|HarbourCats pre-game pep talk...|
It was family day, and that meant taking time to honour and thank the many families who give up their homes and their free time to billet the players. I was surprised to learn many families take in more than one player, showing a true commitment to the team, and to baseball in Victoria. All managed by Austin and Ty's mother Karen Russell, everyone involved deserves a big hand.
There were plenty of other thanks to give on this day, including to the many volunteers and 'Cats staff who keep the games running smoothly. Thanks also to the many concession, security, and field workers who are there night after night keeping us fed, safe, and hydrated.
And thanks to the HarbourCats for ending the season in style - thanks to a late 3-run rally and some great relief pitching from Logan Lombana.
A bit of a scare in the ninth inning... With two out, a long fly ball to right looked like a possible game-ending fly, but it continued to slice toward the foul line, landing just inches past the outstretched glove of a diving Chris Lewis. With the tying run on 2nd base, another line shot to center field looked like it might find grass and score the tying run before Brandon Smith hauled it in for the final out of the season.
Connor Russell had a strong start, mixed with a couple of unfortunate base hits that added runs to the board for Bellingham. He left after 5 down 3-1, giving way to Lombana who finished the game giving up only 1 hit over the final 4 innings.
Bells 3B Alex Calbick started the game and went 1-3 before being pulled in the 6th inning. He left the game hitting .384 and a one-point lead over Wenatchee's Connor Spencer for the batting title. Spencer plays later tonight in Kelowna and will have to come from behind to take the title.
GM Holly Jones took the field late in the game to announce the outstanding attendance number for the game at 2,467. A weekend total of just over 6,700 gives Victoria the highest paid total attendance in the WCL this year, and the second highest average behind only the Bend Elks.
Coach Dennis Rogers also thanked the crowd for all of their support throughout the year, and promised a winning team next season.
Plenty of post-game activity with players lining the concourse to sign autographs and chat with fans. With a few weeks left before the college year starts, there was lots of talk about fly fishing, surfing, and hitting the beach, mixed with some good old home cooking.
|...and Post-game Victory line. That's Brandon Smith receiving the hugs for his game winning catch!|
Victoria will miss these boys of summer, and we look forward to seeing some of them return next season.
Stay tuned to the blog over the next couple of weeks while we wrap up the season, share some insight on what happens next, and post some exclusive interviews. Thanks for reading throughout the season!