Victoria HarbourCats’ batter Nick Plaia leads off third base during Wednesday night’s West Coast League season-ending baseball game against Portland at Wilson’s Group Stadium in Victoria. Plaia, who set a new Victoria franchise record for stolen bases with 19, was earlier named his team’s player of the year, but the Pickles wn the game 10-3. Don Descoteau/Victoria News

Baseball’s HarbourCats wind up WCL season with loss to Pickles

Victoria needed a win to make the league playoffs, now looks ahead to 2019

Battling the West Coast League’s best team proved a difficult challenge for the Victoria HarbourCats as they fought for the final playoff spot Wednesday at Wilson’s Group Stadium.

The hometown Cats fell behind early and never caught up, as the powerful Portland Pickles ended Victoria’s season with a 10-3 win.

Given that Bellingham wound up winning both the first and second half in the North Division, the HarbourCats were presented with an opportunity to grab a post-season berth if they swept their series against Portland and got some help from other teams.

But the Pickles, who scored eight runs in losing the first two games at Royal Athletic Park, chalked up eight runs in the first four innings Wednesday, and relied on their pitching staff to shut down the locals the rest of the way.

Victoria starting pitcher, left-hander Ethan Fox, lasted three innings and left with his team behind 6-2. The HarbourCats rallied in the bottom of the third, loading the bases at one point but only coming away with one run, as the Pickles scored an inning-ending double play.

Daniel Lopez smacked a pair of home runs for the winners, while Gabe Skoro added another, one of his four hits on the night.

Victoria totalled just five hits in all. Michael Frias took over for Portland starter Damon Treadwell in the third inning and over the next six limited the HarbourCats to a single hit from Ryan Ober in the bottom of the sixth.

Seven different pitchers took the mound for Victoria.

Before the game, the HarbourCats handed out their team awards. Nick Plaia, who on Wednesday set a new club record for stolen bases with 19, was named player of the year.

Bellingham plays Kelowna in the North Division playoff series, while Portland takes on the Corvallis Knights in the other. Both series start Friday night.

The crowd of 3,076 fans pushed Victoria’s league-leading attendance mark to 62,599 for the season, which broke their own WCL record.

Next up, the HarbourCats will host the 2018 Baseball Canada Men’s Nationals Championship, which run Aug. 23 to 26 at Wilson’s Group Stadium. HarbourCats managing partner Jim Swanson will be at the helm managing the host Victoria Mavericks, who will join provincial champion Coquitlam Angels in representing B.C. at the tournament.

editor@vicnews.com

 

Victoria HarbourCats’ pitcher Ethan Fox hurls one toward the plate during Wednesday night’s season-ending West Coast League baseball game at Wilson’s Group Stadium in Victoria. Fox lasted three innings and gave up six runs in a 10-3 loss to the Portland Pickles. Don Descoteau/Victoria News

Just Posted

Saanich wants bunkers to be off limits for cannabis growing

Saanich looks to block cement bunkers on ALR farmland

UPDATE: Missing Langford teen found safe

The 13-year-old Langford boy reported missing Wednesday has been found

Victoria police seize over one kilo of fentanyl, guns and cars

Andrew Ritch is facing charges of drug trafficking and firearm offences

Fire chief stops driving lesson to fight fire

Sooke fire concerned over second suspicious bin fire this year

Tour de Victoria rolls through the region Saturday

Expect traffic delays across Greater Victoria on Aug. 18

B.C. wildfires 2018: Hazy skies impacting crews in spotting new fires

18,000 people are on an evacuation alert, with 3,000 homes under an evacuation order

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

Man dies in B.C. police cell while awaiting court hearing

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former B.C. optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

B.C. program to educate parents reduces ‘shaken baby syndrome’ by 35%

Period of PURPLE Crying was launched nearly a decade ago

UPDATED: Vancouver Island community under evacuation alert due to wildfire

BC Wildfire Service says steep terrain near Zeballos poses challenge as “out of control” wildfire approaches homes

Most Read