Spohn and Bullpen Lead HarbourCats to first Shutout Win of SeasonBy Josh Kozelj June 18, 2018 09:27pm
Story by Josh Kozelj
June 18, 2018 – In the first regular season road trip south of the border, the Victoria HarbourCats were sure to pack their bats in a visit to Bend, OR.
Behind a two hit and 3 RBI night from Harrison Spohn, the ‘Cats (7-6) cruised to a 6-0 over the Bend Elks (3-13) at Vince Genna Stadium in the heart of Central Oregon.
Spohn, a freshman hailing from Cal Baptist University in, came into tonights game sporting only a .222 batting average in 18 at-bats. However the Upland, California native increased his average by more than 50 points to .273 on the season early in the second inning.
After catcher Hayden Jaco advanced to first on a four-pitch walk from Elks starter and Stanford University righty Luke Sleeper, Spohn hit a ball right back to the pitcher who made a throwing error to allow Spohn to reach with no outs and Jaco to score for the ‘Cats to draw first blood.
Spohn then stole second on the error, and the HarbourCat onslaught wouldn’t be stopped there.
Next up in the order, Jeddediah Fagg smacked a RBI double to score Spohn, and double the Victoria lead to 2-0. After a wild pitch and walk given up by Sleeper, second baseman Jerred Seamons would commit the second Elks error of the inning, and plating Fagg to give the HarbourCats a 3-0 advantage.
Tyler Thomas made his second start on the mound for the HarbourCats in Bend, and provided a key role in holding the Elks to five hits in the game and to get the visitors back above .500.
The Baylor University southpaw would go on to fire 5 innings of three-hit ball, and racking up 8 strikeouts in the process.
A stark contrast from his counterpart in the Bend dugout, as Sleeper would manage to get through three innings with three runs charged — however, only one run was earned due to the sloppy play in the field from the Elks.
It hasn’t been uncommon for starters to be failed the defence behind them, as Bend has committed 21 errors on the diamond in the first 16 games of the season.
The score didn’t budge again until the top of the fifth, when Spohn continued his productive night by hitting a RBI triple to increase his RBI total to 7 on the season, and double the lead for Victoria to 6-0.
Behind the combined efforts of Lawson Humphries, Jacob Potter, and Ping-Chun Ho the HarbourCat bullpen would hold the Elks to only two more hits after Thomas exited in the sixth. The Victoria bullpen would also combine to collect 11 strikeouts in their first shutout victory of the season.
The win vaulted the HarbourCats ahead of the Port Angeles Lefties and back into sole possession of second place in the WCL North division, only 2 games behind the idle Bellingham Bells.
Justin Solt of Lower Columbia College will get the nod from Head Coach Brian McRae in game two of the three-game series tomorrow against Bend, as the HarbourCats will look for the series victory.