Emeralds Shine Too Bright For HarbourCats

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Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

June 2, 2015, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The visiting North Sound Emeralds scored a pair of runs in the third and another three in the fourth inning to cruise to a 7-4 win over the Victoria HarbourCats in West Coast League (WCL) exhibition action Tuesday night at Sports Traders Diamond at Royal Athletic Park in Victoria.

HarbourCats second baseman Morgan Varley leaps high for an errant throw, over the top of Emerald’s baserunner Brett Bitow who was attempting to steal (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

The Emeralds, a Seattle area team who play in the Northwest Collegiate Baseball League (NCBL), are very much like the HarbourCats, comprised of college players looking to get a little more playing time in during the summer, but in a league that is a bit more geographically focused, with just six teams, all playing in the Western Washington area.

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North Sound lefty Thomas Deboer and his sidearm action seemd to baffle a number of HarbourCats hitters, as Deboer would get the win in the 7-4 Emerald’s win Tuesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

One of those players was Emerald’s left-handed starter Thomas Deboer (St. Martins University) who had a solid outing, giving up three HarbourCats runs on seven scattered hits over his seven complete innings of work, striking out six and walking none.

Two of those hits came from the HarbourCats Michael Gershman (Valley City State), who had the best night offensively for the ‘Cats, with a pair of hits, including a first-inning double and a pair of RBIs.

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HarbourCats right fielder Michael Gershman would have a good night at the plate with a pair of hits and two RBIs, but it would not be enough in the ‘Cats 7-4 loss to the Emeralds (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Victoria native Chris Fougner (Salt Lake CC) also had his second two-hit evening as a HarbourCat, and scored one of the HarbourCats runs. Sean Murphy (Victoria Mavericks) chipped in with a pair of hits, including a double and a run scored.

Making the start on the hill for the HarbourCats was lefty Connor Suing (Western Oregon University) and he was shaky in his HarbourCats debut giving up six Emeralds runs on three hits, four walks and two hit batters in his three plus innings of work.

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Lefty Connor Suing got the start for the HarbourCats and he battled control issue early, giving up 6 runs, 4 walks and 2 hit batters in just three innings of work (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

To his credit, two of those runs came as a result of a throwing error by third baseman Shawn Loglisci (Victoria Mavericks) in the third inning and another two on base hits given up by HarbourCats reliever Shawn Kennedy (Georgetown) in the fourth, scoring runners put on base by Suing.

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Mason Pierzchalski was credited with the Emeralds only RBI in their 7-4 win over Victoria on Tuesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Offensively for the Emeralds, Connor Plaisance (Edmonds CC) led the way with a pair of hits and a pair of runs scored, while Cory Olivet (San Jose State) added a pair of RBIs. On the mound, Deboer was relived by pitchers Zach Holcomb and Ryan Dorney (St. Martins University), who would hold the ‘Cats to a run and three scattered hits over the last three innings of the game.

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Former Victoria Eagle Riley Edmonds had a solid three-inning relief appearance for the HarbourCats, giving up one run on two hits while striking out four (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Also seeing action on the mound for the HarbourCats was Victoria native Riley Edmonds (Otero JC) who pitched well, giving up a run on two hits over three innings of work, striking out four and walking two. Josh Mitchell (Pitt) threw a scoreless ninth.

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Emeralds’ baserunner Brett Bitow would be tagged out by HarbourCats third baseman Sean Murphy on this steal attempt in Tuesday’s game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Next up for the HarbourCats is a return engagement with the Emeralds on Wednesday evening (6:35pm start) and then the home opener on Friday against the Kelowna Falcons (6:35 pm start). During that weekend series the HarbourCats and Falcons will be competing for the Accent Inns Trophy, a new award that will be awarded to the winner of the series between the two teams each season.

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Victoria Mavericks veteran Sean Murphy would have a pair of hits for the HarbourCats on Tuesday, including this seventh inning double (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)

Game Notes: After decent HarbourCats debuts against Langley on Sunday, both Brady Rogers (Trinidad State) and Matt Bryan (MacPherson College) went 0 for 5 tonight. The HarbourCats are wearing special “Breafoot Community Association” hats for the games with North Sound that will be used following the game for community outreach and fundraising. The HarbourCats full coaching staff of Head Coach Graig Merritt and assistants Alec Adame (pitching coach), Jerry Pena (hitting coach), Joe Meggs (assistant coach), and Andrew Wilson (bullpen coach) were all in attendance for the first time, putting a temporary end to GM Jim Swanson’s time at the helm.

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