July 4, KELOWNA, BC (ISN) —The Victoria HarbourCats (16-13 overall/2-0 second half) took an early lead on Tuesday night at Elks Stadium and never looked back as they won their sixth consecutive game with a 14-1 victory in the series opener over the Kelowna Falcons (17-11/0-1).
The first meeting of the season between the WCL’s two Canadian clubs came the day after Kelowna clinched the West Coast League’s North Division First Half Pennant, something the HarbourCats did the year before.
The HarbourCats entered as the hottest team in the WCL as winners of their previous five games, and proceeded to put on their biggest offensive output of the season with 14 runs on 19 hits.
Victoria scored three runs on four hits in the top of the first, highlighted by an RBI double from first baseman Harrison Bragg (Mississippi State) to give an early lead to Taylor Prokopis (Colorado Mesa) who made his first start of the season for the HarbourCats.
Center fielder Hunter Vansau (Mississippi State) led off the third inning with his second home run of the summer as the HarbourCats scored two runs in the inning to lead 5-0.
Vansau was at it again in the fourth inning, collecting his team leading third hit and RBI of the game, starting the scoring in a four-run frame that widened Victoria’s lead to 9-0.
The Falcons scored their lone run of the game in the bottom of the fifth against Prokopis who earned the win (2-2), pitching five innings, allowing one run on three hits with two strikeouts.
Victoria put the final touches on their offensive outburst, scoring four times in the top of the eighth to bring the score to its 14-1 final. The inning included three consecutive RBI singles from second baseman Tucker Johnson (Baylor), Ethan Lopez (Hawaii) and Andrew Shaps (Chico State).
Brandon Marklund (Bryan College) took the loss (0-1) for Kelowna, allowing eight runs, six earned, over 3.1 innings pitched on eight hits and three walks with two strikeouts.
Relievers Noah Prewett (San Diego) and Radd Thomas (UC Santa Barbara) combined to throw four scoreless innings on just one hit.
Johnson was the second HarbourCat with three hits, while four players drove in multiple runs.
Game two of the series will be played Wednesday at 6:35pm at Elks Stadium in Kelowna.
The HarbourCats return home to Victoria for a weekend series against the Bend Elks at Royal Athletic Park.
The series begins with Freedom 55 Financial Game Night and Forces Friday with Galaxy Motors, followed by Yoga Day in Victoria on Saturday. Harvey’s birthday wraps up the series on Sunday.
Start times on Friday and Saturday are 6:35pm, with a 1:05pm first pitch on Sunday.
Tickets are available online via Ticket Rocket: http://www.ticketrocket.co/search/events?searchText=HarbourCats Complete ticket information is available at www.harbourcats.com/tickets