FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – July 19, 2017
The Victoria HarbourCats (21-17, 7-4 second half) began the post-All-Star break portion of their schedule at Joe Martin Field in Bellingham on Wednesday night.
The game was the opener of a three-game series with the Bells (20-17, 4-6) and the start of a crucial six-game road trip for Victoria that will begin a stretch of 15 games in as many days.
The HarbourCats sent left-hander Jack Owen (Auburn) to the mound for his sixth start of the season. One of five players who represented Victoria at Tuesday’s West Coast League All-Star Game, Owen turned in one of his strongest outings as a HarbourCats.
The game moved quickly through five scoreless innings. The best scoring opportunity for either team came in the bottom of the fifth when the first two batters reached base for Bellingham with a single and a walk, but Owen recorded a pair of strikeouts to escape the inning with no damage.
DJ Porter (Cal Baptist) finally solved Belllingham right-hander Rogelio Reyes (Cal Berkeley) in the top of the sixth inning, hitting his second home run of the season, a solo shot to give the HarbourCats a 1-0 lead.
First baseman Harrison Bragg (Mississippi State) doubled Victoria’s lead with his third home run of the season in the top of the seventh.
Bragg’s home run ended the night for Reyes, allowing two earned runs on seven hits and a walk, striking out three over 6.1 innings of work.
HarbourCats head coach Brian McRae turned the ball over to the bullpen and right-hander Noah Prewett (San Diego) in the seventh, finishing Owen’s night at six scoreless innings on three hits and three walks with eight strikeouts.
Bellingham cut the lead in half with a run on two hits in the bottom of the seventh, but Prewett stranded the tying run at third base to keep the HarbourCats ahead, 2-1 after seven innings.
The HarbourCats responded immediately with three runs in the top of the eighth on the strength of an RBI double from second baseman Tucker Johnson (Baylor) and a two-run single by Bragg, giving him a game-high three RBIs, to put Victoria ahead, 5-1.
Right-hander James Bradwell (UBC) made his debut for Victoria, starting the bottom of the eighth. Bradwell walked the bases loaded but limited the damage to just a sacrifice fly from second baseman Ryan Mendoza (Long Beach State) as the HarbourCats led 5-2 going to the ninth.
Travis Kuhn (San Diego) worked a scoreless ninth, closing out the win with his league-leading eighth save of the season.
Owen (4-1) earned the win with his third scoreless start of the season for the HarbourCats. Reyes (0-4) took the loss for Bellingham.
The victory temporarily moves the HarbourCats into a first place tie in the WCL North Division second half standings with the Wenatchee AppleSox, who were trailing in their game at press time.
The middle game of the series is set for Thursday at 6:35pm in Bellingham. Right-hander Taylor Prokopis (Colorado Mesa) will make his third start of the season for the HarbourCats.
The next home series for the HarbourCats takes place Tuesday, July 25 through Thursday, July 27 against the Kelowna Falcons at Royal Athletic Park in Victoria.
Only six regular season home games remain on the 2017 schedule. Tickets for all games are available in person at the team office or online through Ticket Rocket: http://www.ticketrocket.co/search/events?searchText=HarbourCats
2018 SEASON TICKETS
2018 season tickets will go on sale in July including the highly popular Campbell Real Estate Club. Tentative plans are in the works to expand the new home plate seating section from two to four rows of padded seating.
Waiting lists will be taken for season tickets in the Diamond Club seats.
Visit the HarbourCats office at 101-1814 Vancouver Street or call (778)-265-0327 to purchase season tickets or for more information. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details, or go to the team website at harbourcats.com.
The HarbourCats office (1814 Vancouver Street, 778-265-0327) is open 9:00 – 5:00pm daily on non-home game days. On home game days, the office is open at 9:00am until one hour prior to game time, when the ballpark gates and box office open.