Saturday, the Victoria HarbourCats shot the lights out with their bats, with a big 22-hit night, then they chilled revelling in an 18-7 win to watch the post-game Canada Day fireworks – both were spectacular for the 3,135 fans in attendance.
They hosted the Kelowna Falcons for game two of their three-game set at Wilson’s Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park. The series is now tied one game apiece.
The HarbourCats got off to a hot start, hitting a pair of doubles during the first inning to take a 3-0 lead.
University of Hawaii’s Dustin Demeter, batting second, hit the ball to left-centre and bounced it off the fence for a double. He advanced Cal Baptist’s Nick Plaia, who had walked. Plaia would end up scoring four times. Demeter would end up going ¾ on the night.
Mike Malinchak earned an RBI on his double that carried to the fence at centre-right. The 6’4” Delray Beach, Florida native who attends Pepperdine University would go 3/5.
The HarbourCats would score another run each during the second and third innings while holding the Falcons off the scoresheet. During the top of the fourth inning, the Falcons stranded three as Tyler Nixon struck out, swinging. However, they did manage to get one run.
Chico State’s Dustin Miller went 4/6 on the night, getting two home runs including a grand slam. Asked about what was different tonight versus his early season struggles he said, “I am just feeling more comfortable now. Both home runs that I had tonight were with two strikes. With those two strikes, I just tried to simplify my swing, so that had to be it.”
Asked about the breakout game Miller added, “We had a talk before the game. We were on a skid there for awhile. We just pulled it together and decided this whole losing thing wasn’t for us. So we worked really hard on coming together tonight and so we exploded offensively, which was really cool to see,” he said before getting hit with a cooler of ice-water from his teammates.
HarbourCats right-handed pitcher Garrett Goodall got the start and went five full innings. He gave up just the one run on six hits and struck out six.
Meanwhile, the Falcons were dropping the ball, literally. Shortstop Matt Voelzke would commit three errors.
Regardless, by the top of the seventh inning, the Falcons got to within five runs, down 12-7, by scoring consecutive three-run innings – Ryan Rutherford wasn’t having the game he hoped to giving up four hits in the 2/3rds of an inning that he played in.
The ‘Cats scored a whopping five runs off six hits during the fourth inning, but it wasn’t just the bats or the HarbourCats pitching, or the many errors the Falcons were committing, the HabourCats got it done on the bases, stealing at least eight times.
For the Falcons, Dan Pruitt led their seven-run and 12-hit offence with three hits, a walk and three runs scored, while Tyler Nixon had two hits, with a double and two RBIs.
The Falcons starter Jared Akin took the loss giving up five runs on seven hits in just two innings of work.
With the win, the HarbourCats snapped the Falcons seven-game win streak, and set up a series rubber-match on Canada Day Sunday afternoon at 1:05 pm.