The Victoria HarbourCats took on the Port Angeles Lefties in a pre-season tune-up, Wednesday, May 30th at Royal Athletic Park. They lost by the score of 8-6. Not that it mattered, as the game, as all exhibition games are an opportunity to try out some bodies and arms and bats and see what potential is there for the upcoming season.
The home opener is Friday against the Wenatchee Applesox at 6:35 pm. First, they have another pre-season game in Port Angeles on Thursday.
The HarbourCats put eight different pitchers on the mound – likely not to try to win, so much as to see some arms. They gave up 11 hits, eight runs and placed four batters on first with walks. The HarbourCats made the most of their six hits, getting six runs in the process.
For the Lefties, Baxter Halligan, batting sixth, scored in the fourth inning after swinging aggressively and missing on the first pitch. He scored again in the fifth inning. He got to first on a single, stole second and scored as the HarbourCats gave up consecutive walks. Earlier in the inning, Dalton Hallum scored on a solo home run. The back-to-back two-run innings set the tone for the remainder of the game. The Lefties would score again, once in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively.
The HarbourCats finished third in the North Division and fourth overall during the 2017 regular season with a record of 29-25 and finished one game shy of winning the post-season championships.
Head Coach Brian McRae is back, while the line-up is revamped and choc-a-block loaded with talent.
Wednesday, the team played in the vintage Victoria Mussels uniform from 1978 – a pro team that drew an average of 252 fans per game, while finishing in third place – a best-kept secret.
The HarbourCats did better than that Wednesday on a cool Stanley Cup playoff game night in an exhibition match with a Port Angles team in their sophomore campaign.
During the regular season, over the past two years, the HarbourCats broke league and city records for crowds with over 70,000 attending Royal Athletic Park last summer.
Friday, expect fireworks and national anthems sung by Men Without Hats frontman Ivan Doroshcuck.