Heading into a trio of weekend exhibition baseball games against Nanaimo and the Victoria Mavericks men’s all-star team, the Victoria HarbourCats find themselves scratching for one of the West Coast League’s final playoff spots.
The Cats (9-9) sit 3-1/2 games back of North Division-leading Yakima Valley Pippins, after putting the finishing touches on a home sweep of the Walla Walla Sweets with a 6-4 win on Thursday at Wilson’s Group Stadium. Victoria took the first two games of the series, 10-3 and 4-3.
Leadoff man Rowdey Jordan led the Victoria attack with three hits Thursday, including a two-run homer to right field in the seventh. Starting pitcher, left-hander Landon Anderson, threw six scoreless innings and gave up just three hits to put the HarbourCats in good position.
The Sweets teed off on reliever Po-Jui Huang in the seventh, scoring three times on a Ryan Johnston solo homer and a two-run double by Josh Prinzia to make it 4-3. Lawson Humphries replaced Huang to get the final out of the inning, setting the stage for Jordan’s heroics.
Adam Imwalle added two hits for Victoria, while Nick Plaia and Ryan Ober knocked in one run each.
This weekend sees the Cats play an exhibition in Nanaimo against the Miners tonight (July 27), then take on the 2018 Men’s National Baseball Championships host Mavericks for a rare 1 p.m. start Saturday then 3 p.m. on Sunday.
Victoria hosts a visiting Union de Reyes under-23 team from Cuba on Monday at 6:35 p.m. Two members of that club, pitchers Alejandro Ortega Lopez and Adriel Quesada Pena, began the season with the HarbourCats and have been working out between Chemainus and Victoria this summer. Both atre expected to see action with the Cats this weekend.
The HarbourCats return to West Coast League action with a week-long road trip, starting in Yakima next Tuesday through Thursday, with a key three-game series against the Pippins. Victoria moves on to play the AppleSox the following three nights in in Wenatchee before returning home to host the expansion Portland Pickles for three Aug. 6 to 8.