HarbourCats Mauled by Black Bears

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Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

June 11, 2014, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Cowlitz Black Bears atoned in a big way for their 6-5 extra-inning loss to the Victoria HarbourCats on Tuesday, pounding out 11 runs and 9 hits one night later, as they defeated the HarbourCats 11-4 in West Coast League action Wednesday at Sports Traders Diamond at Royal Athletic Park in Victoria.

This was a common site Wednesday as the Black Bears had eleven runners cross home plate, including here, second baseman Cooper Mickelson  (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Bears jumped out to the lead early, scoring a pair of runs in the top of the first off HarbourCats starter Andrew Nelson, added another five off of Nelson in the fourth and four more off reliever Quintin Torres-Costa in the fifth. After that, four different Victoria pitchers were able to limit the Black Bears to just a single hit over the remaining four innings, but it was too little too late and the ‘Cats offence could not recover.

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Victoria starter Andrew Nelson did not fare too well in his first HarbourCats start, giving up 4 earned runs on 5 hits in just 3 and 2/3 innings of work (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The HarbourCats did squeak out a run off Cowlitz starter Billy Sahlinger in the bottom of the second, courtesy of a single by Wyler Smith and an RBI double from Bryce Greager, but other than that, Sahlinger was able to hold the ‘Cats off the board until the bottom of the seventh inning, when singles from Greager (his third hit of the game) and Alan Baldwin and a 2-RBI single from Sean Watkins cut the lead to 11-3.

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Cowlitz starter Billy Sahlinger would give up 10 hits but would only surrender 3 runs over 7 innings of work to get the win Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The HarbourCats would get one more off reliever Kohl Hostert in the bottom of the ninth when Alex DeGoti would end the night on a high note, smacking a solo home run for his third hit of the game to make the final 11-4.

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Alex DeGoti had a strong night offensively for the HarbourCats with 3 hits including his first home run of the season (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

For the Black Bears, their offence was distributed evenly through the line-up as four different players – Ryan Aguilar, Daniel Orr, Casey Worden and Trevor Lane – each had a pair of RBIs, with Aguilar and Lane both having multi-hit evenings.

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Cowlitz’s Trevor Lane had a pair of hits and a pair of RBIs to help pace the Black Bear’s attack (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Offensively for the HarbourCats, who actually out-hit Cowlitz 12-9, DeGoti and Greager’s three hits each led the way, with Danny Collier chipping in a pair.

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Victoria’s Bryce Greager would have a 3 hit evening including an RBI double in the second inning (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

On the hill, Sahlinger finished the night for Cowlitz with seven innings of work, giving up the three runs on ten scattered hits, with two walks and two strikeouts. Nelson takes the loss for the ‘Cats, going just 3 and 2/3 innings and giving up the seven runs on five hits and five walks.

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Although he was out on the play, Victoria baserunner Alan Baldwin did his job, sliding hard into Cowlitz second baseman Cooper Mickleson to disrupt the double-play (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Out of the bullpen, pitchers Preston Ryan, Jake McAdams, Brandon Feldman and Dylan Stowell were the four who shut the Black Bears down after the fifth, with McAdams giving up the only hit.

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Victoria reliever Preston Ryan was one of 4 HarbourCats hurlers to throw a scoreless inning Wednesday night (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Black Bears win sets up a rubber match for the series on Thursday night as Victoria will send Mikey Wright to the mound. Jake Korn is anticipated to start for Cowlitz.  Game time 7:11 pm.

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Cowlitz third base coach Scott Zine fell prey to the old bubble gum on the helmet prank from his teammates late in the game on Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

GAME NOTES: HarbourCats outfielder Darren Honeysett is the first major injury of the year, having fallen during warm-ups Tuesday and fracturing a bone in his hand. He was sporting a new cast Wednesday night and is expected to have to miss 4-6 weeks. Hot hitter Nathan Lukes was also out of the line-up Wednesday. Victoria’s Kelly Norris-Jones started behind the dish and played the full game. Reliever Brandon Feldman threw just 6 pitches in his 1-2-3 seventh inning. Attendance was 752.

Find more Victoria HarbourCats game action imagery from Christian J. Stewart at www.christianjstewart.zenfolio.com/harbourcats 
Follow Christian J. Stewart on Twitter @cjs_photography and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/christianjstewartphotography

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