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Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

June 21, 2014, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Victoria HarbourCats had nine different pitchers throw scoreless innings, as they shut-down the powerful bats of the Langley Senior Blaze and cruised to a 5-0 shut-out win in exhibition baseball action Saturday night at Sports Traders Diamond at Royal Athletic Park in Victoria.

Alex Garcia would pitch a scoreless second inning and get credit for the win on Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Blaze, who are two-time defending British Columbia Senior Men’s Champions and who finished second at Nationals last season, could muster just five scattered hits on the night, the most serious of which was a double to the centre field wall by Mason Cratty in the 6th off Victoria pitcher Quintin Torres-Costa.

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Victoria shortstop Cole Kreuter, starting in place of an ill Alex DeGoti, does his best ballet impression to avoid the slide of Langley’s Scott Webster on this double play opportunity (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The only other time the Blaze got a runner to second base or further was in the 2nd, when Bob Foerster singled off HarbourCats pitcher Alex Garcia and then moved up to second on a wild pitch and to third on a ground out.

In addition to Garcia (2nd inning) and Torres-Costa (6th inning), other HarbourCats pitcher that saw action included Logan Lombana (1st), Tim Peabody (3rd), Carson Schneider (4th), Mark Marinch (5th), Alex Fagalde (7th), Sean Watkins (8th) and Ryan Keller (9th). Lombana, Peabody, Schneider and Keller pitched hitless innings, while Torres-Costa, Garcia, Marinch, Fagalde and Watkins gave up one hit each.

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The HarbourCats played errorless ball and good defence Saturday, including here a nice hard-charging play by second baseman Noah Cummings (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Offensively, the HarbourCats contributed three runs in the bottom of the 2nd and one each in the 6th and the 8th to get all they would need on the night.

Sparking the offence was leadoff hitter Griffin Andreychuk, who was a perfect 3-for-3 including a 2-RBI single in the 2nd that scored Wyler Smith and Ted Boeke, both of whom had earlier singled. Boeke’s earlier hot also scored Hunter Mercado-Hood, who had reached on an error.

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Griffin Andreychuk was the offensive star for Victoria Saturday, going 3 for 3 on the night including this 2-RBI single in the 2nd inning (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Also notching hits for the HarbourCats were Cole Kreuter and Noah Cummings, with RBI-singles respectively in the 6th and 8th innings, Bryce Greager, and newcomer Jake Lesinski. Mercado-Hood and Gabe Clark also both reached twice on walks.

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Victoria’s Sean Watkins made his second appearance of the season on the mound, pitching the 8th inning against Langley (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

In addition to the nine pitchers, HarbourCats field boss Bob Miller used the game to also get a number of position players some at bats and in the field. In total, 17 different players made their way into the batting order and that will likely be a pattern in Sunday’s exhibition in Duncan as well.

“These are games where we’re going to get a lot of guys into the lineup and see what they can do,” said Miller before Saturday’s game. “We’re going to run guys out and they need to go out and execute, have good at bats, have good approaches at the plate and use these games as a chance to get us turned around a little bit as we move forward in league play.”

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Victoria’s Cole Kreuter hangs on to the base under the eye of Langley shortstop Louis boyd.  Kreuter had singled home a run and advanced to second on the throw to the plate (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The win Saturday perhaps took a step in the right direction, as it broke, at least mentally, Victoria’s four game losing skid. It also demonstrated that when this team plays error free defence, that they can be tough to beat.

The HarbourCats win made a loser out of Langley pitcher Jesse Peters who gave up 2 earned runs on 6 hits, with 3 walks and 6 strikeouts in 5 innings of work. Ryan Eiswerth pitched 3 innings of relief, surrendering 2 runs on 3 hits, while walking 2 and striking out 5.

The Blaze and HarbourCats are right back at it again on Sunday, as the teams travel up the Island to Duncan for Baseball Day in Duncan. Game time is 1:00 pm at Evans Field in Duncan and a host of activities and special celebrations are planned at the park prior to the game. Admission is free, so get there early!


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