Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart
July 26, 2017, Victoria, BC – After a night that featured a little bit of everything on Tuesday night, including a streaker at the conclusion of the game, the Victoria HarbourCats and Kelowna Falcons resumed their West Coast League series at Royal Athletic Park in Victoria on Wednesday, with the HarbourCats using a 18-hit attack to come away with a 12-3 win.
Leading the charge for Victoria Wednesday was starting pitcher Adam McKillican, who, after getting beat up last outing against Bellingham for his first loss of the season, got back on track big time against Kelowna, holding them hitless through the first 5 and 2/3 innings, surrendering his first hit to Kelowna’s Logan Steinberg with two outs in the sixth.
Kelowna used that hit, along with an error and walk to load the bases in the inning, but McKillican got Cole Mueller to line out to short to end the threat and keep the Falcons off the board.
The Victoria offence meanwhile, got things going in the third, when Harry Shipley led off with a double and then traded places with Hunter Vansau who blooped an RBI-double into left field, giving the ‘Cats a 1-0 lead.
After adding another run in the fifth, the Cats would break the game open in the sixth with five runs off Kelowna reliever Ian Turner, starting things off when Shane McGuire would cash in DJ Porter (single) with another sac fly to put Victoria up 3-0.
Andrew Shaps would follow that up with a two-out single and then both Shaps and Shipley (single) would come in to score on a pinch-hit, two-RBI double from Tucker Johnson. Harrison Bragg would then cap the big inning with a two-run home run well over the fence in left field, putting Victoria up 7-0.
The Falcons would finally get to McKillican in the seventh, scoring three runs on the strength of a two-RBI double by Chris Arpan that scored Cade Peters and Josh Glenn who had led off the inning with back-to-back singles. A JT Williams ground out then scored Arpan, ending McKillican’s night. Reliever Indigo Diaz would then come on to get the final two outs of the inning to keep the score at 7-3.
Victoria would add another in the seventh and then explode for four more runs in the eighth, keyed by a pair of two-RBI singles from Po-Hao Huang and McGuire to put the game well out of reach, leaving Travis Kuhn to come in and pitch the ninth to close out the 12-3 win.
Victoria’s 18-hit attack was led by Shipley with a three-hit and three run evening and McGuire with a three-hit and three-RBI night. A quartet of players also had two hits each including Vansau, Shaps, Johnson and Cole Weiss. Vansau, Johnson, Bragg with his home run and Po-Hao Huang also added two-RBIs each to the night.
McKillican with the win moves to 5-1 on the season, while Brayden Price takes the loss to fall to 0-2.
The win keeps the HarbourCats in first place in the North, 1.5 games ahead of Bellingham, who defeated Cowlitz 5-1, and Wenatchee, who were leading Port Angeles in the ninth inning at press time.
Victoria and Kelowna conclude their three game set with an afternoon 1:05 PM matinee on Thursday with Taylor Prokopis, well-rested after a four-game suspension, getting the ball for Victoria, while the Falcons will respond with Carson Dwyre.
Notes: McGuire now has multiple hit games in four out of the last five games he has played and is hitting .532 on the season. Prior to being held hitless in last night’s game, Andrew Shaps had put together a streak of six multi-hit games, five of which were three-hit affairs.