HarbourCats end trip on winning note, home game Thursday

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July 16,2014(ISN) – That’s a huge monkey — no, an ape — gone from the backs of the VIctoria
HarbourCats, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

The HarbourCats perservered, relinquishing leads a few times in the game on
Wednesday at Joe Martin Field in Bellingham, but ended a season-long
drought against the Bells with a 5-3 victory in front of an announced crowd
of 552.

The HarbourCats prevailed over the Bells for the first time in six tries
this season.

Pinch-hitter Wyler Smith singled in pinch-runner Danny Collier, and Smith
later scored on a wild pitch, to provide the margin of victory in the ninth
inning.

The HarbourCats held 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 leads earlier in the game, only to
have the Bells find ways to scratch back to even terms, using an error in
the bottom of the eighth to tie the game 3-3.

The HarbourCats had been on a three-game losing streak, while league- and
division-leading Bellingham (24-7) had won five in a row. The streaky
HarbourCats are 14-19, and will have to get hot and stay hot to make up
ground on the wildcard playoff spot, which was 4.5 games out of reach
entering Wednesday’s games.

The HarbourCats got another stellar start from right-hander Alex Rogers,
who will be at Monday’s all-star game in Klamath Falls. He went 6.2
innings, gave up six hits, two runs, a walk, and fanned five. Sean Watkins,
the winning pitcher (and also the DH in the game), went 2.1 innings, gave
up an unearned run, and struck out four, including the final out.

Hunter Mercado-Hood twice singled in Nathan Lukes for runs, and both were
2-3 in the game. Gabe Clark was 2-5 with a run. The HarbourCats outhit
Bellingham 11-9.

Bellingham won close games in both of the first two outings of the series.

The HarbourCats are home on Thursday night for Pagliacci’s Night and
Victoria Chamber of Commerce Mixer Night, a 7:11pm start. It is the final
non-weekend home game of the 12 games remaining on the Victoria home
schedule. The Klamath Falls Gems provide the opposition for games Thursday,
Friday (Synergy Health/Harvey Bobblehead Night) and Saturday (Bottle Depot
Giveaway Night), and all are 7:11pm starts. The West Coast League all-star
game goes Monday in Klamath Falls, with Rogers, Clark and Alex DeGoti
representing the HarbourCats.

ATTENDANCE — With a weekend-heavy home schedule to close the regular
season, the HarbourCats remain within reach of approaching the league
record for attendance, set by Bend. The team would need to average 2,350
fans over that stretch, and with all weekend dates and outstanding
promotions to come, the front office is focused on this goal.

“We have set things up to try and give our players the best support they
can have as they drive toward that wild card playoff spot,” said General
Manager Jim Swanson.

“We have bobbleheads, we have baseball card sets, we have fireworks, we
have Thursday’s evening with Pagliacci’s and the Victoria Chamber of
Commerce. Everyone knows, players get pumped up when more people are in the
stands, and we hope Victoria will help our guys push in these last four
weeks of the regular season.”

Tickets are available at the office (101-1814 Vancouver Street), at the
gate prior to the game, and online at www.harbourcats.com/tickets. Sports
Traders Diamond at Royal Athletic Park can accommodate 5,000-plus fans with
great seating and sightlines, a true gem of veteran sports facilities.

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