A former White Rock Tritons star is heading to Kamloops to suit up for the West Coast League’s newest baseball team.
Tate Dearing, a six-foot-two right-handed pitcher who played for the Tritons in 2017 before moving to the Langley Blaze for the following BC Premier Baseball League season, has signed with the Kamloops NorthPaws of the WCL, the team announced last week.
Dearing also has experience pitching with Canada’s national junior team, and has pitched at the college level with both Douglas College and at Polk State College in Florida.
He expected to play in 2021 for Georgia Gwinnett College in Lawrenceville, Ga., but opted to remain closer to home amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Tate is a guy who figures into our starting rotation. He’s a great competitor and is able to get guys out in multiple ways,” Kamloops head coach Cole Armstrong, who played a decade of pro ball before turning to coaching, said in a news release.
“He’s been on the big stage with the junior national team and at a powerhouse junior college program. He’s battle-tested and hungry for an opportunity like this one.”
The WCL is a collegiate summer league, and is made up of teams in Washington, Oregon and B.C.
Dearing brings a five-pitch repertoire to the NorthPaws: a four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, a curve, slider and circle changeup.
“I’m not the kind of guy who’s going to come in, light up the radar gun and blow it by you at 95 or 96 so I have to take a step back and get crafty,” he said. “I utilize a lot of off-speed pitches and keep pitchers relatively off balance.”
When the NorthPaws take to the field for the first time later this year, Dearing will be one of only a few players with previous WCL experience; he played five games for the Bellingham Bells in 2019.
By joining the WCL, Dearing is the latest in a long line of Surrey and White Rock connections to the popular summer baseball circuit.
His new coach, Armstrong, is a South Surrey native who played for the North Delta Blue Jays and Whalley Chiefs, and Liam Rihela, another former Triton, is also on the NorthPaws roster. As well, White Rock’s Claire Eccles made history in 2017 by becoming the first female player in league history when she suited up for the Victoria HarbourCats, and the Bellingham franchise is owned by White Rock’s Glenn Kirkpatrick, who is also past-president of the White Rock-South Surrey Baseball Association.