Story by Josh Kozelj
PORT ANGELES, WA — Less than 24 hours after a five run sixth inning prevented the Victoria HarbourCats from earning a series opening victory across the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Port Angeles Lefties used another late inning rally to collect their second straight comeback win over the HarbourCats at Civic Field.
On a picture perfect afternoon for baseball, the Lefties scored six times in the seventh inning in a 8-6 win over Victoria to clinch the series.
However, eerie similar to last night’s 9-6 loss, the HarbourCats scored early and often to start the game but couldn’t hang on in the latter stages.
After going three for four with two RBI’s yesterday, Jeddediah Fagg’s hot bat got the scoring started with a RBI double to draw first blood for the visitors.
Mike Malinchak tripled Victoria’s lead in the next at-bat with a two-run single to make it a 3-0 game early on.
The game remained scoreless until the fourth, when 2018 returnee Hunter Vansau made HarbourCats history with a solo shot.
The home run, his third on the season combined with eight last year, made Vansau the franchise all-time leader in home runs with 11 in his two year career. The long ball moved Vansau past former franchise leader, and now University of San Diego Junior, Kevin Collard who hit 10 homers in his two years as a HarbourCat in 2015 and 2017.
On the mound Garrett Goodall, one of three HarbourCat 2018 All-Star representatives in the festivities in Port Angeles less than a week ago, provided a steady hand despite the loss.
The righty out of Embry-Riddle retired nine of the first ten batters before running into some trouble in the fourth.
Drew Minter responded to Vansau’s record homer with a solo shot of his own to edge the Lefties within three, but Goodall would settle down before exiting in the sixth.
Goodall finished with a no-decision, racking up five strikeouts to only one walk in five innings of one-run ball.
A Matthew Christian RBI single in the sixth made it a 4-2 game, and the Lefties would would open the game up in the seventh.
Jason Dicochea started the frame with a double, while Austin Earl plated him with a single to bring Port Angeles within one. After one out, Trey Morgan tied the game with a RBI single, and Brady Heid put the Lefties ahead for good with a two-run shot.
Christian then came up for the second time in as many innings, and collected his second and third RBI’s of the game with a two-run home run to make it a 8-5 Port Angeles lead.
Alex Jemal, pitching in relief of Lefties’ starter Avery Santos who yielded five runs in five innings on the bump, would only give up one run in the final four innings to preserve the victory for Port Angeles.
With the win, the Lefties clinched the ‘Battle for the Strait of Juan de Fuca’ series, beating the HarbourCats in four out of five games this year.
Victoria will look to salvage the series tomorrow afternoon in the final game of the season against Port Angeles, first pitch is scheduled for 3:05.