Nick Plaia, and all HarbourCat fans in attendance, were all smiles when Chase Meidroth smacked a game-winning RBI single in the 10th to give the HarbourCats a 5-4 win over the Cowlitz Black Bears. (Photo by Christian J. Stewart)
Story by Josh Kozelj
Photos by Christian J. Stewart
VICTORIA — Reagan MacDonald had a season high eight strikeouts on the mound, and Chase Meidroth was the hero in the 10th as the Victoria HarbourCats (12-5/30-14) defeated the Cowlitz Black Bears 5-4 to move into sole possession of first place in the Second Half North division standings.
Also with the victory Wednesday evening at Wilson’s Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park, the HarbourCats clinched their sixth straight series victory over Cowlitz and haven’t dropped a set to the Black Bears since June of 2015.
In the first, however, Andres Sosa got Cowlitz on the board first with a near identical performance from last night.
Sosa, batting leadoff tonight, sent the second pitch off the game deep over the left field fence to draw first blood for the Black Bears. Yesterday evening in the series opener, Sosa batted second in the order and hit a mammoth home run to centre field that gave Cowlitz a similar 1-0 lead.
Also like last night, Victoria spotted Cowlitz the first run of the game and climbed back with a vengeance later.
Harrison Spohn got Victoria’s first hit of the game with a double in the second, and with two outs Tyler Pettit hit a line drive destined for the outfield but the Black Bears shortstop Zack Smith leaped and snagged the liner with his outstretched arm to momentarily keep the HarbourCats off the board.
Cowlitz’s luck would run out in the third, as the HarbourCats would send nine batters to the plate in a four-run two-out rally.
Kyle Sherick hustled out an infield single with one out, stole second and advanced to third off a Parker Bramlett fielder’s choice.
With Chase Meidroth, who came into tonight with five-game hit streak and has recorded at least one hit in 11 of the past 12 games, Cowlitz starter Kyle Rich uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Sherick to score from third and tie the game at one.
Meidroth would draw a walk off Ryan after Sherick scored, and advanced into scoring position at second base one pitch later off Rich’s second wild pitch of the inning. Griffin Paxton would then come up to the plate and smack a RBI double into the left field corner to score Meidroth and give Victoria their first lead of the game.
Nick Plaia continued the rally with one batter later after Cowlitz outfielder Colton Eager tripped to let Plaia’s single drop in centre field, and score Paxton to make it a 3-1 game. The HarbourCats added another run off an error to cap off the four-run frame.
MacDonald exited with a three run lead in the fifth, allowing just two hits and one run through five solid innings. With a new pitcher on the mound, Cowlitz levelled the game at four as Brian Cromwell launched a three-run home run to tie the game.
With the game still tied entering the ninth, the HarbourCats loaded the bases in the home half with two outs but couldn’t bring anyone home as Ty Schindel struck out to send the game into extras.
After a 1-2-3 top of the 10th from Chase Stewart, the ‘Cats once again were on the prowl with two outs.
Nick Adams got on base with a one out single, but was gunned down one batter later trying to go from first to third on a Kyle Sherick single. Parker Bramlett though moved Sherick to second with Victoria’s third consecutive single in the inning, setting the stage for Meidroth. Having yet to record a hit and extend his hit streak to six, the University of San Diego product extended his streak by smacking a single up the middle to bring Sherick home and give Victoria the walk off win.
With the Wenatchee AppleSox off today, the HarbourCats moved a half-game up on the ‘Sox for first in the Second Half standings, and picked up their 30th overall victory on the season. The ‘Cats will look for the series sweep against Cowlitz tomorrow afternoon in a rare 1:00 midweek start.