Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
July 6, 2015, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Victoria HarbourCats used a four-run second and six-run third inning to cruise to a 10-0 shut-out of the visiting Kitsap BlueJackets in West Coast League (WCL) action Monday night at Sports Traders Diamond at Royal Athletic Park in Victoria.
AJ Alcantara had his second three-hit night in a row Monday, including a 2-run home run to pace the ‘Cats to the 10-0 win over Kitsap (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
After a greulling three-day road trip to Corvallis and back that included a 17-inning marathon loss on Friday and a pair of 4-2 losses on both Saturday and Sunday, the Victoria HarbourCats were looking forward to the close confines of Sports Traders Diamond at Royal Athletic Park and a match-up with the Division rival Kitsap BlueJackets (10-14) to help get them back into the win column and pointed back in the right direction toward a shot at the 2015 WCL playoffs.
Pitchers Austin Dondanville (left) and Josh Walker (right) were mirror images of one another as they combined to shut-out the BlueJackets, allowing a combined seven hits in the game Monday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Well the home-cooking seemed to be just what the doctor ordered, as the offence exploded for ten runs in the first three innings and the team rode the shut-out pitching of starter Austin Dondanville and reliever Josh Walker to the easy win in front of just over 1,000 fans.
The HarbourCats were led by outfielder AJ Alcantara, who is on fire lately, having stroked three hits in Corvallis yesterday and then adding three more today, including a two-run home run in the HarbourCats six-run third inning that sailed well into the netting to the right of the scoreboard.
Victoria’s defence was solid Wednesday as second baseman Scott Jarvis turned a pair of double plays, including this one in the seventh inning (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Scott Jarvis was also a big part of the ‘Cats offence Monday, as he added a 2-RBI single in the second and had another two RBIs in the third on a misplayed fly ball to right field. Michael Gretler also came alive, notching a pair of hits and a pair of RBIs, while Alex DeGoti added a double and an RBI. Jake Pries and Ben Polshuk also had a pair of hits each, while Torin Goldstein added a single in the 12-hit HarbourCat attack.
AJ Alcantara (30) is congratulated by Michael Gretler (right) and the rest of the HarbourCats after his 2-run home run in the third (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Dondanville, making his fifth appearance and third start of the season, was solid through six innings of work, scattering five hits, while striking out three and walking one. He gets the win to move his record to 1-0 on the season. Reliever Josh Walker was equally as effective, giving up two hits in his three innings, while striking out four and walking two.
Kitsap second baseman Jordan Peabody tags out Victoria baserunner Michael Gretler on this steal attempt (top) and then looks for the call (bottom) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Kitsap starter Cameron Weinberg takes the loss, surrendering nine runs (only three earned however) and ten hits in just 2.2 innings of work. Reliever Tyler Omlid fared much better, holding the ‘Cats to just one run on two hits – one of those being Alcantara’s home run – over the last 5.1 innings of the game.
With the win, the HarbourCats move to 9-16 overall and move to within one game of the now 10-15 Kitsap and Cowlitz Black Bears, who are tied for second in the WCL West Division. Unfortunately, they remain 8.5 games back of a surging first place Bellingham, who won their sixth in a row with a 5-2 win over Cowlitz.
Victoria pitcher Dominic Topoozian decided to have a little fun with some tape and Harvey-the-HarbourCat, who made the mistake of visiting the Victoria dugout late in Monday’s game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The HarbourCats will go for a second win on Tuesday on Luv Salon Game Night, presented by Black Press, with some of the HarbourCats players getting their chests waxed after the game, and others getting haircuts on the field. It’s Salute to Rotary Night with area Rotary Clubs being recognized for the work they do in the community.
On Winning Wednesday with Spinnakers, the HarbourCats welcome the more than 2,000 delegates to the BC Elders Conference, taking place at Panorama Rec Centre.
Newcomer Jonathan Buckley starts on the mound on Tuesday for the HarbourCats, with Matt Blais scheduled to go on Wednesday.
Outfielder Jake Pries (right) appears to be grabbing for the eye of Ben Polshuk (left) during the game ending outfielder’s celebration between the two and centrefielder AJ Alcantara (30) (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Game Notes: Kitsap’s Mitchell Robinson, who hails from Surrey, was not in the lineup Monday. He is out with a lower-body injury. The HarbourCats Pikai Winchester has left the team. Kevin Collard’s offensive woes continue as he was 0 for 5 Monday and is now 2 for 30 over his last eight games, both hits being home runs. The HarbourCats will welcome their final player to town Wednesday as Tei Vanderford makes his way to town overight. HarbourCats and Independent Sports News photographer (and this author) was grazed on the head by a Ben Polshuk foul ball Monday, but suffered no serious damage (although there are many who would probably doubt that!).