Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
August 9, 2014, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Victoria HarbourCats received a stellar 4-inning relief performance from Victoria native Drew Davidoff, but it would not be enough to overcome an early 9-0 deficit as the HarbourCats fell to the Kitsap BlueJackets 9-6 Saturday evening in West Coast League action at Royal Athletic Park in Victoria.
Former Victoria Eagle Drew Davidoff would pitch 4 innings of scoreless relief for the HarbourCats Saturday, holding Kitsap to just a pair of hits (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Davidoff’s relief appearance was the bright spot on the evening for the HarbourCats pitching, standing in stark contrast to the awful outing experienced by Victoria starter Andrew Nelson, who has had a summer in Victoria he probably wants to forget.
In a cloud of dirt, Kitsap baserunner Austin Hamilton is tagged out by Victoria second baseman Griffin Andreychuk on this steal attempt in the first inning Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
In his worst outing of the year by far, Nelson gave up 4 runs on 4 hits in the top of the first inning and it all went downhill from there, as Kitsap would score 2 more in the third and fourth innings respectively and then another in the fifth to jump into a 9-0 lead. Nelson would give up 12 hits in total in his 5 innings of work, along with 3 walks, while striking out just one, finishing the year with a 7.15 ERA, the highest among regular HarbourCats starters.
Victoria’s Gabe Clark tracks down a foul ball near the stands Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Davidoff, with his slight stature and distinct side-armed style, looked to be an easy target for the BlueJackets to start the sixth, especially after throwing one of his first pitches behind a batter and giving up a single to the first BlueJacket he faced. He would soon show why he was the closer for the Victoria Eagles BC Premier League team this past summer, settling down after that, baffling the Kitsap hitters and allowing just another single and a pair of walks, before retiring the side in the ninth to complete his night.
The HarbourCats literally got “Down in the Trenches (or in this case the dugout) to Support their Troops” during the later stages of the game on Saturday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Offensively, the HarbourCats began to mount their comeback with a pair of runs in each of the fourth, sixth and seventh innings, but that would be as far as they would get as Kitsap relievers Rustin Sveum and Sam Sheehan would hold the ‘Cats to just one hit over the last 2.2 innings and make a winner out of starter Josh Moss, who gave up just 2 earned runs on 9 hits and 5 walks over the first six innings.
Kitsap second baseman Zach Larsen turns a double-play in front of Victoria’s Griffin Andreychuk late in Saturday’s game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Offensively for Victoria, Hunter Mercado-Hood continued his challenge for the league batting and RBI titles by going 3 for 3 with an RBI. He will need a big day Sunday to capture either title as he is hitting .383 behind Klamath’s Steven Packard who is at .407, and he sits at 44 RBIs, 3 back of Yakima’s Vince Fernandez who has 47.
Kitsap starter Josh Moss would get credit for the win Saturday, giving up just two earned runs over his six innings of work (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Other offensive notables for the HarbourCats included Alan Baldwin – who hands down gets the best walk-up sound bite of the season award – Ted Boeke and John Grimsley, who all had 2 hit evenings and who combined, scored 4 of Victoria’s 6 runs.
Kitsap second baseman Zach Larsen keeps an eye on a runner at third after tagging out Victoria’s Ted Boeke on this steal attempt in Saturday’s game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
For Kitsap, catcher Ryan Matranga was on fire at the plate, going 4 for 5 with a double, 3 RBIs and 2 runs scored. Daniel Woodrow also chipped in three hits, one of which was a triple, while former HarbourCat Dylan LaVelle homered for the second night in a row.
Kitsap’s Ryan Matranga was the offensive hero on the night, going 4 for 5 with a double, 3 RBIs and 2 runs scored (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
With the loss, the HarbourCats fall to 24-29 on the season, and will get one more chance to add to the win total on Sunday at 1pm, on Pure Day Spa Fan Appreciation Night and CHEK Getaway Days Finale, sponsored by Clipper Vacations, LA Limousines and Best Western Executive Suites in Seattle. The winner of the grand prize of the trip to Seattle will be announced, with the winners going directly to the Clipper Ferry.
Game Notes: Saturday’s attendance was 2,592 and it appears that the HarbourCats will win the league title as far as attendence goes, presently sitting at a total of 40,600 and an average of 1,562, both well ahead of second place Bend at 36,861 and 1,418 respectively.