The Victoria HarbourCats came out swinging to open their series with a 12-3 win over the Cowlitz Black Beats at Wilson’s Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park Tuesday evening.
Cowlitz, after winning four of their past six games, made their first trek to the Island since 2017 after Victoria swept them in a three-game set where each game was decided by only a single run.
Gaining an early one run lead thanks to Cowlitz’s Andres Sosa, Victoria responded one inning later as Emilio Nogales drew a one-out walk. One batter later, Nick Plaia smacked Victoria’s first hit of the game over the fence in the left field to lift the ‘Cats ahead — this was Plaia’s fifth homer of the season.
Making HarbourCat history in the home half, Parker Bramlett reached base with a one-out walk and stole second base one batter later for his 20th steal of the year — breaking Palia’s single-season franchise stolen base record of 19 which was set last summer.
Victoria started to break away in the fourth as Plaia started a two-out rally, drew a walk and stole both second and third with Nate Pecota at the plate, increasing his career stole base tally to 29. Pecota would then score Plaia with an RBI double that would see the ‘Cats pour on the offence in the fifth.
Chase Meidroth made it a 4-1 game with an RBI single and Frankie Niemann busted the game open with a double to right field that scored Bramlett and Meidroth, giving Victoria a five-run advantage. Capping off the five-run inning, Plaia and Pecota got back-to-back RBI sac-flies, giving Victoria two more insurance runs.
Calvin Turchin finished the night by allowing just the first inning home run, giving up one walk and five hits.
Three separate HarbourCat relievers held Cowlitz to just two runs following Turchin’s exit, as the ‘Cats tied the Wenatchee AppleSox for first in the second half North standings with the victory. Victoria will look to clinch the series Thursday night, first pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.
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