Early Leaving fans miss HarbourCats late-inning dramatics yet again!By Thomas Wilke July 20, 2022 11:30pm
Above Photo: Grady Morgan’s teammates swarm him after his walk off single in the bottom of the tenth (Photo: Christian J Stewart)
Victoria, BC ~ Grady Morgan and Russell Young once again proved why you should never leave a HarbourCats game early, when Morgan’s single in the bottom of the tenth inning, sealed a comeback 9-8 victory over the Bellingham Bells in WCL action Wednesday night at Wilson’s Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park.
Victoria catcher Russell Young seems hell bent on sealing his place in Victoria folklore, as for the second time in a week, he brought an electric crowd to its feet with a dramatic extra base hit. On Sunday it was a grand slam to take the lead in the bottom of the eighth, but Wednesday night it was a two out double down the left field line that scored two runs to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth. What a week it has been for Russell.
Victoria started the game on the front foot after a strong first three innings from starter Owen Luchies and a first inning run courtesy of a Cody Russell error at second base for the Bells. The Cats would strike for two more in the bottom part of the third after Joseph Redfield took Bells starter Austyn Coleman deep to right field for his second homerun in as many days.
A rough top of the fourth inning was really the only trouble for Victoria, Wednesday night, as Bellingham pushed across six runs in the fourth. That inning was highlighted by a two run double by Colin Blanchard.
Victoria continued to chip away at the deficit and trailed 8-5 going into the bottom of the eighth inning. They were able to add a sixth run in the eighth thanks to Roberto Gonzalez’ RBI pinch hit single to left to score Russell Young from third.
After Josh Verdon shut the door in the ninth inning, closing out four strong innings of his own, Russell Young came to the rescue for the HarbourCats. His game tying RBI double could mean so much for this Cats team both emotionally and in their playoff chances, as they are in a dogfight to qualify for the WCL postseason. Russell’s double also brought the Victoria crowd roaring to their feet to prove yet again why the South Island is an incredible place to play.
Addison Sells came into the game in the top of the tenth and after eight straight balls to start the inning, did what the best pitchers do. That is to dig deep and find a way, and that is exactly what Addison did to put a zero on the board and set things up for Grady Morgan’s heroics in the bottom half of the inning.
Grady, who holds a fantastic on base percentage of .451 this summer, came to the plate with a runner on third and you could just feel the end of the game coming, as he then delivered to send the crowd home smiling and push the HarbourCats to a huge victory.
With this victory the Cats improve to 8-7 in the second half of the season which places them in second place, only trailing Wenatchee who sits at 7-4. Thanks to a loss for Bellingham, Kelowna and Edmonton on Wednesday night, Victoria now moves a game ahead of all of them in the second half while just 0.5 games back of Kelowna for the fourth and final wildcard spot in the WCL North.
Victoria closes out the series with an all important rubber match series finale tomorrow evening against the Bells before hopping on a plane and flying out to Edmonton for a three game set. They will have Monday off before starting a three game exhibition series at home against the Northwest Honkers on Tuesday the 26th. Don’t miss a moment of the pumping action by getting your tickets now at harbourcats.com/tickets, and please for your own good, don’t leave a HarbourCats game early, because if this week teaches us anything, it’s that these guys love playing hero late.