Disputed home run part of Bend winning second game, finale today
BEND, OR— The Bend Elks have, no question, played the Victoria HarbourCats tough this season.
The Elks used single runs in the third, fourth, sixth and seventh innings to defeat the HarbourCats 4-2 on Saturday night, knotting the series at one game apiece, with the series finale set for at Vince Genna Stadium ( start time).
The HarbourCats are 3-2 against Bend, the defending league champions, with one game to play in the season series.
The game will be the final game for both teams prior to the West Coast League’s all-star break, with the game due to be played at Longview, WA, home of the Cowlitz Black Bears.
A disputed home run in the fourth inning by Patrick Flynn of the Elks played a major role in the game — hit straight into the sun down the left-field line. Even Flynn seemed to react as though it was a foul ball, but umpires ruled it a round-tripper, a solo shot.
The HarbourCats and Elks both mustered six hits, with Bend making the only two errors of the game. Ben Polshuk and AJ Alcantara were both 2-4 for the HarbourCats, who have started to scuffle a bit at the plate.
Victoria scored once in the fourth, on a single by Alcantara that plated Griffin Andreychuk, and then in the sixth, on a Brad Pluschkell sacrifice fly, that scored Polshuk.
The HarbourCats got the potential winning run to the plate in the top of the ninth, but Jake Stone popped out to third base to end the threat, and the game.
Blake Hannah, making his first start for Victoria, went five strong innings with three hits, four strikeouts and no walks. Holden Lyons followed with three innings, three hits, two earned runs allowed, and he walked one and struck out one, taking the loss.
The loss drops the HarbourCats record to 27-8 overall and 4-4 in the second half, still good enough for the best record in the WCL. The HarbourCats have already secured a first-round playoff berth for winning the North Division’s first half pennant. The second half standings in the North Division sit extremely tight, with four teams — Victoria, Bellingham, Walla Walla and Kelowna — all within two games of the lead.
Cameron Schneider is slated to start for the HarbourCats, who next play at home when the Bellingham Bells make an appearance at Royal Athletic Park.