YAKIMA, WA—The Victoria HarbourCats evidently enjoy the role of party-crashers as they spoiled their second home opener in as many nights, this time downing the Yakima Valley Pippins on Opening Day at Yakima County Stadium.
Just like Thursday in Port Angeles, the HarbourCats offense went to work early, taking an early lead.
Victoria scored twice in the top of the first on an RBI single from right-fielder Jake Garella (St. Louis) that scored Kevin Collard (San Diego) and an RBI groundout by Ethan Fox (Douglas College) to bring in shortstop Harry Shipley (Purdue) who finished 2 for 5 with a third inning RBI single.
Collard, who finished 3 for 5, made it 3-0 with a stand-up RBI triple in the second inning.
The Pippins bats came to life in the bottom of the third with two runs off of HarbourCats starting right-hander Colin Ashworth (Hawaii). Victoria got those two runs back in the top of the fourth, but Yakima erupted for four in the bottom of the inning, taking a 6-5 lead and ending Ashworth’s evening after 3.2 innings, allowing six earned runs on eight hits and a walk.
A string of HarbourCats relievers held Yakima’s hitters in check the rest of the way, as the bullpen fired five scoreless innings. Fox took over on the mound in the sixth inning, posting two scoreless innings on one hit and a walk with one strikeout, and earned the win (1-0) for himself, on the strength of his two-run single in the top of the seventh.
Starting left-hander Josh Tedeschi (Utah) took the loss for Yakima Valley, allowing two earned runs on four hits and a walk over four innings with two strikeouts.
Right-hander Travis Kuhn (San Diego) delivered a scoreless ninth, recording his first save of the season.
Four HarbourCats finished with multiple hits including Justin Orton (British Columbia) who flashed the leather at second base.
The HarbourCats and Pippins play game two of their three-game weekend series on Saturday at 7:05pm at Yakima County Stadium.
The HarbourCats begin a three-game home-opening series against the Wenatchee AppleSox on Monday, June 5. Gates open at 5:00pm in advance of the 6:35pm first pitch to allow fans extra time to find their seats and soak in the atmosphere of Opening Night which will be full of pageantry and excitement on and off the field.