HarbourCats Bats Stymied by Akin in Loss to KelownaBy Josh Kozelj June 13, 2018 09:27pm
Story by Josh Kozelj
June 13, 2018 – The Victoria HarbourCats missed another chance to get two games over .500 for the first time this young season in a the 7-1 loss to the Kelowna Falcons at Elks Stadium.
In what was the third opportunity for the HarbourCats to get two wins above .500, the visitors mustered up eight hits but struggled to bring any baserunners home behind a stellar outing from Falcons pitcher Jared Akin.
It took only two hours and twenty minutes for the Hillsboro, Oregon native to carve up a HarbourCat lineup that produced 13 runs the previous night.
Akin, a 6’3 217lb product from Lower Columbia College in Washington State, produced a gem on the mound. The right hander dominated through eight innings of one run ball, racking up five strikeouts, and only allowing two walks.
The HarbourCats helped the opposing starter by stranding nine runners on base, highlighted by a third inning where they loaded the bases but were unable to get any runs of Akin.
Matt Clayton, and Jeddediah Fagg were able to make some noise for a two-out rally against the Falcon pitcher, and when Silas Grinstead drew a walk to load the bases it seemed a glorious chance for the visitors to get the righty out of his grove early on.
However, Akin got Harrison Spohn to ground out to a fielders choice to get him out of the jam, and Akin never looked back.
For the remainder of his outing, Akin never faced more than four HarbourCats in an inning, on his way to his first victory of the season.
Clark Streby made his second start of the season for Victoria, and fared fairly well. Streby only allowed two runs on six hits through five full innings, racking up four strikeouts in the process.
But, was not able to get any help from his battery mates, who struggled to gain any momentum after loading the bases in the fourth.
After Streby gave up a leadoff double in the home-half of the sixth inning Head Coach Brian McRae summoned Justin Solt out of the bullpen, who also attended Lower Columbia College like Falcons pitcher Akin, to keep the HarbourCats to within a run.
Yet, Solt would not be able to find the magic his Lower Columbia College teammate had on the evening, and would proceed to give up a double in the first batter he faced in a three-run inning for the home team to make the score 7-0.
Lawson Humphries entered the game in the seventh and didn’t fare much better for McRae’s crew, yielding three runs and two walks in just a single inning of work to essentially put the score out of reach at 7-0 Kelowna.
In the lone bright spot for Victoria, Trey Bigford was able to finally solve Akin in the top half of the eighth with a solo shot for his first home run of the season to claw the ‘Cats to within six.
However, the rest HarbourCats bats wouldn’t come alive on the evening, as Falcons pitcher Travis Martzia shut the door on the visitors to ensure Kelowna would earn their third victory of the season.
The loss dropped Victoria to 4-4 on the year, and they will look to win the rubber-match tomorrow night and climb back above the .500 barrier at 6:35 in Kelowna.