In spite of the outcome, there was a lot to like in this game. Quintin Torres-Costa made only his second start since undergoing Tommy John surgery in May of 2013 and he looked very good in his three innings of work. Even though he had given up only one run on three hits, the coaching staff smartly pulled him out of the game with a five run lead to protect his arm.
Port Coquitlam’s Darren Honeysett made a spectacular regular-season debut for the HarbourCats, reaching base in all five of his plate appearances. The Monterrey Peninsula College standout, who has excellent strike-zone judgement and knack for getting on base, notched a pair of singles and earned three walks on the night. It’s awfully early, but Honeysett could be the 2014 version of Ty Russell.
Wyler Smith also continued to amaze on the basepaths, stealing two more bases -- including a steal of home. He now has five steals in the first two games of the year (it was originally thought that he stole four bases in the season opener, but the Official Scorer only credited Smith with three steals). In case you are wondering, the league record for stolen bases is 27 by Ryan Lee of the Kelowna Falcons in 2007, so Smith is well ahead of that pace.
Now the bad news. The HarbourCats didn't make the Falcons earn the victory in the seven-run fifth inning. Jacob McAdams, making his first appearance at the collegiate level, walked four batters and threw a wild pitch in the fifth before exiting with one out and a 6-2 lead. Mark Marinch did his best to stop the bleeding, but errors by Cole Kreuter and Ted Boeke, along with a couple of hits sealed the HarbourCats’ fate. When all was said and done in the fifth, Victoria trailed by an 8-6 score.
It wasn't a great way to lose a ballgame, but if the ‘Cats can win the rubber game of the series tomorrow evening then all is good. Reinforcements are on the way, so the team just has to stay close to the division leader until they arrive. That division leader just happens to be the 2-0 Cowlitz Black Bears, Victoria’s opponent in Tuesday’s Home Opener.
- Bryan Conant was not taken in the MLB draft this week. While that’s not the news that Conant was obviously hoping for, he would be a great addition to the HarbourCats’ pitching staff. We’re crossing our fingers that Conant the Barbarian returns to Victoria this summer.
- Our two Long Beach State Dirtbags, Alex DeGoti and Logan Lombana, should be in uniform for the Home Opener. DeGoti’s experience will be a big help in the HarbourCats infield, although it will be interesting to see if he takes over his old position as the HarbourCats shortstop or if he slides over to his natural position at second. Lombana will be a big boost for the HarbourCats’ bullpen.
- Ex-HarbourCat Alex Real was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 24th round of the MLB draft. It will be interesting to see if he signs or returns for his senior year at the University of New Mexico. Real was an absolute joy to watch last summer at (as it was then called) Royal Athletic Park.