June 16,2014(ISN) – The Victoria HarbourCats have won two series in a row, and three of their past four, going into a key early-season home-field series against the Bellingham Bells.
The HarbourCats dropped a 7-6 game in Bend to the Elks on Sunday night, after holding a 5-0 lead early in the game. A rough bottom of the fifth inning, surrendering five runs, set the stage for Bend to score in the eighth inning to take their first lead of the series.
The HarbourCats are now 5-4, and Bend is 3-7.
A two-run double by Hunter Mercado-Hood in the first inning gave starting pitcher Tim Peabody runs to work with, but he struggled with control all night. Three more runs in the third, keyed by doubles from Nathan Lukes and Bryce Greager, increased the lead to 5-0.
Peabody only allowed one hit in his four-plus innings, but he walked seven and was fighting loaded bases for much of his outing. In the fifth inning, Peabody, Quintin Torres-Costa and Brandon Feldman all struggled to get outs and the Elks sent 10 men to the plate.
The HarbourCats took the lead again in the top of the eighth on a two-out single by Sean Watkins, but a mess of base runners in the bottom of the inning led to two Bend runs, and the first lead of the series for the Elks. Ryan Keller, in his 2014 HarbourCats debut, was the losing pitcher.
The HarbourCats will face their main rival, the West Division powerhouse Bellingham Bells, on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in Victoria. Bellingham was rained out on Sunday so sits at 5-3, a half-game ahead of the HarbourCats. There is a good chance that whoever wins the three-game set will end Wednesday in first place.
Monday is Cowbell Giveaway Night with The Finishing Store, and Tuesday is the organization’s first Bobblehead night with Fisherworks Irrigation Services Kelly Norris-Jones night, presented by Island Sports News. Wednesday is Island Savings Night at the Park.