HarbourCats Steal Series from AppleSox

HarbourCats HeadOnly

Story and Images by Erich Eichhhorn (ISN)

July 21, 2013 Victoria, BC (ISN) – On the eve of the last game prior to the West Coast Baseball League’s Allstar break, the Victoria HarbourCats look to be in fine form as they beat the North Division leading Wenatchee AppleSox 6-5.

The HarbourCats, even in their series with the AppleSox, looked to take the series rubber match during Sunday’s matinee game in front of 1208 fans at Royal Athletic Park. The Cats sent allstar RHP Ty Provencher to the mound to battle the AppleSox’s Davis Engle. Engle, coming into the game with a two game winning streak under his cap would seem to struggle right out of the dugout, giving up a three run homer in the first inning to the bat of Cat’s third baseman Dylan LaVelle to give his HarbourCats a 3-0 lead early. The Cats would tag Engle for one more run before the end of the first inning making 4-0 for the home team on three hits.

Cats Dylan LaVelle celebrates his first inning homerun. LaVelle batted in tow other teammates to take an early 3-0 lead – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

Allstar short stop Alex Degoti guns down the runner to first base during Sunday matinee action against the Wenatchee AppleSox – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

Cats Ty Provencher, looked to be in allstar form despite a two game loosing skid, helping keep the AppleSox from rounding the bases. The stingy pitcher from Long Beach, California would give up only one hit over the first four innings pitched.

The AppleSox found their bats in the fifth inning to explode for three runs to cut the Cats lead in half, and close the lead further in the eighth to make it a one run game – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.cam )

Starting pitcher for the AppleSox, Davis Engle, would have his two game winning streak broken in the loss to the Harbour Cats Sunday – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca ) 

The AppleSox would find a solution to Provencher in the top of the fifth inning on a lead off home run blast to right field by second baseman Andre Real. HabourCats Provencher perhaps feeling the pressure, would start to loosing control of his pitch placement as the AppleSox would mount a comeback on four hits for two more scored runs by Stockton Taylor and Eric Hutting to cut the lead to 6-3.

Allstar pitcher Ty Provencher would be denied the complete game, but got the win Sunday in a close game against the North Division leading Wenatchee AppleSox – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

Allstar Alex Real makes “real” contact off the end of his bat for the hit – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca ) 

The HarbourCats sticks would fall silent in the last half of the game. After jumping out to a commanding lead early, it would appear that the AppleSox found something in their tank to put the pressure on Provencher and the Cats. AppleSox pitcher Engle would be relieved by Houston Hibberd in the top of the 7th inning after giving up six runs on ten hits. The HarbourCats Provencher, although putting in a valiant effort, would be no match for the visiting team as he would be tagged with two more runs by the suddenly hot-batting AppleSox to make a game of it, pulling to within one run in the top of the ninth.

Third baseman Dylan LaVelle scoops up this ball, throwing off balance to get the out at first base – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

Provencher would be denied the complete game, much to the displeasure of a vocal home crowd, being pulled after throwing a strike three swing that was dropped by allstar teammate Alex Real on a 2-3 pitch. Real did well to recover the ball and throw out Eric Hutting at first base. Cats Cameron Cuneo, throwing left handed, would step in for Provencher, shutting down the visiting Wenatchee AppleSox and give the home team a narrow 6-5 win.

Alex Degoti of the Harbour Cats fields the ball during game action Sunday at RAP against the AppleSox – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

Fielder Austin Russell gets all wood on this ball – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca

When asked post game about his role coming into today’s game and the pressure of needing the win Provencher would comment, “We tied the series up and we, I, have to win. The pressure comes from nobody else but myself. I do put a lot of pressure on myself, especially in the last inning.” Asked to rate his teams’ performance at the half way mark of the season, Provencher would add, “We’ve been up and down. I feel like most of the losses we have, we beat ourselves. We’re a good team, we’re a young team, and we’re very resilient and we’re on the right track now.”

A few Cats find some time for a little levity in an otherwise tight affair Sunday against the Wenatchee AppleSox – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )

The HarbourCats will be sending five players to represent the team at the Allstar Game being held at RAP July 23rd, at 7:00 pm. Those players include 1st base – Alex Real, SS – Alex DeGoti, OF – Austin Russell, Pitcher – Scott Kuminsky, and Pitcher – Ty Provencher.

The HarbourCats have the distinction of being the first team to host the Allstar Game in their inaugural season in West Coast League history.