|The Black Bears flexed their muscles on Friday|
Then someone yelled "Play Ball". OK, it wasn't actually that bad, but the homeside Black Bears spanked (no, I will never use "mauled" again!) Victoria 9-5 to hang another loss on our boys, making it eight bad ones in a row. Garcia and the 'Cats went through the first two innings all knotted up at 0-0 before Garcia gave up a solo blast in the third to the Bears' number three hitter, Brennan Salgado. Still, down 1-0 after three...not bad.
The 'Cats were their own worst enemy after that. A two-out error in the fourth let two unearned runs score and then in the fifth, Victoria had the bases loaded with one out and starting pitcher Zebastian "Fernando" Valenzuela struggling to find the strike zone. Enter reliever Reze Aleaziz (where do they get these awesome names?!) who gets Alex DeGoti to ground into a fielders choice and strikes out Aaron Barnett, diffusing the potential 'Cats rally.
Tim Peabody replaced Garcia to start off the fifth and gave up four more runs on five hits and two walks in his two innings of relief. The final line on Garcia was three runs (only one earned) on six hits while walking three and striking out five. Certainly not as flattering as his first outing, but keep in mind this is essentially a high school senior who will be going to UCSB next year. He obviously has some stuff as he did get five of his outs on K's. I'm looking forward to seeing him pitch here in Victoria as he hones his game to NCAA level to ready himself for next year.
The 'Cats put up a bit of whimper by scoring in the sixth and seventh to cut the lead to 7-3 and woke up the Bears again in the ninth with two more runs, but basically Cowlitz put it on cruise control after the sixth and coasted home from there. On the bright side, DH Sean Watkins had a nice night at the plate, going two for three and driving in two runs while "Babe" Clark continues to wield a hot bat going two for three himself. Centre fielder Nathan Lukes also went two for five and gunned down another runner at the plate with what sounded like a rocket from the outfield - this kid got game!
This is the second series of the season against Cowlitz with the 'Cats winning the first one here in Victown by a tally of two games to one. Tomorrow the HarbourCats with send Alex "A-Rog" Rogers at the Bears to try and even up the series and get rid of this awful losing streak.
In the words of Crash Davis, "What we need is a rain-out". Hey...it worked for the Bulls!