The Victoria HarbourCats (23-18, 9-5 second half) allowed eleven unanswered runs to the Gresham GreyWolves (17-25, 7-8) at one point on Saturday night, but a dramatic ninth inning rally completely changed the story of the evening, leading to an extra-innings 14-12 victory for Victoria.
Right-hander Wyatt Boone (Seattle U) made his first start of the season for the HarbourCats, who were looking to build upon their first place lead on the second stop of their two-city, six-game road trip.
Gresham scored first with a run in the bottom of the second, but the HarbourCats answered right back, plating four in the top of the third. Second baseman Tucker Johnson (Baylor) delivered an RBI single and Victoria also benefitted from a bases-loaded walk and a passed ball to score a run.
Three of the four runs in the third inning for the HarbourCats were unearned after an error was committed by Gresham first baseman Drew Curtis.
The GreyWolves trimmed the HarbourCats lead to one when right fielder Ryan Novis (St. Mary’s) hit a two-run home run, his second of the season, in the bottom of the third.
Victoria loaded the bases in the top of the fourth inning, but GreyWolves starting right-hander Robert Reaser (Lewis & Clark St.) induced an inning-ending double play to keep Gresham within a run.
Gresham capitalized immediately, scoring four in the bottom of the inning to take a 7-4 lead. Jackson Thoreson (St. Mary’s) led off the inning with his first home run of the season, which led to the four-run frame on four hits.
Boone would last four innings for the HarbourCats, allowing seven earned runs on seven hits and two walks with two strikeouts.
Reaser induced his second inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the top of the fifth inning, his third double play of the game, en route to pitching five innings, allowing four runs, one earned, on six hits and four walks with seven strikeouts.
The GreyWolves added one in the fifth inning and two more in the sixth on a two-run double from Thoreson, giving him a game-high four RBIs, extending Gresham’s lead to 10-4.
After Gresham scored two in the eighth inning, the HarbourCats staged a rally in the top of the ninth, needing a big inning. Entering the inning down 12-4, the HarbourCats scored seven runs before recording their first out.
An RBI single from DJ Porter (Cal Baptist) and a pinch-hit two-run single by catcher Shane McGuire (San Diego) set the stage for right-fielder Hunter Vansau (Mississippi State) who drove in Porter on a sacrifice fly to cap the eight-run inning, tying the game at 12 as this one would need extra innings.
McGuire would deliver again in extras, stroking a two-run single to give the HarbourCats a 14-12 lead in the top of the tenth. McGuire came off the bench and led Victoria with four RBIs with a two-for-two evening.
Right-hander Matt Kent (Xavier) worked a scoreless bottom of the tenth to record his first save of the season, and seal the HarbourCats’ dramatic comeback victory.
The win goes to right-hander Taylor Prokopis (Colorado Mesa, 3-2) in relief for the HarbourCats while right-hander Dakota Weindell (0-1) takes the loss for Gresham.
Game two of the three-game series is set for Sunday at 5:05pm at Oslund Field in Gresham.
The next home series for the HarbourCats takes place Tuesday, July 25 through Thursday, July 27 against the Kelowna Falcons at Royal Athletic Park in Victoria.
Only six regular season home games remain on the 2017 schedule. Tickets for all games are available in person at the team office or online through Ticket Rocket: http://www.ticketrocket.co/
2018 SEASON TICKETS
2018 season tickets will go on sale in July including the highly popular Campbell Real Estate Club. Tentative plans are in the works to expand the new home plate seating section from two to four rows of padded seating.
Waiting lists will be taken for season tickets in the Diamond Club seats.
Visit the HarbourCats office at 101-1814 Vancouver Street or call (778)-265-0327 to purchase season tickets or for more information. You can also email email@example.com
The HarbourCats office (1814 Vancouver Street, 778-265-0327) is open 9:00 – 5:00pm daily on non-home game days. On home game days, the office is open at 9:00am until one hour prior to game time, when the ballpark gates and box office open.