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The Victoria HarbourCats hosted the Kitsap BlueJackets at Royal Athletic Park Sunday for a shortened doubleheader of two seven-inning exhibition games. The HarbourCats bats were swinging hard as the home team won by scores of 11-2 and 5-4.
Claire Eccles started game one and quickly got the crowd of 2,373 behind her, earning her first West Coast League strikeout and win. She left the mound after three complete innings with strong offensive support. She gave up two earned runs and walked three. She was hit just twice with an earned run average of 6.00.
The first batter that Eccles faced in the second inning was Trace Eldridge, who became her first West Coast League strikeout victim. The play started a three-up, three-down inning for the HarbourCats.
The bottom of the second was an early turning point for Victoria, with momentum created by back-to-back two-out doubles from Tucker Johnson and Riley Guntrip, which scored Bryce Bonner and Guntrip, respectively.
The BlueJackets were outhit 14-5 off the four-for-four performance by UCLA Berkley sophomore Andrew Vaughn who was in as designated hitter. He earned two RBI’s. Also earning two RBI’s were Harry Shipley and Bryce Bonner.
For the BlueJackets, starter Travis Painter gave up 10 hits in four innings for a total of eight earned runs.
Sam Mundt started the second half of the doubleheader and played six innings before making way for reliever Brandon Maasen, who was credited with the loss.
Shipley took advantage of a weak defence to advance to second, third and then off of a wild pitch made a run for home to put the HarbourCats on the board during the bottom of the first. During the two games, he got to bat four times and made it to second three, advancing on errors and steals. He was an opportunist.
Matt Kent from Fort Worth, Texas and Xavier University got the start, went five innings giving up just one hit, one run and an ERA of 1.80.
Blake Hannah is credited with the win in relief, after pitching just two innings. Four of the five BlueJackets runs were scored in the final two innings, to close out the two-game set.
The HarbourCats go at it again on Monday against the Port Angeles Lefties, before taking the Corvalis Knights for three games at Royal Athletic Park.
The Monday Lefties game starts at 12:05 pm, while the Corvalis games start at 6:35 pm.