FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – August 9, 2016
BELLINGHAM, WA – The first playoff game in Victoria HarbourCats franchise history took place on Tuesday night at Joe Martin Field in Bellingham, unfortunately the result was not what they desired.
The HarbourCats sent right-hander Austin Dondanville (6-1, 1.72 ERA) from Cal Poly to the mound for the game one start while Bellingham countered with UCLA right-hander Jon Olsen (5-2, 2.10 ERA).
After the HarbourCats stranded left fielder AJ Alcantara (UC Irvine) at third base after a one-out single in the top of the first, the Bells struck first in the bottom of the inning. Right fielder Andru Cardenas (Chico State) led off the inning with a single and stood on third base with two out when catcher David Banuelos (Long Beach State) drove him in with a single to center field to put Bellingham ahead 1-0.
First baseman Jake Vieth (Gonzaga) followed with a double to put runners on second and third but Dondanville was able to end the inning with no further damage.
Bellingham extended their lead in the bottom of the second when left fielder Austin Shenton (Washington) reached on a leadoff walk and scored on a one-out double by Dean Lawson (Northern Colorado) to give the Bells a two run lead.
After a quick first two innings for Bells right-hander Jon Olsen, the HarbourCats were able to get the bats going and tie the game at two in the top of the third on a double by right fielder Ben Polshuk (Cal Poly) that scored centerfielder Matt Lautz (UC Santa Barbara) and Jarron Silva (UCLA) who both reached on singles.
Victoria recorded two hits in the top of the fourth but was unable to score. Shortstop Tommy Jew (UC Santa Barbara) singled with one out but was picked off during the at bat of Riley Guntrip (UBC) just two pitches before the catcher hit a double to the wall in left. Third baseman Brad Pluschkell (UC Davis) grounded out to end the inning still tied.
After allowing two runs on four hits to the Bells in the first two innings, Austin Dondanville finished his outing strong, holding Bellingham scoreless on one hit over his final three innings. A high pitch count however, ended his day after five innings, allowing two runs on five hits and three walks with three strikeouts.
Right-hander Cameron Schneider (Cal Poly) allowed a single and a walk to begin the bottom of the sixth, presenting Bellingham an opportunity to retake the lead. Schneider induced a double play ball off the bat of Danny Casals (Maine) to put a runner at third with two out. Bellingham would draw consecutive walks to load the bases with two outs before the six-foot seven right-hander was able to retire center fielder Shane Hanon (Edmonds CC) on a fly ball to right field, ending the threat.
With Olsen still holding the HarbourCats offence at bay, Bellingham shortstop Chase Strumpf (UCLA) led off the bottom of the seventh with a double and was sacrificed to third base with one out as the Bells knocked on the door again.
After Jake Vieth walked, the HarbourCats summoned right-hander Greg Casper (South Dakota State) from the bullpen with runners at first and third with one out.
The first batter faced by Casper, second baseman Gunner Schubert (Gonzaga) delivered a single up the middle to drive in Strumpf and put Bellingham back on top, 3-2. A wild pitch moved runners to second and third with one out but Casper was able to record a strikeout and a groundout to end the inning and prevent the Bells from adding to their lead.
Starting right-hander Jon Olsen’s night worked into the eighth inning, pitching 7.1 innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits with three strikeouts and not walking a batter. He gave way to right-hander Nick Silva (Maine) who retired both batters he faced as the Bells maintained a 3-2 lead.
Casper remained on the mound for the HarbourCats for the bottom of the eighth and after a leadoff walk to Lawson, retired Bellingham in order with the help of Guntrip who threw Lawson out trying to steal second base.
Bellingham turned to right-hander Sam Hellinger (Gonzaga) in the ninth to try to close it out. HarbourCats first baseman PJ Floyd (Sacramento State) reached on an infield single to put the tying run on first base with one out but Hellinger induced a game ending double play off the bat of Tommy Jew.
Jon Olsen earned the win for Bellingham while Cameron Schneider took the loss for the HarbourCats. Sam Hellinger picked up the save for the Bells.
The series now shifts to Victoria for game two on Wednesday evening with the HarbourCats trying to stay alive and force a game three which would take place Thursday in Victoria.. First pitch of game two will go at 6:35 at Royal Athletic Park with stadium gates and box office opening at 5:30pm.
Tickets for Wednesday’s game two are still available at the HarbourCats office at 1814 Vancouver Street and 778-265-0327. The office will open at 9:00am on Wednesday and remain open until 5pm.
Tickets can be ordered online at: http://www.ticketrocket.co/event/details/89092/victoria-harbourcats-home-playoff-game-1
Two-game playoff packages are available. For more information, visit this link– http://sponsorimpact.com/files/HC_playoff_packages_2016.pdf
HarbourCats playoffs are presented by the Wilson’s Group.
Visit 1814 Vancouver Street or call 778-265-0327 to purchase playoff tickets or for more information.
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:
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.
Spaces are filling quickly! Book today by contacting Flight Centre Saanich: 1-877-293-2175 or email@example.com
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.
Office hours are as follows:
MONDAY-FRIDAY – 9:00am-5:00pm
SATURDAY – 10:00am-2:00pm
SUNDAY – Closed (Except by appointment)