Story by Josh Kozelj
July 29, 2017 — The Victoria Mavericks scored nine times in the first three innings and Chris Fougner racked up four hits and six RBI in a 17-7 victory over the Victoria HarbourCats to split a two-game weekend series at Wilson’s Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park.
After last night’s game, which had to be called after two hours to get the stadium ready for the Chilliwack postgame concert, the Mavericks came out swinging in the first inning.
Aidan Goicovich got the start on the mound for the HarbourCats, and had trouble settling into a rhythm against a potent Mavericks lineup that would send nine batters to the plate in the first.
Goicovich started the game by hitting Josh Campbell, and after two walks, the righty out of Cal Poly hit his second batter of the inning which scored the first run of the game. The Mavericks would score twice more in the frame courtesy of a Nick Seginowich RBI double, before Goicovich induced two straight fly outs to end the inning.
The HarbourCats responded in the home half of the first by sending eight batters of their own to the plate in a four-run inning. The Mavericks got the first out of the inning, but proceeded to give up back to back RBI doubles to tie the game and Jaxxon Fagg smacked a RBI single to give the HarbourCats their first lead on the afternoon.
However, the slugfest continued immediately in the top of the second, as the Mavericks responded with five runs to increase their lead to 8-4.
Fougner and Lance Burrows hit matching RBI singles to chase Goicovich, before Mason Shaw would come in for relief and was subsequently greeted by a solo shot from Charlie Strandlund.
The Mavericks collected another run in the top of the third, and Tanner Haney responded with an RBI fielder’s choice to slice into the lead. However, Fougner’s second of six RBI’s in the matinee, a sac-fly in the fifth, doubled the Mavericks lead to 10-5.
In the sixth inning, Eric Hegadoren would prove to be the bright spot of HarbourCats pitching on the afternoon, striking out the side in the frame and not yielding a hit in 1 1/3 total innings on the mound.
Fougner added a three-run homer in the eighth, as the Mavericks piled on with seven runs in the final two innings to secure the split.
Now the Mavericks, who combined with the Coquitlam Angels, will shift their focus to representing Team BC at the Canadian Nationals in August at Wilson’s Group Stadium.
With the loss the HarbourCats fell to 5-3 in non-league games this year, and will wrap up their exhibition play on the season tomorrow night with a special game against Team Cuba tomorrow night at 6:35.
In WCL action, with Yakima Valley’s loss last night, the HarbourCats climbed to within 3.5 games of the North Division leaders. Victoria will head to Yakima for a crucial three game series starting July 31, and the HarbourCats will need to earn a sweep if they want to have any chance of clinching the Second Half Pennant and third straight playoff appearance.