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Starting pitcher Cade Brown, went 2.0 innings. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall.

There is nothing like a little motivation and assistance from a tail wind to help a baseball team find their bats. The Victoria HarbourCats (9-7) hosted the Bellingham Bells (13-6) for game one of their three-game set at Wilson’s Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park Friday night and eked out a 6-5 win.

Jeddediah Fagg may have been scouted out of high school by a few universities for his talent as a quarterback, but Georgia Southern University got him for his ability to swing a bat, so did the Harbourcats. Friday, he went ¾ including a two-run double off the left field fence during the first inning as well as a bomb of a homerun that went over the scoreboard during the third inning. He was the player of the game.

Asked if he is affected by the cool temperatures (14C), he said, “Actually I really like it as I am from Arizona, and it is around 120 most of the summer, so I will take this anytime.”

Victoria’s Jason Willow also got in on the homerun derby smacking a tater during the first inning in front of friends and family. The UC Davis student was happy to get to play in front of family and friends. It was his first game back and he went 2/4 on the night.

“It was cool to do that on my first night back in front of the home town crowd and like I said, I am not a big home run hitter, so to do that was kinda cool for me too. It was a lot of fun to play here and it was nice to get that ovation there when the home town kid was announced,” shared Willow.

For both teams this series will be an important test, as the HarbourCats are now 2.5 games back for the lead of the division behind only the Bells and want to win the first half of the season, to take the pressure off of winning the second half. A first half division title will automatically guarantee the winner post-season play.

Bellingham Bells starting pitcher Nick Hull. Photo credit: Christopher Kelsall

The HarbourCats got off to a hot start with four hits during the bottom of the first inning. Fagg picked up an RBI with the double, and then Jack Smith hit a two-run homer. The HarbourCats scored three runs after sitting three Bells batters in a row, during the first inning.

The Bells would get two back during the top of the second inning.

The HarbourCats would score runs in the third, fifth and sixth, while the Bells got two in the top of the fifth and one more during the top of the ninth, to make it a close one.

Asked if he thinks the HarbourCats are starting to see the ball better, Fagg said, “Yes I think we are and we are starting to be more aggressive and it is paying off as you can tell.”

Twice his teammates doused him with water for his efforts. He didn’t seem to mind, after leading the team to a season high 12 hits, with his three. Mathew Clayton also went 2/4 for the HarbourCats.

“We are starting to get in the groove of baseball and seeing more pitches. We are starting to get into the rhythm,” added Fagg.

Cade Brown started on the mound for the HarbourCats, getting in two innings and giving up three hits and two runs. Owen Sharts earned the win going four innings, while the save was earned by Pin Chun-Ho.

The teams play again Saturday at 6:35 pm and Sunday at 1:00 pm.