Sean Watkins picked up the win with 2 ⅓ innings of yeoman’s work on the hill. Watkins threw a season-high 57 pitches (!!) to finish off the Bells. Victoria’s ace of the starting rotation, Alex Rogers, took a tough no-decision in the game in spite of pitching 6 ⅔ strong innings. Rogers gave up only one earned run on six hits and one walk.
It was a night to forget for Victoria third baseman Ted Boeke, however. Not only was he the lone starter who failed to reach base safely, but he also committed a pair of costly errors that allowed the Bells to tie the game in both the seventh and eighth innings.
|Tater, Klamath Fall's mascot|
The Klamath Falls Gems are on their way to Victoria for a three-game series that starts on Thursday night at the STD at RAP, and it will be the only series between the two teams this season. Here’s our look ahead to what you can expect to see this weekend.
Tale of the Tape
Victoria: 14-19 (.424), 3rd in West Division
Klamath Falls: 9-24 (.273), 4th in South Division
Victoria: .265 BA. (7th in WCL), .354 SLG (7th), .356 OBP (9th)
Klamath Falls: .262 BA (9th in WCL), .352 SLG (8th), .343 OBP (10th)
Victoria: 4.10 ERA (6th), WHIP 1.45 (8th)
Klamath Falls: 6.76 (12th), 1.87 WHIP (12th)
Who to Watch - Klamath Falls
Photo by Eric Evans
First baseman Steven Packard (.478 BA, 0 HR, 12 RBI) didn't make his season debut until June 23rd, but he has at least one hit in each and every one of his 17 games played. Packard’s hit streak is the longest in the WCL so far this year, so the HarbourCats will have to pitch the junior from the University of Oregon very carefully this weekend.
Cleanup hitter Dennis Morton (3B/SS) has put up excellent offensive numbers (.392 BA, 3 HR, 14 RBI), but his defense has been shaky. He’ll be the only member of the Gems who will suit up in next week’s All-Star Game.
Klamath Falls’ pitching is the worst in the league, which is great news for HarbourCats hitters. Reliever Kody Kuhlman is the only pitcher on their staff (with more than one inning pitched) with an ERA under 4.00.
Who to Watch - Victoria
Everyone. There are no shortage of interesting plot lines to monitor. Given the recent playing time controversy, can head coach Bob Miller find a way of getting at-bats for most/all of his position players? Can outfielder Danny Collier bust out of his summer-long slump? Will Kelly Norris-Jones get a start in front of the home-town fans? Given the constant bullpen struggles this season, which HarbourCats reliever (not named Sean Watkins) will step forward to help preserve a victory?
You can expect a pile of runs in this series -- if offense is your thing then you’ll be in seventh heaven. The Gems come into the series with only 9 wins on the season. However, Klamath Falls is a team that can’t be taken lightly, as shown by their three victories in six games against the pesky Medford Rogues (who took two of three from Victoria at RAP last week). It is also worth noting that Klamath Falls is in the strongest division in the league, so the Gems are better than their 9-24 record indicates. I’m going to be a homer and say that the 'Cats will take two of three from the Gems.
- I’m not convinced that Bellingham is the class of the WCL, because they have benefited from an extremely easy schedule so far. In fact, the Bells have only played THREE games all season against teams with a record that is more than one game over .500. Bellingham still hasn't played Corvallis, Yakima or Medford this season and they went 1-2 in their only three games against stiff competition (the Bend Elks). We’ll know more about Bellingham in a week, because their next six games are against top teams -- the Corvallis Knights and the expansion Yakima Valley Pippins.
- Victoria only used five pitchers in the entire Bellingham series (Wright, Ryan, Schneider, Rogers and Watkins).
- Alex DeGoti was tagged with the dreaded Golden Sombrero on Wednesday night when he struck out four times in the game. It was his second Golden Sombrero of the year.