Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart
June 24, 2016, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Victoria HarbourCats rode the six and two-thirds innings of no-hit baseball by starter Austin Dondanville to a 6-5 win over the Kitsap Blue Jackets in West Coast League play Friday night at Royal Athletic Park in Victoria.
HarbourCats starter Austin Dondanville had a no-hitter through 6 and 2/3 innings Friday as Victoria hung on to defeat Kitsap 6-5 (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Dondanville was near perfect through six innings, allowing just a second and fourth inning walk, when Luke Stampfl drew a walk to lead off the seventh. Two strikeouts later, Dondanville lost his no-hit bid when Joey Galeno ripped a double down the right field line. Martin Pauwels then followed with a two-RBI single, and Kitsap, who came into the inning trailing 5-0, were on the board.
Dondanville gave up one more hit before getting out of the inning, leaving the game with a 5-2 lead and receiving a standing ovation from the fans behind the HarbourCats bench. He finished allowing two runs on three hits, three walks, while striking out three.
The HarbourCats 5-0 lead came thanks in part to a two-RBI double in the second inning by Cody Snider that scored Joe Prior (hit by pitch) and PJ Floyd (single), as well as a two-run home run by catcher Joe Prior in the sixth, that also scored Jake Stone who had singled to lead off the inning.
A pinch-hit single from Jarron Silva in the botom of the seventh drove in what turned out to be the HarbourCats winning run (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
A Brad Pluschkell single later in that inning scored Floyd (hit by pitch) and after Kitsap spoiled the no-hitter in the seventh, a Jarron Silva pinch-hit single in the bottom of the inning, plated Matt Smith (single) with what turned out to be the winning run.
Holden Lyons would come in to pitch a scoreless eighth, but didn’t seem comfortable in doing so and thus Skyler Henderson came in for the ninth. A walk and a hit batter, followed by a two-RBI double from Pauwels, his second hit and fourth RBI of the night, spelled the end of the short night for Henderson.
He was replaced by Greg Casper who would give up a two-out single to Daniel Lopez, making it 6-5, before then striking out Bryce Steckler to earn the save and close out the HarbourCats 12th win in a row.
Victoria outfielders (L to R) Ben Polshuk, Matt Lautz and Jake Stone celebrate the HarbourCats 12th win in a row (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The HarbourCats will look to continue their climb toward the WCL record of 14 wins in a row, when they face the BlueJackets in game two of the series on Saturday night at RAP. Game time is 6:35PM.