Christian J Stewart
Caleb Ricketts launched a three-run home run over the right-field fence in the top of the tenth inning, to lead the Victoria HarbourCats to an eventual 4-2 win over the Bellingham Bells in West Coast League action Tuesday Night at Joe Martin Field in Bellingham.
Rickett’s homer capped off a very well played game that began with a four-inning pitcher’s duel between Bellingham’s Taylor Davis and Victoria’s Owen Sharts, who were both on top of their game, allowing just two hits each over those four frames as the teams went to the fifth inning tied 0-0.
Davis Baillie then came on for the Bells in the top of the fifth and promptly gave up a one-out single to Harrison Spohn, who would move to second on a fielder’s choice, stole third and then come home on a careless throw back to the pitcher to give the HarbourCats the 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the inning, Landon Anderson would relieve Sharts for Victoria and after an out, would hit three batters in a row to load the bases and give the Bells their biggest threat of the night.
A sacrifice fly from Guthrie Morrison cashed in a run to tie the game 1-1 and while a walk then loaded the bases again, Anderson would then strike out Ernie Yake to end the threat and get out of the inning without any further damage.
That would be all the scoring until the tenth, as the bullpens on both sides kept the game knotted into extra innings. This included the HarbourCats Hayden Jaco and Adam Imwalle, both normally position players, seeing their first action on the mound this season.
Jaco, who was also seeing his first action since being injured in Bend on June 18, came in to pitch in the bottom of the eighth, getting a one-pitch grounder to end the threat and then completed the ninth unscathed to send the game into extra innings.
He got into some trouble in the tenth, giving up a walk and single to start the inning, but Imwalle, would bail him out, with a fielder’s choice, ground out and fly out to end the Bellingham threat and give the HarbourCats the series-clinching win.
Ricketts was the offensive star of the night for Victoria, reaching base four times and crushing the first pitch he saw from Bellingham reliever Austin Weiermiller over the fence for the deciding runs. Harrison Spohn would also have a hit and score twice in the Victory.
Jaco gets the win in relief while Imwalle gets the save. Weiermiller takes the loss for the Bells, who lose their second game in a row for just the second time this season.
The HarbourCats will go for the sweep when they and the Bells close out their three game set with an Independence Day matinee Wednesday, with first pitch scheduled for 12:05 pm.
The HarbourCats then return home for a two game series against the Highline Bears, a summer collegiate team from the Seattle area. First pitch for both nights is scheduled for 6:35 pm and plenty of tickets for both games are available.