HarbourCats end First Half with Sweep of BellsBy Josh Kozelj July 04, 2018 03:04pm
Story by Josh Kozelj
July 4, 2018 – As the old adage goes ‘better late than never’, the Victoria HarbourCats (14-13) concluded their First Half of the WCL season with a 3-2 victory and first three-game sweep of the season over the Pennant winning Bellingham Bells (18-10) at Joe Martin Field.
On a day that doubled as a celebration of U.S. Independence Day, Mason Shaw of nearby Ferndale, WA got the start against the team a mere 10 miles from his hometown. While the Bells countered with righty Nick Hull on the mound, who also yielded four runs in a 6-5 loss to the HarbourCats on June 22 at Wilson’s Group Stadium.
For the first three innings both starters seemed in control of their command, combining to only allow four baserunners in the initial three frames. However, the HarbourCats would start to make some noise in the fourth.
After Hull recorded two quick outs, the Bothell, WA native hit Jedd Fagg and gave up a single to Jack Smith that put two runners on and ended his afternoon early.
Bells Manager Bob Miller opted for Trevor Delaite out of the ‘Pen, and after an error by the catcher that allowed Fagg and Smith to advance into scoring position, Delaite fired a wild pitch that allowed the duo to score and give Victoria a 2-0 advantage.
Shaw finished the afternoon only three outs away from producing a quality start on the mound, exiting the game in the sixth and allowing four hits in 5 full innings pitched with no walks or runs allowed.
Victoria added some insurance in the fifth courtesy of some speed on the bases from newcomer Joe Casey, who joined the HarbourCats July 2 from newly minted NCAA College World Series champion Oregon State Beavers.
Smacking a single off Delaite with one out, Casey advanced to second with a walk from Dustin Miller, and then stole third and scored Victoria’s third run of the game after the Bells catcher’s throw got away from the third baseman.
A Grant Holman RBI single off Nathan Walker climbed the Bells to within two runs in the seventh, however a stingy HarbourCat bullpen were able to preserve the sweep over the WCL league leaders.
Lawson Humphries pitched a clean eighth, setting up the stage for Tyler Yoshihara in the ninth.
Yoshihara, who has yet to give up an earned run in 17 1/3 innings pitched on the mound, allowed a lead-off double and then two outs later a RBI single to Holman to make a 3-2 game.
However, the Pomona-Pitzer native, showed resilience on the mound after yielding his first run of the season by getting Cody Pasic to end the game and give the HarbourCats their first sweep of the season.
Coming into this series the WCL league leading Bells had rattled off 13 wins in 14 games, with the lone blemish to the HarbourCats on June 22, and with this sweep Victoria has been the only team to beat Bellingham in the past 17 games.
Victoria will now hop on the bus and return home for a brief two game non-league series against the Seattle-area collegiate team Highline Bears on July 5 and 6. Both games are are scheduled for 6:35pm at Wilson’s Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park.