HarbourCats ninth inning rally falls short in loss to Raptors

Cade Smith got yet another no-decision tonight in his sixth start of the season. The University of Hawaii product racked up five strikeouts, and allowed just a single earned run over five innings. (Photo by Christian J. Stewart)

Story by Josh Kozelj 

Photos by Christian J. Stewart


VICTORIA — One day after clinching a postseason berth, the Victoria HarbourCats (0-1/18-10) couldn’t claw all the way back in the ninth against the Ridgefield Raptors (1-0/14-14) for their first win of the Second Half, losing 4-3 Monday evening at Wilson’s Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park.

In their first meeting since Ridgefield joined the league last month, Jonny Weaver’s three-run home run in the seventh was just enough to give the Raptors their first ever win over Victoria.

Nick Adams flexes his face, and prepares to sprint out of the box in tonight’s game. Adams finished with a walk on the evening. (Photo by Christian J. Stewart)

After holding the Bellingham Bells to just one hit yesterday afternoon, Cade Smith continued the recent dominant stretch of HarbourCats starting pitching on the mound.

On Saturday against the Bellingham Bells, Jack Hyde took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, while yesterday afternoon Jack Neely held the Bells hitless through four.

Joe Butler, making his first home start for the HarbourCats, gets ready to field a ground ball at third in an earlier inning. (Photo by Christian J. Stewart)

In his sixth start of the season, Smith would finish one inning short of a quality start, racking up five strikeouts over five dominant frames.

The one blemish for the righty from the University of Hawaii would come in the second, when the expansion Raptors loaded the bases with one out. After Smith hit Steve Ramirez, Grayson Sterling and Michael Young hit back to back singles, and Wyatt Hoffman smacked a sacrifice fly to left field that opened the scoring.

Ethan Clough contorts his face before unleashing a pitch from the mound in tonight’s game. The righty allowed just two hits over five dominant innings. (Photo by Christian J. Stewart)

On the opposing mound, Ethan Clough allowed just two hits over five, and like Smith would have just one mistake on the evening.

The mistake came two innings later, when Tyson Hays led off the fourth and sent Victoria’s second hit of the game over the left field fence to even the score at one.

The ‘Cats had a chance to pull ahead of Ridgefield in the sixth, when Victoria led off the frame with two consecutive walks that chased Clough from the game. Cameron Repetti would come in on relief, and issue a four pitch walk to Nick Adams that loaded the bases for Victoria with no outs.

Ty Schindel, getting ready to jump out of the box, got Victoria’s first hit of the game in the second inning. (Photo by Christian J. Stewart)

Repetti then unleashed a wild pitch that bounced off the backstop and into the glove of Raptors catcher Steve Ramirez, who tagged Tyson Hays hustling in from from third to keep the game tied at one. Repetti then got Ty Schindel to strikeout and Tanner Rempel to pop out, and avoided the inning unscathed.

One inning later, Ridgefield would capitalize after Victoria threatened in the sixth. The Raptors put two men on with no out, and Jonny Weaver notched his third homer of the season off reliever Reagan MacDonald, a three-run bomb that gave Ridgefield the lead.

Repetti would last until the ninth, before Tanner Rempel’s leadoff single ended his night and Victoria threatened again.

Ridgefield would go back to their bullpen and summon Marc Lidd, but Chase Meidroth would welcome him to the game with a double that put two HarbourCats in scoring position with no outs.

One batter later, Tanner Haney scored both Rempel and Meidroth with a single and an error by the right fielder to bring Victoria within a run. Jason Willow and Chase Wehsener would be called out of the dugout to pinch hit, but couldn’t bring Haney home, as Lidd got Hays out with two outs in the ninth to earn the save.

Victoria will look to split the series tomorrow night against Ridgefield, first pitch is scheduled for 6:35p.m.


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