|LaVelle (32), welcomed home by Lewis (6), Real (14), and DeGoti (24)|
Lewis also scored in the 3rd inning after driving a double to the wall, and scoring on an Austin Russell single. Jordan Ellis scored Mike Darr on a sacrifice fly for the only other Victoria run.
Provencher was rolling along into the fifth, only giving up a single hit, a sun-aided sky-high pop up that 3B LaVelle lost in the sun before it dropped just out of the reach of covering SS Alex DeGoti. Ruled a hit (because the sun cannot cause an error), it was the only base runner Wenachee had in the first 4 innings.
The fifth inning started well for Wenachee, as Andre Real belted his team-leading 5th home run of the season to get the Sox on the board. Three straight singles, a fielder's choice, a another single netted 2 more runs. This was obviously Provencher's storm to weather, with the bullpen remaining empty through it all.
Ty-Pro righted the ship in the 6th and 7th before running into more trouble in the 8th, giving up a mammoth home run to AppleSox All-Star Connor Spencer. With the bullpen ready, he completed the inning with the lead intact at 6-5. He faced one more batter in the 9th until finally, after throwing 121 pitches on the night, he left to a standing ovation from many of the 1200+ fans in attendance, and hugs and fist bumps from his teammates. Cameron Cuneo finished off the next two batters to record his first save of the season.
From my observation, Saturday's win seemed to elevate the mood around the park. Lots of chatter was heard from the Victoria dugout, and for the first time in a few games the boys seemed looser and more involved in the game. Lots of high fives, guys jumping out of the dugout to welcome back returning players after productive at-bats, lots of cheering pitches taken for balls, etc. It's amazing what a win can do to set the mood.
With the first half officially over, the HarbourCats come into the all-star break one game below .500 at 17-18. These two wins against the AppleSox have been key, keeping them only 3 games behind Wenachee for the division lead. Still, they will need to play better ball in the second half to make the post-season as they find themselves in fourth place in the division.
Here's a look at some interesting game stats over the first half of the season...
- Sunday's four-run explosion marked only the 8th time the Cats have ended the first inning with a lead. They have been outscored 32-20 in the opening frame.
- Victoria's 5 runs through 3 innings were the most they have scored in the first three innings of a game this season.
- On average, Victoria outscores opponents in only 3 of 9 innings: The 2nd, 8th, and 9th. They are outscored in all others (except for the 13th, where they have the only 2 runs).
- The cats most prolific inning is the 8th. They have scored 24 runs, or 15% of all runs in the 8th. Their worst offensive innings are the 2nd and 3rd, accounting for 8% and 7% of total runs.
- Defensively, the Cats give up more runs in the first inning than in any other, a total of 32 runs or 17% of all runs. Amazingly, they have a stingy 2nd inning, giving up only 10 all season, 5% of total runs.
- Victoria has had only 4 games this season without an error, while opponents have had 7.
- Victoria has collected and given up exactly the same number of hits to this point - 307.