A walk-off single from Harrison Spohn on Thursday sent the HarbourCats to the West Coast League (WCL) finals, which start Aug. 16 at Wilson’s Group Stadium.
Victoria has made the WCL finals for the second time in three seasons, and will face the Corvallis Knights in the championship round that starts on Friday night. The Oregon-based team beat the ‘Cats to win the 2017 title.
To make it to the rematch, the ‘Cats first had to clinch the North Division Championship Series, walking off the Wenatchee AppleSox 8-7 Thursday night in front of 2,019 fans.
Gavin Gorrell was on the mound for the Sox in the deciding game three and racked up a season high of nine strikeouts, but the ‘Cats were able to pounce on the North Bend, Washington native, still starting the game with three consecutive singles.
After Nick Plaia and Gus Wilson reached on singles, 2019 HarbourCats Player of the Year Griffin Paxton smacked an RBI to score Plaia and give Victoria a one-run lead.
‘Cats manager Todd Haney had Lower Columbia College’s Mitch Lines on the mound, who allowed just two hits through the first three innings before running into trouble in the fourth. Cody Simmons gave the AppleSox their first lead of the game with a two-run double to right field.
|Mitch Lines fanned seven batters over four innings on Aug. 15 to help the HarbourCats win the North Division Championships over the Wenatchee ApplesSox. (Christian J. Stewart/Submitted)|
Lines recovered quickly, striking out the next three AppleSox. He finished the game with seven strikeouts and no walks.
With one inning left, Sox players Tanner Smith and Torin Montgomery hit a pair of RBI base hits with the bases loaded to give Wenatchee a two-run lead.
|HarbourCats 2019 Player of the Year Griffin Paxton had a pair of RBI singles on Aug. 15 and a key hit in the bottom of the ninth. (Christian J. Stewart/Submitted)|
Then, in the bottom of the ninth, Plaia and Wilson reached for Paxton, who collected another RBI to bring Victoria within one. After Paxton brought home a run with a single, Spohn, Plaia’s teammate at California Baptist University, stepped up and walked off the win with a two-RBI single.
|HarbourCat Harrison Spohn collected a pair of big hits on Aug. 15. (Christian J. Stewart/Submitted)|
Game one of the finals begins at 6:35 p.m. at Wilson’s Group Stadium. Tickets are available online at ticketrocket.co or at the box office at the park, which opens at 5:30 p.m.
If the ‘Cats win the league championship it will be the first time for the franchise.