Fresh off a weekend series in Portland, the Victoria HarbourCats downed the Wenatchee AppleSox 14-5 in Tuesday night’s game at Wilson’s Group Stadium, dominating with a healthy balance of timely pitching and patience at the plate.
Aaron Celestino induced a pair of double-play balls in both the first and second innings. Exiting after four-and-two-third innings, Celestino allowed four runs and collected two strikeouts on the night.
Parker Bramlett only needed to see one pitch from Wenatchee starter Gavin Gorrell to smack a single to the outfield and Jason Willow jumped on the first pitch as well to line a double into the left field corner to put two HarbourCats in scoring position after just two pitches.
Chase Wehsener took his time at the plate by earning a walk to load the bases and Nick Plaia opened the scoring with his team-leading 13th walk to make it 1-0.
One batter later, Emilo Nogales doubled Victoria’s lead with a walk of his own, increasing the HarbourCats’ WCL team lead in walks to 96. Victoria ended the game with 11 walks, leaving them with 105 on the season.
Nate Pecota’s two-out bloop single scored two more for the HarbourCats, capping off the four-run inning.
Wenatchee attempted a comeback by scoring three times in the top half of the fourth, however, Victoria responded with a vengeance in the bottom half of the frame.
Willow started the rally with a single off reliever Brett Gillis, and after Wehsener matched his teammate with a single one batter later, Griffin Paxton cleared the bases with a triple into the gap. Nick Plaia then restored the four-run lead with a double, helping Victoria to a 7-3 lead.
After Wenatchee scored in the top of the fifth, Plaia responded immediately in the home half with his third RBI of the night. Nogales scored Plaia with a single one batter to bring Victoria’s run total to 10, continuing their streak of scoring 10-plus runs.
The HarbourCats offence has scored 10 or more runs in six of their past 11 games, and Nick Adams placed the exclamation point on the night with a pinch-hit grand slam in the seventh.
Victoria will look to continue that streak Thursday night and send Jack Neely to clinch the series against the AppleSox. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. The HarbourCats will be giving away a funeral package Wednesday night, with a fan walking away with a prize package worth well over $5,000.
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