Saturday, July 26, 2014

Benches clear three times as Cats lose to Corvalis

On the surface, Victoria falls to the mighty Corvalis Knghts 8-5. Could have, would have, didn't. But the score rarely tells the complete tale of a ball game, it doesn't pick up the nuances. This was a game to remember for HarbourCat fans and players alike. "I went to a baseball game and a hockey game broke out" was the theme of the day...

With that in mind, we present to you, the moments you missed if you weren't one of the 1222 fans in attendance tonight (or if you were in the Bin-4 lineup again)...
  • Kelly Norris Jones in the lineup, and it's not even a bobble-head night! I hope he doesn't get injured again...
  • Andreychuk leads off... Corvalis starting pitcher Angel Landazuri had great stuff early, but in the bottom of the 1st inning, leadoff man Griffen Andrekchuk hit a 2-2 curve ball he had no business getting a piece of. He laced it into center for the Cats first hit - a great piece of hitting.
  • While we're talking Landazuri - the Knight haven't lost in games he's started all season (7-0).
  • Collier gets back on track... Danny Collier who has had some mighty struggles this year hits a dying quail base hit in the 2nd, and follows it with another in the 4th. He's robbed in the 6th however on a play where replay showed him clearly safe, he was called out at 1B. Wasn't even that close really, just a blown call by blue.
  • Defence at 3rd... In the top of the 2nd, did you see Noah Cummings shoe-top grab and great chuck to 1st for the out? Nice D from a guy who looks out of place at 3B. More on Noah in a minute.
A new bat for Mama Clark's trophy case
  • Clark hits one out... Gabe Clark, fresh of his HR contest win on Monday, and being presented with a bat in a pre-game ceremony, proves it wasn't a fluke, getting the HarboutCats an early lead. I wonder if Clark has ever heard his walk-up song "Welcome to the Boomtown" before. A classic 80's hit for David and David, it reached #37 on the Billboard Charts. Gabe's HR puts him 2 away from the WCL's all-time home run record charts though.
  • Smith's run-saving catch... Top of the 5th, Corvalis 3B Kevin Kline launches one into left field, but Wyler Smith reaches over to bring it back for out number 3. At the time, that saved two runs and kept the score at 3-2 'Cats.
  • Clark hits two out... Bottom of 5, Clark catches another one and hits it a long way. He's only one away from the record now.
  • Sean Watkins fist pump... Top of the 7th, Carson Schneider hits a guy, walks another, and gives up a single to load the bases. DH turned reliever Sean Watkins comes in, gets 2 strikeouts and a fly ball to get out of the inning without giving up a run! In the middle of that, KNJ takes a foul tip off the jaw as he is removing his mask to throw out a runner stealing second. Kelly is done for the night.
  • Clark plonked... Bottom of the 7th, Gabe Clark up looking for HR number 3 on the night is hit in the middle of the back on the first pitch he sees. He glares all the way to first, and the benches empty for the first time with some choice words said by all. Cooler heads prevail this time.

Bench Clearing #2 on the night. Hit somebody with a shoe already!
  • Sean Watkins plonk... Top of 8, Watkins takes matters into his own hands and sticks up for his teammate by hitting Knight's SS Mike Lucarelli. Bench clearing #2 of the night and Watkins is ejected, which doesn't help the team cause, especially when effective relievers are at a premium.
  • Angel shuts em' down... Angel Delgado was just hanging out watching the game and enjoying himself, until Watkins gets tossed. He has about 5 minutes to stretch, warm, and be ready to pitch. He throws a fantastic inning, inducing a fly-ball out and striking out two.
  • Fizzle in the eighth... After Smith reaches on a lead-off single, 0-3 .212 hitter Noah Cummings gets to hit. Why? Down by 1, runner on, isn't that DH time? Bryce Greager anyone? Nathan Lukes? Cummings watches strike 3 go by, and Aaron Barnett continues to struggle by killing the rally with a double play.
  • Give it away in the ninth... Delgado gives up a couple hits and as runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out. Corvalis Catcher Logan Ice lifts a lazy fly ball into left field that is in no way deep enough to score the runner from 3B. It's a big out for Delgado and keeps Victoria close - but it doesn't happen. Wyler Smith takes his eye off the ball at the last second to find the runners, and the ball falls to the ground. A run scampers home from 3B while the Knight's Scott Quinlan takes third on the gaff. But it's not over. Smith stands there in disbelief that he missed the ball - still holding the ball! Quinlan heads for home as well, making it a 3-run deficit.
  • Twister game at 2B... Same inning, Logan Ice looks to be out at 2B on a stolen base attempt, but Andreychuk can't squeeze the ball. Then he finds it, Ice is off the bag, and Griffin dives on him to make the tag. Pushing shoving, bad words, and bench-clearing #3. Ice would later score an 8th Corvalis run.
  • Pinch hit too late... So now down by 4 runs, and down to their last out, it's time to pinch hit. In comes Bryce Greager fresh from the dog house, and what does he do? He hits a rope to left that leaves the yard for his second Greager-bomb of the year. One inning too late.
  • Cats fall just shy... A hit, walk, and an error load the bases for pinch hitter Alan Baldwin, who hits a lazy grounder to 2B for the final out of the game. Close, but no dip.


  • This has been bugging me all season. You can't play "Stayin Alive" on the pitch that makes it 3-2. That song is reserved for those epic battle where a batter fouls off 5 or 6 pitches, has adjusted his cup 50 times, the pitcher has thrown every pitch he know how to, yet the batter keeps wasting $7 balls over and over again... It's not the second strike song!


  1. Nice summary!...a couple things...don't know if Lukes was available tonight as he had ice on his arm midway through the game. Second, you failed to mention what for me was turning point of all the crazyness that happened...that silly pet race with the people with animal masks on their heads...that was somewhat surreal (see photo in my ISN article) and all the weird stuff in the game happened after that (including Harvey almost winning his race!). Yes a crazy game for sure!

  2. Great recap of a wild one! I have a few more to add to the list...

    One has to wonder if the Clark bat flip after his second homer offended the Knights. Hitting two homers in a game alone doesn't normally prompt that kind of response in the gentlemanly WCL.

    Clark played for Corvallis last year as well. Normally guys return to the Knights and play multiple seasons (they have many returning players from last season but Clark isn't one of them). Could there have been personality conflicts on the team involving Clark last year?

    I wasn't impressed when Watkins hit Lucarelli. I'm all for protecting your teammates, but in a close game that was the wrong spot to pick. Also, you can't be hitting guys in the head. I'm sure he didn't mean to, but if you are going to throw a beanball then you better hit the target (lower back).

    Once again, pitching coach Ben Jackson had a bad game. His slow hook on Lombana was at the speed of a glacier. Jackson didn't get anyone up when it was clear that Lombana was running of out of gas. He didn't get a reliever up until the horses were out of the barn... A little late to close the barn door. Instead of taking him out with the lead, he exited after the Knights pulled ahead, giving up 3 walks and 8 hits in 6 innings. I realize the bullpen is thin, but leaving a guy in there too long doesn't make much sense.

    It will be interesting to see how much bad blood spills over into today's game. Suspensions from last night will be doled out....

  3. I was very impressed with the defensive play of Kelly Norris-Jones. He does a great job blocking balls in the dirt and keeping them in front of him. This skill often goes unnoticed yet it can save your team runs and can be a difference maker.