Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Playing for pride

Riley Edmonds
With the pitching staff already depleted due to the four hurlers who returned home a week ago, Sunday’s season-ending injury to Ryan Keller created yet another opening for 10-day contract players. On Monday the team signed four local pitchers -- all graduating or former Victoria Eagles -- to help down the stretch. The four are Eric Hegadoren, Riley Edmonds, Drew Davidoff and Dallas Patterson, with all but Hegadoren joining the HarbourCats for the Walla Walla series.

Hegadoren was previously signed by the HarbourCats to a 10-day contract, but he did not appear in any regular-season games and was released on June 13th. He did pitch an inning in the exhibition game against the combined Eagles/Mariners squad on June 5th, but he gave up two hits, two walks and two earned runs to put himself firmly in pitching coach Ben Jackson’s doghouse. Hegadoren was hampered by injuries this spring with the College of the Canyons (Santa Clarita, CA) and pitched 1 ⅓ scoreless innings in only two appearances.

All three of the graduating Eagles signed on Monday pitched an inning in the exhibition game against the HarbourCats without giving up an earned run. Edmonds was the most impressive of the trio, as he put down Cole Kreuter, Nathan Lukes and Ted Boeke in order. Davidoff retired John Grimsley, Boeke and Darren Honeysett in his inning on the hill after giving up a single to Cole Kreuter.

Although we declared HMCS HarbourCat dead in the water back on July 14th, the team was officially eliminated from the wildcard race on Sunday, which means that the last six games of the season are being played for pride. The first of those six games was played tonight in Walla Walla, with the HarbourCats coming out on the short end of a 9-7 score.

Mikey Wright had his second disastrous start in a row, giving up six runs (but only three earned) on four hits and three walks in 1 ⅔ innings pitched. He now has a 2.96 ERA for the season, but that figure is somewhat deceiving -- he has a 0.00 ERA in 19 innings pitched against two of the weaker teams (Cowlitz and Kitsap), but a 4.54 ERA against the rest of the league. To put Wright’s recent slump in perspective, he has now given up 9 walks and has only struck out two batters in his last three starts, lasting a mere 8 ⅔ innings.

Dylan Stowell relieved Wright and he went on to have his fourth consecutive bad outing, walking four and giving up one hit in one inning on the mound. In his last four outings totalling 9 ⅔ innings, Stowell has walked a stunning 21 batters. Yowzer.

Stowell was relieved by Victoria native Riley Edmonds, a recent Lambrick Park High School graduate. Edmonds entered the game with a 7-0 deficit, but the plucky Canadian sidearmer easily turned in the best performance by a HarbourCats pitcher on this night. Edmonds only gave up two hits and one walk in 5 1/3 outstanding innings of relief. Not only was he effective in keeping his team in the game, but he greatly helped out the entire pitching staff by soaking up 5 1/3 valuable frames after his two predecessors only lasted 2 2/3 innings. Let's hope that Edmonds is rewarded with a start in front of the hometown fans on the last weekend of the season. The HarbourCats certainly could use a feel-good ending to their disappointing year.

A Bryce Greager grand slam (known affectionately in these parts as a Greager-bomb!) and a RBI walk by Nathan Lukes in the eighth inning made the score 9-7 for the Sweets, but that's as close as the HarbourCats would get. When all was said and done, it was clear that the HarbourCats -- especially Riley Edmonds -- do indeed have plenty of pride.

1 comment:

  1. Correction: Riley Edmonds will be playing for Otero Junior College this fall along with Brandon Feldman and Brett Hull.

    See http://www.canadianbaseballnetwork.com/articles/letters-back-file/ or http://www.njcaa.org/colleges_college_intent.cfm?sid=7&collegeid=1627&category=Intent&slid=3