BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Give the Victoria HarbourCats credit, they have not given in one bit.
After a franchise-record nine-game winning streak that put the team a game above the .500 mark, the HarbourCats went into Wednesday’s game on a four-game slide — all tight losses to the Bellingham Bells, who used the narrow victories to all but wrap up the West Division’s playoff berth.
Well, the losing streak is no more, as the HarbourCats came up with a clutch 4-1 win Wednesday night at Joe Martin Field in Bellingham, a game played in front of a crowd of 1,027.
A three-run third inning and a manufactured run in the fifth staked the HarbourCats to a 3-1 lead, with much of the credit going to Victoria starting pitcher Austin Dondanville. The Cal Poly product was tough on Bells batters all game in going 6.2 innings, striking out two and walking two, giving up the one run on seven hits.
Some credit also has to go to Bellingham’s defence, which made four errors in the first seven innings, and five overall.
Nick Wojtysiak, a lefty from Pepperdine, came out of the bullpen to go 2.1 innings of one-hit ball to record the save and lowering his ERA to 2.79.
Alex DeGoti was 2-4 with two runs and an RBI, Austin Guibor had a key double, and Griffin Andreychuk was 2-4 with an RBI and a clutch diving play with two outs in the seventh inning to get his team out of a jam.
The HarbourCats, now 1-4 this season against the Bells, are 18-20 on the season. The series ends Thursday night with Jonathan Buckley on the mound for the HarbourCats.
The Victoria HarbourCats are home on Friday against the Walla Walla Sweets, in another Galaxy Motors Forces Friday, with the Naden Band on hand to play the national anthems. It’s a Mike’s Hard Lemonade giveaway night and team posters will be given out this night, thanks to Metropol.
Saturday’s game is Castle Home Building Centres gameday, recognizing diversity in our community, and Sunday’s afternoon game is massive — a hot dog eating contest with Maple Leaf Meats, a huge group in the Cadets joining the fun, and it’s Usedvictoria.com’s Paint the Park Purple event. It’s also Big Brother Canada reunion for our head coach, Graig Merritt, who will get to see fellow houseguests Sindy With An S and Naeha at the park to throw out the first pitch and sign autographs, presented by HarbourAir.
Watch for a special first-time-in-Victoria promotion, super-secret, for Tuesday’s home game against Cowlitz, which will be a Columbia Fuels pay-it-forward event.