Demeter leads ‘Cats to Comeback Win against BellsBy Josh Kozelj July 02, 2018 09:37pm
Story by Josh Kozelj
Photo by Christian J. Stewart
July 2, 2018 – The Victoria HarbourCats (12-13) were down to their final out in the ninth, but used a late rally to earn a come from behind 4-3 victory in 11 innings against the newly minted WCL North First Half Pennant Champions Bellingham Bells (18-7) at Joe Martin Field in Northwest Washington State.
One day after only mustering up 3 hits in a loss to the Kelowna Falcons, the HarbourCats only needed five hits (4 of which came in the ninth inning or later) to steal the series opener. Dustin Demeter proved to be the hero of the night with 4 RBI on two clutch late hits to send the game into extras, and eventually the game sealing hit in the 11th.
Vancouver B.C. native Wesley Moore got the start for the Bells, and carried a no-hitter into the sixth in an outing which looked to be good enough to earn his first victory of the season.
The Cal-State Northridge product would only allow four base runners in six full innings pitched on the mound, and Nick Plaia was the HarbourCat to break up the no-hit bid leading off the sixth with a single.
With both teams travelling to Bellingham, the ‘Cats after dropping a series to Kelowna at Wilson’s Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park and Bells returning home after a series in Cowlitz, the game turned out to be a low scoring pitchers duel.
Ethan Fox got the nod on the mound for Victoria, and didn’t allow a run with five strikeouts in five solid innings pitched on the mound. The Victoria bullpen with combined efforts from Lawson Humphries, Ryan Rutherford, and Jacob Potter were also able to keep the HarbourCats within reach despite not having one of the best games offensively.
Humphries pitched a clean 1-2-3 sixth, and a Bells RBI single off Rutherford was the lone blemish for the bullpen. The Cody Pasic single gave the Bells a 2-0 advantage, until the ‘Cats mustered a late rally in the ninth.
Mike Malinchak walked off closer Johnny Wiltfang to start the frame, and after two quick outs which left the HarbourCats with no room for error, Nicky Gibbs earned a walk to continue the inning. One batter later, after Oregon State newcomer Joe Casey came into pinch-run and he and Malinchak both advanced into scoring position with steals, Demeter plated the two with a single to tie the game at 2-2.
Tyler Yoshihara, the eventual game winner, came on to pitch a scoreless bottom of the ninth and bottom of the tenth, and in the top of the 11th, Demeter came back up to plate with the bases loaded and only one out, and the University of Hawaii native didn’t disappoint, scoring two again with another two-RBI single.
Nathan Walker would allow one run in the bottom half of the eleventh, but would hold on to give Victoria their twelfth victory on the season.
Victoria will look to use the momentum to collect their fist series victory since taking two of three from the Bend Elks on June 18-20, tomorrow night at 6:35 in Bellingham. Owen Sharts is slated to oppose Taylor Davis on the mound in series middle game.