With bonus photo coverage by Christian J. Stewart
CORVALLIS, Oregon — The 10th Anniversary season fell one agonizing game short.
For the third time since 2017 the Victoria HarbourCats lost the final playoff game of the season at the home of the Corvallis Knights, Monday’s result a 5-0 final in the WCL championship game.
The HarbourCats, who set a long list of records in 2023, including an overall 27-2 record at Wilson’s Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park, had chances to score in bunches early in Monday’s game, but couldn’t find that key hit at the right time.
Starting pitcher Davis Franklin, was outstanding, giving up one unearned run in four innings striking out three. Josh Berenbaum, Ryan Magdic and Brett Harvey all had strong performances in relief of Franklin, an error and a couple of tough calls added to the Corvallis lead with two runs in each of the sixth and seventh innings.
The single game final was played in Corvallis because the Knights finished a half game ahead of the HarbourCats for first overall. Monday’s game start time was also an unusual 8pm due to extreme heat conditions in Oregon.
Corvallis starter Merit Jones struck out eight of the first nine HarbourCats hitters he faced and pitched into the sixth inning.
In the regular season, the HarbourCats set a league record with 150 stolen bases and lead the league in hits and batting average, but were limited to five hits on Monday. Michael Crossland also shattered the HarbourCats franchise record for longest hit streak with a 19 game streak earlier this season. The teams 25-2 home record in the regular season in 2023 is a record that likely won’t be broken, just like the 19 straight wins by the 2016 Victoria team.
The HarbourCats front office and ownership group would like to thank its partners and fans for so much support, and work has already begun on 2024. Season ticket renewals and new opportunities will begin on Wednesday.
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