HarbourCats continue to steamroll competition
The Victoria HarbourCats continue to steamroll over the competition like never before. Whether playing at home at Royal Athletic Park or on the road, they just keep on winning.
Monday night they established a new league record by winning their 15th consecutive game, to take their league-leading record in the West Coast League to 15-3. They had set the new record by defeating the very team that previously owned it, the Wenatchee AppleSox, in their own park.
Tonight, they won again, this time by the score of 9-4. The water-treading 'Cats now have a win percentage of .842 and a record of 16-3.
It's all applesauce down in Wenatchee right now.
Left-hander Jack Wolger (UC Berkeley/0-0, 7.36 ERA) made his second start of the season for the HarbourCats, opposed by AppleSox righty Luke Mattson (Nevada/0-3, 7.71 ERA) in his fourth start.
The HarbourCats started quickly with a double by catcher Joe Prior (Fresno State) scoring second baseman Griffin Andreychuk (Seattle) who had reached on a walk as Victoria struck first to lead 1-0 in the first.
They added on in the second inning with three more runs on three hits and an error committed by Wenatchee to expand the lead to 4-0. Scoring in the inning was highlighted by an RBI double for Cody Snider (Chico State) scoring Austin Guibor (Fresno State) which was followed by triple by Jarron Silva (UCLA) to score Snider.
On the other side, Wolger was strong early for the HarbourCats working his first two innings scoreless before running into trouble in the bottom of the third. Wenatchee counted three runs in the inning on two hits, a walk and an error to draw within a run at 4-3.
Similar to Monday night’s win, Victoria’s bats had an immediate answer in the top of the fourth when they scored two runs on one hit and a Wenatchee error, the scoring plays being Silva’s second RBI triple of the game and an Andreychuk sacrifice fly to pad the lead back to 6-3.
Defense was an issue for both teams in this game with three HarbourCats errors leading to an unearned run for Wenatchee, and two by the AppleSox leading to two unearned runs Victoria.
Luke Mattson exited after pitching 4.2 innings for the AppleSox, allowing six runs, five earned on seven hits and three walks with one strikeout.
After the three-run third for the AppleSox, Jack Wolger held Wenatchee scoreless for the next three innings, finishing with three runs allowed, one earned, on three hits, a walk and two strikeouts.
Right-hander Blake Hannah (UC Davis) took the mound in the seventh and surrendered a run on two hits and a walk as Wenatchee cut the lead to 6-4.
The HarbourCats bats responded again in the top of the eighth. After reaching on a leadoff single, AJ Alcantara (UC Irvine) scored on a wild pitch to make it 7-4 and then after Andreychuk walked, center fielder Jake Stone (Fresno State) hammered a two-run home run, his first of the season, to give Victoria a comfortable 9-4 lead.
Hannah worked a scoreless eighth inning, and surrendered one run on two hits and three walks with five strikeouts over his two innings of relief.
Right-hander Cameron Schneider (Cal Poly) worked a scoreless ninth inning, allowing one hit with one strikeout to secure the team's victory in his HarbourCats debut.
The series concludes on Wednesday, a 7:05pm start in Wenatchee featuring the season debut of HarbourCats right-hander Kyle Mora (UCLA), facing Wenatchee lefty Justin Blatner (Gonzaga/2-0, 0.77 ERA).
CANADA DAY HOMESTAND
The HarbourCats return home on Thursday for a four-game series against the Kelowna Falcons at Royal Athletic Park.
Thursday’s series opener goes at 6:35pm (gates open at 5:30) with the Canada Day Eve fireworks display presented by Castle Home Builders following the game. The HarbourCats have partnered with Maui Jim’s Sunglasses to give away six pairs of Maui Jim’s at the June 30 game. Wear your best Hawaiian shirt for a chance to win.
Tickets are selling fast for this game and fans are encouraged to secure their seats early. This can be done by ordering online at www.harbourcats.com/tickets or by visiting the team office (1814 Vancouver Street/778-265-0327). Lots of GENERAL ADMISSION rush seating tickets remain available.
The same two teams play a doubleheader on Canada Day, July 1 at RAP with first pitch at 1:00pm. The HarbourCats will bat first as the road team in the second game of this single-admission doubleheader, which is a makeup game for a rainout earlier in the season in Kelowna. An after-event is being hosted at Yates Street Taphouse.
The all-Canadian series wraps up on Saturday, July 2 at 6:35pm and fans are encouraged to bring socks to throw during the sock toss for Anawim House after the HarbourCats score their first run of the game.