Friday, August 9, 2013

Bellingham Bells - series preview

In a rare weather-assisted home-and-home series for the Cats, the Bellingham Bells comes to town for the final three games of the season this weekend. Victoria is in position to play spoiler to the Bells in their quest to make the WCL playoffs.

Bell's mascot "Dinger". Get it - he's a HAM-ster
Victoria dealt a huge blow to the Bells playoff hopes last night, getting a strong outing from Will Ballowe in a 3-2 victory. The Bells had plenty of opportunities to score runs but were unable to get key hits when they needed them. The Bells now need to sweep this series while Wenatchee gets swept, and knock them out based on their head-to-head record. Wenatchee is ending the season with three games in Kelowna starting tonight - if I was a betting man, I’d say Bellingham is done. Actually, they have been done for a while now... the Bells were leading the North division just two weeks ago, but have gone 1-7 since July 28th. This is a team that is in a serious slump at exactly the wrong time of the year.
Given the situation the teams find themselves in, you can expect to see a few changes and oddities happening in and around the field…
On the ‘Cats side, for perhaps the first time this season, Victoria doesn’t have their starting rotation listed for this weekend’s series - except for Friday’s game, where newcomer Daniel Koo – a Yale man (the Fraser Valley Baseball Academy one) – is scheduled to take to the mound in his WCL debut. Koo previously played in the BCJPBL with Abbotsford. Victoria also signed pitcher Gunner Swanson this week, and he pitched 7 strong innings down in Wenatchee on Tuesday but took a loss. The “Gun Show” played with Everett in the NWAACC, alongside Dylan LaVelle where they won the league championship back in May, and was the winning pitcher in the final game against Pierce, throwing a gem of a 4-hitter. Would be nice to see him with a start, if he made the trip North.
I doubt we will see Ty Provencher as he’s been all but shut down for the season with his pitch counts so far. Ryan Keller threw in relief last night (picking up the save) so he will likely stay in the pen. That may mean one more start for Bryan Conant which would be a nice way to end the season – he’s been by far Victoria’s most consistent starter. Maybe if a game gets out of hand early we’ll see Connor Russell and his mop one more time… We’ll have to wait and see what mound magic the coaching conjures up.
On the sticks, the Schuknecht brothers have found a rhythm for sure and are hurting the ball. Both are now tied with Alex Real with 5 HR each, 3 behind league leader Cody Hough. A good weekend could net one of these boys the home run title. Alex Real has dropped off considerably in his quest for league average leader, but Bellingham’s Alex Calbick currently sits at .370 – only 3 points behind the league leaders Connor Spencer from Wenatchee, and Cowlitz’ Kyle Knigge.
Flip a coin on any of these games, as either team could win all three. I really hope the HarbourCats give the fans a positive to close out the season. Victoria should be able to take 2 of 3 in the series, and end the year on a somewhat high note. Saturday’s fireworks night will bring lots of folks to the yard, and the weather promises to be outstanding for all three games. Come on down for one last Pig and Spinnakers Original at the park!


  1. I know I just posted on the developmental stuff, but why bring in a new arm(s) so late in the season? Scratching my head here...

    Bubba...make it a Kolsch for me...grazie!

  2. I don't agree with the new pitcher either and how about inserting ty russell and daryl blaskovich

  3. Now why would that even be allowed ?..... So the boys who have been with the team through thick and thin....a few will take the bench to let the new guys play, and only a couple of games left. I don't get it and I don't agree either.
    Please help me out here, since this is just a "development league" as every one seems to be calling it, are they allowed to pick up for the playoffs? Seems to me that would be allowed too. Good way to stack your team to try to ensure a win in the finals....