Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

July 17, 2014, Victoria BC (ISN) – Victoria HarbourCats pitcher Quintin Torres-Costa made just his second start of the season and first since June 7th on Thursday night and he would make the most of it, striking out twelve batters over his seven innings of work and helping the HarbourCats cruise to a 7-1 win over the visiting Klamath Falls Gems in West Coast League action at Royal Athletic Park in Victoria.

Victoria’s Quintin Torres-Costa would pitch 7 full innings and allow just 4 hits, while striking out 12, to get the win against Klamath Falls on Thursday night (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The left-handed Torres-Costa started out with a bang, striking out the side in order to start the game and doing it again in the top of the third, perhaps taking advantage of a bus-weary Klamath Falls team that arrived to the park just an hour before game time after having left Klamath Falls at 1:00 am Thursday morning.

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The HarbourCats introduced their four all-stars prior to the game Thursday, from left to right, Logan Lombana, Gabe Clark, Alex DeGoti and Alex Rogers (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

He would hold the Gems hitless until the fourth and scoreless until the sixth, when the Gems would push across their only run of the game. He would pitch through seven complete innings, allowing just four hits and his twelve strikeouts included three against the Gems Jake Whisler, the HarbourCats “K” batter of the game, meaning a lucky fan won a $500 gift certificate to the Keg restaurant, the first time that promotion came to fruition this season. Angel Delgado and Ryan Keller would each pitch an inning of scoreless relief to complete the win.

Nathan Lukes would go 3 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored to lead all batters Thursday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Meanwhile the HarbourCats offence struck early, scoring a run in the bottom of the first on the strength of a Nathan Lukes RBI single, his first of what would be three hits on the evening to lead all batters. The ‘Cats would score again in the fourth, fifth and sixth and then put up a three-spot in the bottom of the eight to break the game wide open.

Aaron Barnet would break a 2 game hitless streak with a pair of hits on Thursday for the HarbourCats (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

In addition to Lukes three hits, Aaron Barnett would chip in with a pair of singles and an RBI, while Hunter Mercado-Hood would jump back into a tie for the league RBI lead, as he would notch his 33rd of the season with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth. He would also single and score. Wyler Smith also had a 2-RBI single in the big eighth inning, while Griffin Andreychuk, Alex DeGoti, and Gabe Clark had the remaining HarbourCats hits.

The K’s, all 12 of them, covered the wall in the right field grandstand once Torres-Costa finished the seventh inning (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Steven Packard would have the RBI for the Gems as he would drive in Jay Anderson on a fielder’s choice in the sixth. Packard, Kody Khulman, Carson Breshears and Kyle Dozier would be the only Gems to secure hits off Torres-Costa over the game.

The HarbourCats improved to 15-19, while Klamath Falls fell to 9-25 on the year. Victoria now sits third in the West, a game behind Cowlitz and 11.5 games behind Bellingham.

Victoria’s Ryan Keller came in to pitch a scoreless 9th inning to close out the 7-1 win (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The HarbourCats will send all-star right-hander Logan Lombana to the mound on Friday against Klamath Falls in a big night promotionally in Victoria — it’s Harvey the HarbourCat Bobblehead Night, with the first 1,500 through the gates getting a bobblehead thanks to Synergy Health and Wellness and the Times Colonist.

Victoria businessman and celebrity Howie Seigel of Pagliaccis’s fame (left) was on hand to throw out the first pitch Thursday, but he was called for a balk by his brother and umpire David (right) and ejected from the game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Game Notes: The HarbourCats welcomed the Victoria Chamber of Commerce for a ‘mixer’ prior to the game and local restaurant icon Howie Seigel of Pagliacci’s celebrated 35 years in business with one of the more memorable first pitches you will ever see — he was called for a balk and ejected after arguing.

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