‘Cats Late Rally not good enough to take down KnightsBy Josh Kozelj July 07, 2018 09:52pm
Story by Josh Kozelj
July 7, 2018 – After winning five consecutive games to end the First Half WCL split season, the Victoria HarbourCats (0-1) dropped the first game of their Second Half schedule 9-8 to the Corvallis Knights (1-0) at Goss Stadium on the campus of Oregon State University.
In what was the HarbourCats first visit to Corvallis since losing to the Knights in the 2017 WCL Finals last season, Victoria staged a furious late inning comeback that wasn’t enough to avenge last years heartbreaking loss.
Nick Plaia, who started the game with a walk in the first inning, scored one out later from an error from the Knights catcher and Jack Smith doubled the Victoria lead to 2-0 in the next at-bat with a sac fly.
However, Corvallis would respond in a big way in the bottom half of the inning, racking up five runs off starting pitcher Landon Anderson.
The righty out of Cal State Fullerton put the first two Corvallis batters of the game on, and after getting one out, Anderson would yield a one out bases clearing double to Austin Feist that tied the game at two.
Cody Hawken and Beau Philip both continued the Knights onslaught with matching RBI singles, and Trace Tammaro poured in a two-out RBI single of his own to cap off the five run inning.
Anderson settled in after the rocky first, only allowing one more hit and no more runs in four innings pitched on the mound.
Dustin Demeter would start the HarbourCats late rally in the sixth with a RBI single that cut the Corvallis lead to 5-3, and would score two batters later off a wild pitch from Jacob Fricke to get Victoria within one run.
After Corvallis responded in the home half of the inning, with Tammaro’s second RBI hit of the game to make it a 6-4 game, the HarbourCats would briefly tie the game in the top of the seventh.
Mike Malinchak collected his eighth RBI of the season with a sac-fly, and Demeter continued his big night at the plate with his second RBI single of the game.
Yet, in the bottom of the seventh, Corvallis would prove why they are the back to back WCL league champions with a three run inning that put the game out of reach.
Zak Taylor would break the tie with a RBI double, and Briley Knight plated two more runs three batters later to give the five-time WCL champions a 9-6 advantage.
The HarbourCats showed resilience in the eighth, plating two runs in the inning to claw within one run again, but Corvallis reliever Trevor Wells would keep Victoria scoreless in the ninth to give the Knights their first victory of the Second Half.
The two teams will renew hostilities tomorrow afternoon at 3:00pm in Corvallis, as Garrett Goodall will look for his third victory of the season and force a series rubber match in the finale Monday night.