Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart
August 24, 2021, Victoria, BC – Former Victoria HarbourCat Connor Russell would spin a complete-game, five-hit shutout and veteran Sean Murphy would have a key, two-RBI double to help lead the Athletics to a 6-0 win over the Giants in game one of the 2021 Victoria Mavericks League Rithet Cup finals Tuesday evening at Lambrick Park in Victoria.
Murphy’s double was the highlight of a four-run fourth inning and scored Jeremy Campbell and Lance Burrows, who had reached with a lead-off walk and hit by pitch respectively. Murphy would later score on a RBI single from Russ Taylor and later in the inning, a Matt Kittleson RBI on a bases-loaded walk scored Jon Gale.
Kittleson’s RBI was his second of the game, as he had a base hit in the bottom of the the third inning that, along with a throwing error by Giants catcher Nick Dawson, helped the Athletics jump out to a 2-0 lead at that point.
It turns out that those two runs would be all right-hander Russell would need, as he was relatively efficient on the night, scattering five hits, walking only one and striking out seven in the complete-game win.
His only real trouble came in the top of the first when he would issue a lead-off walk to Dawson and then back to back singles to Matt Galbraith (on a bunt) and Shawn Arabsky, however on Arabsky’s single, Dawson was thrown out at the plate on a perfect throw from A’s right fielder Nick Lee to catcher Matt Kittleson.
Russell then induced Quinton Bracken to hit into a 1-4-3 double play to end the early threat.
After that, a double by Dawson in the third and another by Arabsky in the sixth were the only other times the Giants had runners in scoring position.
The victory made a loser of Giants starter Jared Anderson, who gave up the six runs on eight hits, while walking five and striking out only one. He also hit three batters in his six full innings of work.
Game two of the Rithet Cup finals will go Thursday night at Lambrick Park, while game three, if needed, will be held on Friday. Start time for both games is 5:45 pm.
Full set of photos from this game will be available at https://christianjstewart.zenfolio.com/p445767687