Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart
June 13, 2017, Victoria, BC – The Victoria HarbourCats scored six runs in their final three at bats of the evening to hand the Port Angeles Lefties a 7-3 loss in West Coast League Action Tuesday night at Royal Athletic Park in Victoria.
The win gives the HarbourCats a sweep of the short, two-game series between the two teams and moves their record to 3-0 against Port Angeles, but perhaps more importantly, moves the HarbourCats win streak to three, their longest of the season thus far.
The win also keeps the ‘Cats in a first place tie with Bellingham for the North Division lead with both teams sporting identical 7-5 records.
Tuesday’s affair was another close one early, as HarbourCats starter Adam McKillican and Lefties starter Issac Olson battled each other to a 1-1 tie through four innings, with both teams scoring in the third thanks to an RBI-single from the Lefties Seth Freed that scored Trent Bryan and a sacrifice fly from the HarbourCats Harry Shipley that scored Jake Garella.
After the HarbourCats scored one in the sixth to go ahead 2-1, they would break things open with three more in the seventh, thanks to an RBI-single from newcomer Tucker Johnson and a 2-RBI single from pinch hitter Kevin Collard.
Port Angeles would respond with two in the top of the eight off HarbourCats pitcher Jack Tagget to get back within two, but two more HarbourCats runs in the bottom of the eighth, on a Garella single that scored Cole Weiss and a Shipley triple that scored Garella, sealed the deal and put the game out of reach for the Lefties.
McKillican went four full innings, giving up one run on five hits. Greg Casper then pitched a three-up, three down fifth and was followed by incoming Auburn Freshman Jack Owen, who showed why the San Diego Padres have expressed interest in him in the current MLB draft, tossing two scoreless innings and getting credit for the win. Indigo Diaz finished the ninth, striking out one to close it out.
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Offensively, Jake Garella had a pair of hits, an RBI and scored two runs to lead the way, while five other HarbourCats players, including newcomers Johnson, and DJ Porter also had singles. Shipley also scored a pair a runs.
Pac-12 home run leader and freshman phenom Andrew Vaughn of Cal Berkeley also made his HarbourCats debut Tuesday and after launching a couple of bombs off the top of the left-field scoreboard in batting practice, went a quiet 0-5 in the game, just missing on a couple of mighty swings.
For the Lefties, Freed, Sean Roby and Bryan each had two-hit evenings, while John Burghardt had a hit and pair of RBI’s.
Olson takes the loss, going 5.2 innings and giving up two runs on two hits, while striking out four. Trayson Kubo, Brody Cato and Jarret Thoren also saw action for Port Angeles in relief.
The HarbourCats now hit the road for a three game set in Walla Walla starting Wednesday and return home on Father’s Day, Sunday where they will play a non-league double-header against the Kitsap Blue Jackets beginning at 12:35. Lefty knuckleballer Claire Eccles is slated to start the first game on Sunday, so be sure to get your tickets early to come see her make her first official start of 2017.
The Lefties then return for a Monday, June 19 12 Noon School Spirit Day matinee, and then the Corvallis Knights make their first visit to Victoria in three seasons to begin a three-game set starting Tuesday. Walla Walla then comes to town on Friday June 23 to close-out the seven game homestand with the HarbourCats first full weekend series of the season.