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The Victoria HarbourCats are just one victory away from tying the all-time West Coast League record for wins in a season. Currently they sit at 38; their goal is to hit 40. The HarbourCats are 38-14 on the season.
Last night the Yakima Valley Pippins defeated the ‘Cats 10-7 at Royal Athletic Park. The record will have to wait, but there is little time left in the regular season. The ‘Cats must win one of their two final games of the regular season tonight or Sunday to tie the record. Win both and they own it.
The Wenatchee AppleSox set the record during the 2011 season.
The ‘Cats last night became the first ever West Coast League team in history to surpass the 50,000 in total attendance during the regular season. Last night they played to a crowd of 2, 4444, for a season total to date of 50,980.
The Pippins won the game in the ninth inning, after the ‘Cats came back from a 6-2 deficit during the eighth inning. Going into the ninth the score was 6-6.
The game got off to a tenuous start for Victoria as starting pitcher Cam Schneider (4-1) loaded the bases with the first four at-bats. But he then re-gained his composure by striking out the next three Pippins.
The Pippins scored three runs with two out in the second inning.
P.J. Floyd hit three doubles and a homer, but unfortunately capped the game off with a game-ending fielding error.
Schneider repeated the first inning during the sixth, where he again loaded the bases with none out but again he recovered. The score was now 4-2, after allowing a run.
Pippins Ryan Garcia smacked a two-run homer off of an Ethan Skuija pitch in relief. Skuija is a local Victoria player who played for the Victoria Eagles and then went on to play for the UBC Thunderbirds.
The ‘Cats got their own homer, a solo, off the bat of P.J. Floyd during the bottom of the seventh inning as did A.J. Alcantara, the following inning. Then Floyd hit his third double of the game, scoring an RBI before Griffen Andreychuck tied the score 6-6 with a sac fly.
Floyd’s big day out lost its shine when he committed a throwing error, which allowed the Pippins to go up by a run.
While the ‘Cats absolutely dominated the first half of the season with their incredible 23-4 record, it is the Pippins who are leading the way during the second half with their 17-8 record after last night’s game.
The Pippins and HarbourCats go at it again tonight at Royal Athletic Park. Game time is 6:35 PM.