Jim Swanson, Victoria HarbourCats
The Victoria HarbourCats entered their series opener Monday against the Kitsap BlueJackets (7-17/15-36) needing just one win to clinch the top overall regular season record in the West Coast League, and they left little doubt on this night.
The HarbourCats carried a 35-13 overall record into Monday, the best in the entire WCL, and a 12-9 second half record which was tied with the Bellingham Bells for first place in the WCL North Division second half standings. The HarbourCats already have their playoff spot and home field advantage in the first round by virtue of their first half division pennant.
A win would lock up the WCL’s top overall record for Victoria and secure home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
The HarbourCats started quickly with the bats, scoring a single run in three consecutive innings to open the game.
First baseman Ben Polshuk (Cal Poly) drove in left fielder AJ Alcantara (UC Irvine) in the first inning to open the scoring. In the top of the second, catcher Hayden Jaco (Vernon College) lifted a sacrifice fly that scored third baseman PJ Floyd (Sacramento State) and finally in the top of the third, a sacrifice fly off the bat of second baseman Ryan Anderson (UC Davis) brought in right fielder Austin Guibor (Fresno State) to give Victoria their third run.
Kitsap got on the board in the bottom of the second, when second baseman Thomas McGarry tripled with one out and scored on a groundout by right fielder Justin Bundy (Northeast Texas CC), but still trailed 3-1 through three innings.
The HarbourCats added to their lead in the top of the fifth, putting together three straight base hits with two out in the inning, capped off by a two-run single by Ryan Anderson that scored Alcantara and Polshuk to put Victoria ahead, 5-1 on the strength of eight hits.
Kitsap was able to get a run back in the bottom of the fifth to trim the Victoria lead to 5-2. Catcher Benny Kaleiwahea (Lower Columbia College) was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, and after advancing to third on a base hit and a groundout, came in to score on a wild pitch thrown by Dondanville.
Victoria was simply not going to be denied on this night, as they answered right back in the top of the sixth, scoring two runs for the second consecutive inning to take command with a 7-2 lead. Scoring in the inning saw Hayden Jaco pick up his second RBI of the night on a ground ball that scored PJ Floyd, and a Guibor single that drove in Jarron Silva.
Dondanville took it from there, firing eight innings, allowing just two earned runs on six hits with a walk and six strikeouts en route to his sixth win of the season (6-1). He has 10 wins in his WCL career.
Jake Prizina (2-4) took the loss for Kitsap allowing seven runs, six earned, on nine hits over 5.2 innings pitched issuing three walks with four strikeouts.
Right-hander Cameron Schneider pitched a scoreless ninth inning to bring the win home for the HarbourCats.
Ben Polshuk who had three hits as well as Ryan Anderson’s three RBIs led the HarbourCats offensively.
The win is the HarbourCats 36th of the season and clinches the top overall record in the West Coast League, giving them home field advantage so long as they are alive in the playoffs.
The middle game of the three game series between the HarbourCats and BlueJackets is slated for Tuesday at 6:35pm at Gene Lobe Field in Bremerton. Right-hander Will McAffer (South Dakota State) will be handed the ball for Victoria against Skyler Genger (Lewis-Clark State).
HARBOURCAT ALUM INVOLVED IN DEADLINE DEAL
Nathan Lukes, a HarbourCats outfielder and the team’s co-Player of the Year in 2014, was traded by the Cleveland Indians to the Tampa Bay Rays at the MLB trade deadline on Monday along with a minor league pitcher, in exchange for major league outfielder Brandon Guyer.
Lukes hit .343 with two home runs and 24 RBIs for the HarbourCats as a sophomore from Sacramento State in 2014, and in 2016 was hitting .299 with five home runs and 33 RBIs with 15 stolen bases across two levels for the Indians, recently earning a promotion to Advanced-A Lynchburg.
TATE TRADED TO YANKEES
Right-handed pitcher Dillon Tate, a first-round pick of Texas in 2015 and former HarbourCats signee, was traded from the Rangers to the New York Yankees on Monday in exchange for veteran major league outfielder Carlos Beltran.
Single-game tickets for the HarbourCats first playoff game on August 10 are now available at this link –
Playoff tickets are also available in a two-game package. For more information, visit this link —http://sponsorimpact.com/
Visit 1814 Vancouver Street or call 778-265-0327 to purchase playoff tickets or for more information.
The HarbourCats return home to Royal Athletic Park in Victoria on Friday, August 5 to begin their final regular season homestand with a three-game series against Yakima Valley Pippins from the south division of the West Coast League.
Complete details for the series are as follows—
Friday, August 5: 6:35pm (Gates open at 5:30pm)
Jerseys Off Our Backs with Odlum Brown
The Last Forces Friday with Galaxy Motors. Special ticket prices for military and first responders.
Saturday, August 6: 6:35pm (Gates open at 5:30pm)
Fan Appreciation FIREWORKS presented by Wallace Driving School
Blast Off with Ticket Rocket
Sunday, August 7: 1:00pm (Gates open at 12:00pm)
Fan Appreciation Day with Maple Leaf Foods
Free hot dog for every child in attendance
Fans may also visit 1814 Vancouver Street or call 778-265-0327 to purchase tickets.
BLUE JAYS-MARINERS ADVENTURE WITH THE HARBOURCATS
The HarbourCats have partnered with Flight Centre and Wilson’s Transportation to stage an exciting vacation opportunity for HarbourCats fans:
Travel on a Wilson’s Transportation bus to Seattle for the Mariners vs. Blue Jays series, September 19-21 at Safeco Field, where the HarbourCats have reserved a large block of seating at each game, while also enjoying a two-night stay at Tulalip Resort and Casino, one of the premier resort and entertainment stops in the Northwest.
This package includes:
Round-trip bus transportation from Royal Athletic Park. Transfers to games and resort are included
Two-night stay at Tulalip Resort and Casino with daily buffet breakfast and gaming voucher.
Three game tickets with block seating on the first level, third base line.
Pricing from $689 for double occupancy, including all taxes and fees.
Pricing from $669 for triple occupancy and $649 for quad occupancy, including all taxes and fees. Single rates available upon request.
Assistant GM Brittany French is in the office and ready to assist fans with all ticket purchasing and can take care of any other requests and questions fans may have.
The office is closed Sunday and Monday for the long weekend and will reopen with normal hours on Tuesday, August 2.
Office hours are as follows:
MONDAY-FRIDAY – 9:00am-5:00pm
SATURDAY – 10:00am-2:00pm
SUNDAY – Closed (Except by appointment)