Sunday, June 23, 2013

Matinee mistakes-a-plenty leads to Cats win

WCL ERA leader Scott Kuzminsky
In the HarbourCats first matinee game of the season, mistakes were more the stars of the game than the plays themselves. The scoring line had some oddities you don't usually see - like Bend being up 1-0 after three without an earned run, or Victoria tying it up in the 4th, chasing the starting pitcher from the game, yet still without a hit in the game. Bend's run in the third looked like a softball play... a liner to the right field fence, bobbled and gunned back to the infield, then thrown wild trying to get the runner at third, the ball careening out of play while the runner trotted home. Error on the bobble, error on the throw, unearned run.

Errors helped the Cats as well - an error by Bend CF Chase Fields scored Jordan Ellis in the fourth, and a wild pitch in the sixth helped the Cats go ahead 3-2, scoring DH David Schuknecht.

All these errors lend to an excellent pitching line - Cats starter Scott Kuzminsky went five, and Bryan Conant went four in the win, scattering seven hits and two walks with no earned runs. Bend pitching was actually better, eight innings of three-hit ball in the loss.

Errors aside, in all it was an excellent weekend of ball in Victoria. The full roster makes a huge difference defensively, and the pitching is top notch - Kuzminsky leads the WCL in pitching totals, still sporting an ERA of 0.00 over 15.1 innings with 13 strikeouts. Connor Russell is fourth in the league with 21 strikeouts, and Ty Provencher is tied for the league lead in both appearances and complete games - a combo you don't see every day.

The Cats now have what seems like a crazy schedule break. In a two and a half month season, it's hard to imagine a five-day layoff, but that's what they have. Next weekend sees them travel to Cowlitz and Wenatchee, before returning home two weekends from now to start sets against Kelowna and Walla Walla.

So for the next week and a half, keep dreaming of those Saturday fireworks, and the boys will be back in no time.

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