Kobe Morris of the Crowder Roughriders committed to play next fall with the Alabama Crimson Tide, while Nick Pivetta pitched the Philadelphia Phillies to a win over the Miami Marlins.
April 6, 2018
Victoria Eagles Grads Nick Pivetta and Kobe Morris Reaching New Heights
By Martin Winstanley
Victoria Eagles Baseball
The day Thursday, April 5, 2018 was a momentous one for two former Victoria Eagles players, Nick Pivetta and Kobe Morris.
Pivetta led the Philadelphia Phillies to 4-0 win over the Miami Marlins. In his outing, Pivetta threw 97 pitches over 5 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing just four hits. He struck out nine and got 15 swings-and-misses and 23 called strikes, setting a career high. He received a standing ovation from the appreciative Phillies fans as he walked off the field.
And on the same day, the top-ranked Crowder College Roughriders announced that INF Kobe Morris, their sophomore 3B/SS, committed to play the 2018-2019 season with NCAA Div. 1 SEC powerhouse, the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Pivetta’s journey to the majors began in Victoria, BC, where he was born in 1993. The young Pivetta started his career at Layritz Little League, playing there up until 12 years of age. In 2006, he began playing in the Greater Victoria program and was a member of the team that hosted the 2006 Baseball Canada Peewee Nationals. He helped lead the team to the final, where they fell short to a strong Quebec team, earning his first National medal, the first of many national medals to come.
After Peewee, Pivetta played on the 2007 Bantam AAA Bears and the 2008 Bantam AAA Vipers. His Bantam career ended with many accolades: a 2008 BC Summer Games Gold and a 2008 BC Provincial Championship. That year, Pivetta’s pitching had dominated the BC Bantam AAA league and helped lead the Bantam AAA Vipers to a National Championship in Quebec, avenging his Peewee team’s loss in 2006.
Victoria Eagle Nick Pivetta, one of the top pitchers on the inaugural Eagles Premier team Photo: Christian J. Stewart.
In 2010, Pivetta joined the inaugural season of the GVBA’s Premier Eagles in the BC Premier League. He played for the Victoria Eagles for the 2010 and 2011 seasons. During those years, he represented the Eagles twice on Team BC, earning gold at the Canada Cup in both appearances. He started twice for Team BC at the Canada Cup and won both games. On top of this, he was a member of the Junior National Canadian Team for the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
Upon graduating from the Victoria Premier Eagles in 2011, Pivetta was awarded a scholarship to play baseball at New Mexico Junior College. A pitching standout in his two years at New Mexico, he was poised to join the NCAA Division 1 New Mexico State Aggies. However, there were other plans for Pivetta. After his 2013 season, he was drafted in the fourth round by the Washington Nationals. In 2015, the Nationals traded Pivetta to the Phillies for Jonathan Papelbon. On April 30, 2017, Pivetta made his major league debut against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Like Pivetta, Kobe Morris was born in Victoria, BC, and played in the Victoria Eagles program. As a 13-year-old Bantam AAA Eagle, Morris’ hard work and extra practice time were motivated by a dream of one day playing NCAA Division 1 ball. As he progressed through the Eagles program, his coaches provided the opportunity for the hard-working teenager to sharpen his skills in preparation for college baseball.
And he certainly has competed. Morris enjoyed a stellar freshman season at Crowder hitting .384 with 15 doubles, three triples and nine homers. The Roughriders qualified for the 2017 JUCO World Series in Grand Junction, Col. and Morris was named to the all-tournament team.
The 2018 season has seen an even brighter performance from the sophomore for the Roughriders. In a 2-1 win over rival Seminole State College, Morris crushed two solo home runs to provide all the Roughrider offence for the win. Currently hitting .430 with 13 doubles, two triples, seven home runs and seven stolen bases. In all, he had 47 RBI’s, .551 OBP, and .744 slugging, Morris has progressed from being a supporting cast member on the best offense in Crowder history to being the key player on a 2018 team poised to break even more Roughrider records.
Travis Lallemand, head coach of the Roughriders, is not short on praise for Morris’s contributions to his squad’s 28-6 start.
“Kobe is one of the best players in the country and has been playing like it all year,” said Lallemand. “He is a versatile player and has been playing both short and third. He brings a lot to the table in team leadership and has been a great example for our freshman players.”
The years of hard work and dedication paid off when Morris’ dream to play for a NCAA Division 1 program was realized on April 5th with the announcement (http://crowderathletics.com/sports/bsb/index) that he had committed to play the 2018-2019 season with Alabama, a powerhouse playing in the Western Division of the SEC. The Crimson Tide leads the SEC in all-time wins with over 2,500 victories and trails only LSU for the most SEC regular season titles (13) and tournament championships (7).
The Crimson Tide have qualified for the NCAA World Series five times and have sent more than sixty players to the major leagues, the most in the SEC.
Pivetta and Morris started their baseball careers in small town Victoria, British Columbia as young ballplayers with big dreams.
Martin Winstanley, chairman of the Victoria Eagles, praised the way that the pair have succeeded,
Pivetta and Morris pursued their dreams with hard work, perseverance, and character. The Eagles are immensely proud of what they have already achieved in their careers. I’m confident there is a lot more success in store for these two Eagles.”