Pitcher Adam Loewen in action with Round Rock Express, a Minor League Baseball team located in Texas, as pictured with a story posted to hillcountrynews.com.

Pitcher Adam Loewen in action with Round Rock Express, a Minor League Baseball team located in Texas, as pictured with a story posted to hillcountrynews.com.

Surrey’s Loewen to pitch for Canada at Pan Am Games qualifier tourney in Brazil

Baseball Canada announced 24-man roster Wednesday

Surrey-raised pitcher Adam Loewen is among baseball players named to Canada’s roster for a Pan Am Games qualifying tournament in Brazil.

Twenty-four players will rep the nation from Jan. 29 to Feb. 3 in the cities of Ibiúna and São Paulo, Baseball Canada announced Wednesday (Jan. 9).

In addition to Canada, the eight-team field includes host Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Venezuela, with the top four teams gaining entry into the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.

Loewen, a lefty, has had a three-stage pro career, converting from full-time pitcher to full-time position player and back to full-time pitcher. Since 2006, he has played for Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies and Arizona Diamondbacks.

In 2017, Loewen pitched for the Round Rock Express, a Minor League Baseball team in Texas, and last June signed with the New Britain Bees of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. He became a free agent following the 2018 season, according to his Wikipedia page.

This month, Loewen, 34, is among seven Team Canada players with big-league experience, including fellow pitchers Phillippe Aumont, Chris Leroux, Dustin Molleken and Scott Richmond, and outfielders Dalton Pompey and Michael Saunders.

In addition to Loewen, other roster players with B.C. roots include pitchers Jared Mortensen (Abbotsford) and Richmond (Vancouver), catchers Kellin Deglan (Langley) and Dustin Houle (Penticton), infielder Wes Darvill (Richmond) and Saunders (Victoria).

Former MLB catcher Ernie Whitt returns to manage the national team for a 15th time, and will be joined by a veteran coaching staff that includes Larry Walker, Denis Boucher, Paul Quantrill, Tim Leiper and Greg Hamilton.

“It’s always an honour to coach Team Canada,” Whitt said in a release posted to Baseball Canada’s website. “I’m looking forward to working with our coaching staff and this talented group of players with the goal of qualifying for the Pan Am Games.”

The team will gather for a four-day training camp in West Palm Beach, Florida, starting on Jan. 22. Canada will open the qualifier on Jan. 29 against Panama before taking on Venezuela on Jan. 30 and Colombia on Jan. 31. Semifinal and medal games are scheduled for Feb. 2 and 3, respectively.

• RELATED STORIES:

Surrey’s Adam Loewen pitching a potential comeback, from 2014.

Looking back at Canadians picked in first round of MLB drafts, from 2018.

Canada’s roster for the Pan Am Games Qualifying Tournament:

Pitchers

Phillippe Aumont (Gatineau, QC)

Andrew Case (Saint John, NB)

Jay Johnson (Sussex Corner, NB)

Ryan Kellogg (Whitby, ON)

Chris Leroux (Mississauga, ON)

Adam Loewen (Surrey, BC)

Dustin Molleken (Regina, SK)

Jared Mortensen (Abbotsford, BC)

Jasvir Rakkar (Brampton, ON)

Dylan Rheault (Garson, ON)

Scott Richmond (Vancouver, BC)

Evan Rutckyj (Windsor, ON)

Catchers

Kellin Deglan (Langley, BC)

Dustin Houle (Penticton, BC)

Andy Yerzy (Toronto, ON)

Infielders

Wes Darvill (Richmond, BC)

Jesse Hodges (Victoria, BC)

Otto Lopez (Montréal, QC)

Daniel Pinero (Toronto, ON)

Eric Wood (Oshawa, ON)

Outfielders

Dalton Pompey (Mississauga, ON)

Tristan Pompey (Mississauga, ON)

Jacob Robson (Windsor, ON)

Michael Saunders (Victoria, BC)

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