Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
July 7, 2017, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Bend Elks roughed up Victoria HarbourCats starter Isaac Mullins for six runs and 11 hits en route to a 11-2 win Friday night in West Coast League action in front of 2,143 fans at Royal Athletic Park in Victoria.
The Elks win stopped the HarbourCats second-half win streak at four and their overall win streak at eight, following recent sweeps of Cowlitz and Kelowna and taking the final two of three from the Knights in Corvallis.
The HarbourCats looked good early, jumping into a second inning 2-0 lead thanks to a two-RBI single from Harry Shipley, but then watched as the Elks scored four runs in the fourth and another two in the sixth to open up the 6-2 lead.
The HarbourCats didn’t help themselves in either of those innings, giving up three official errors and allowing Elks runners to reach or advance on at least three other plays that could have been called either way.
On the mound, Elks side-arm starter Kris Jackson baffled HarbourCats batters all night, giving up those two runs on just four hits through eight innings of work. Hunter Vansau, with an infield single, Kevin Collard and Ethan Lopez were the only other HarbourCats to find their way on via hits against the tough right-hander. Matt Kirk pitched the ninth, giving up a double to Nick Bellafronto, but nothing else to close out the 11-2 win.
For Victoria, Mullin’s night was over after the sixth (6 runs, three earned, 11 hits, one walk and four strikeouts) and he gave way to Matt Kent who sailed through two innings, giving up just a hit, and then Claire Eccles, who pitched the top of the ninth and did not fare well, walking home a run and giving up a grand slam to Bend’s Bryce Rogan that put the game well out of reach.
Leading the 14-hit offense for the Elks was Rogan with his slam and George Mendazona who had a pair of hits, a pair of RBIs and two runs scored. Derek Chapman had three hits and an RBI, while Colin Runge and Colton Cosner each chipped in a pair of hits and a run scored.
The HarbourCats and Elks continue their series on Saturday night with a 6:35 pm start and then close out the series on Sunday afternoon with a 1:05 pm matinee start on Harvey the HarbourCats’ birthday.