Story by HarbourCats Media – Photos by Erich Eichhorn (ISN)
June 7, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – If there’s one thing fans will learn about the Victoria HarbourCats in the early going of the season, it’s that this team has endless amounts of fight working to its advantage.
That fight was most recently put on display by an Alex Degoti solo home run in the bottom of the 8th to break a 2-2 tie and propel Victoria to a 4-2 win Thursday night at Royal Athletic Park.
Cats #16 Zach Storm, playing third base, narrowly misses the tag out on the Falcons runner, but makes contact for good effort – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Habour Cats David Schuknecht, a sophmore from Palm Desert, stands in waiting to turn on the right pitch – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
“I knew he was going to come after me because he started me with a slider that missed away and I knew he was going to come with a fastball there so I was just gearing up for a fastball,” said DeGoti.
Cats Catcher David Schuknecht swings for a close miss as the bottom drops out of a nasty Flacons pitch Thursday night in game two of three at RAP . The Cats would win 4-2 with a surge late in the game – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Victoria Habour Cats Alex DeGoti has to climb a ladder to prevent an error on a throw out at second base. The Falcons runner would safely steal second base – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
For the 2nd straight night, Kelowna scored in the first inning, this time courtesy of a Grayson Porter RBI single. Victoria responded with an unearned run in the 4th, and then took the lead in the 6th on an RBI single by Chris Lewis, who also added a sacrifice fly in the decisive 8th inning.
Hometown product, Connor Russell got the starting nod in game two Thursday night against the Kelowna Falcons. Russell would pitch 7.1 innings for a 1.23 ERA – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Harbour Cats Connor Russell keeps his eye on the Falcons batter and his catcher as he winds up to send the ball to the plate – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Kelowna picked up an unearned run of their own in the top of the 7th after a pair of throwing errors, but starter Connor Russell settled back in and stranded the potential go-ahead run at 3rd base. Russell tallied 7.1 innings, allowing 4 hits, 2 runs(1 earned), 2 walks and 6 strikeouts.
Harbour Cats Zach Storm lays down a sacrifice bunt in the seventh inning – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Cats DH and hometown player Ty Russell couldn’t get ahold of this pitch swinging high on the ball – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Cats first baseman Chris Lewis, playing shallow in field tags out the Falcons runner before he can get to first base. Lewis would also go 2-3 from the plate, hitting .429 for a YTD average over two games – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Now at 2-0, both wins coming by 2 runs, the team is starting to feel a vibe, a lot of which is generated by the loyal hometown crowd.
“We all know collectively as a team that no one’s going to come into our house and beat us here, so we’re just trying to go out there and try to win every game,” said Degoti. “All of us just want to come out here and play even better just because of all these fans and how they react to us.”
In the last two days, a number of firsts have been recorded: the first pitch, hit, run, win and now series win. Tomorrow’s an opportunity for another first as the HarbourCats aim for sweep number one in their short history.