HarbourCats Use Local Talent to Cruise to Win Over Blaze

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Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

May 31, 2015, Victoria, BC (ISN) – Victoria native Matt Bryan (McPherson College) had a pair of hits and 4 RBIs to lead the Victoria HarbourCats to a 8-3 win over the visiting Langley Senior Blaze in West Coast League exhibition play Sunday at Sports Traders Diamond at Royal Athletic Park in Victoria.

Former Victoria Mariner Matt Bryan (McPherson College) had a pair of hits and 4 RBIs to pace the HarbourCats in their 8-3 win Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Bryan, a former Victoria Mariner, was just one of a number of local players who contributed to the HarbourCats first win of the 2015 season. Former Mariner teammates Chris Fougner (Salt Lake CC) and Evan Willow (McPherson College), as well as former Victoria Eagle Zane Takhar (Northeastern State), also contributed RBIs in the victory.  Fougner also had a solid day on the base paths, stealing a pair of bases and scoring three of the HarbourCats eight runs. 

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Victoria native Chris Fougner (Salt Lake CC) had a pair of hits and an RBI in the HarbourCats 8-3 win Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The HarbourCats started returnee Mikey Wright (Consumnes River CC) on the hill and he went two innings, giving up just a single hit – a solo home run to the Blaze’s Joe Jermaine – before being replaced by another returnee from 2014, Nanaimo native Alex Rogers (Trinidad State) who looked to be in good form, going three innings and allowing just a base hit.

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2014 returnee Mikey Wright (Consumnes River CC) got the start for the ‘Cats Sunday and looked good in his two innings of work (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Also seeing action on the mound for the HarbourCats were Josh Walker (Grand Canyon University), Sean O’Toole (St. Mary’s) and Josh Mitchell (Pittsburgh). Walker was the only pitcher in the relief corps to surrender any runs, giving up the Blaze’s final two markers on a seventh inning, 2-run blast to left by first baseman Mason Cratty.

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The HarbourCats Chris Fougner slides safely into second on this steal attempt, ahead of the tag by Blaze shortstop Brad Antchak (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Blaze, seeing some of their first action of 2015, used the game as an opportunity to have their pitchers get some work, sending eight different hurlers to the mound.

Offensively the HarbourCats out-hit the Blaze 9-5 with both teams giving up just a single error. HarbourCats pitchers struck out eight Blaze batters while walking just five, while the Blaze pitchers struggled with control, walking ten on just four strikeouts.

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Blaze second baseman Liam Rihela would do a bit of a juggling act with the ball before making this catch late in the game Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

In addition to Bryan and Fougner with two hits each, other HarbourCats joining the hit parade included Brady Rogers (Trinidad State), Shawn Loglisci (Victoria Mavericks), Willow, Scott May (Prairie Baseball Academy), and Morgan Varley (Thompson Rivers).

The HarborCats left 15 runners on, while the Blaze stranded six.

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Blaze second baseman Liam Rihela turns a double play over top of HarbourCats baserunner Matt Bryan during Sunday’s game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The HarbourCats are back in action on Tuesday and Wednesday night, June 2 and 3, as they host a pair of exhibition games against the North Sound Emeralds. Game time for both is 6:35 pm. Tickets for all exhibition games are just $5 each for any seat and are available at the HarbourCats office or on-line at www.harbourcats.com.

GAME NOTES: The HarbourCats Michael Gershman (Valley City State) was welcomed to Victoria by being hit by a pitch three times in the game.  Nanaimo native Brady Rogers, brother of Alex, looked solid in his debut, stroking a lead-off double and scoring twice.  Matt Bryan made an outstanding running catch in deep centre field in the first inning to add to his offensive day at the plate.  HarbourCats GM Jim Swanson was forced into coaching duty for the day and is now 1-0 as Manager of the team.  Victoria Maverick’s veterans Shawn Loglisci and Sean Murphy both saw action in the game.