HarbourCats kick off season with exhibitions against Alumni and Cuban teams
The Victoria HarbourCats kicks off the 2019 season with some preseason action.
On Saturday, the first ever Peninsula Co-op Alumni Classic was held at Wilson's Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park. The game saw the 20199 HarbourCats take on a team made up of former all-stars and veterans who have played for the H-Cats in the past six seasons, and it turns out that the extra experience came in handy.
The Alumni team downed the 2019 squad 9-7 in the exhibition game.
Hayden Jaco, a 2016 and '18 HarbourCats lead the way for the Alumni with four singles and two RBI's, while Nanaimo native Aidan Goodall made it halfway through a cycle with a triple and a double.
2013 WCL All-Star Austin Russell, one of the first signees in HarbourCats history, flashed his leather in the outfield for the first time back in the Wilson's Group Stadium since the team's inaugural season in 2013.
The original HarbourCats heavy hitter, and headliner for the Alumni team, Gabe Clark, had his number added to the Victoria ring of honour before the game, then added two walks at the plate in his first game on the Island since 2015.
On the mound, southpaw Dylan Thorpe showed the 1,600 plus fans in attendance how he led the 2017 H-Cats to within a single game of winning the West Coast League title, earning just three hits and one earned-run over three innings.
Nick Adams got current H-Cats on the board with a triple to the wall in right-centre field, and scored on an error, to make the score 3-1 in his debut in the H-Cats jersey.
However, the 2019 team didn't get to celebrate for long, as the Alumni kept seizing opportunities over the next 4 innings, taking an 8-3 lead by the top half of the 7th.
The HarbourCats clawed back to within three in the eighth, and even with a run in the top bottom of the 9th, it wasn't enough, and the Alumni took the win with a 9-7 final score.
The preseason action doesn't end with the Alumni Classic though. A team from the Cuban province of Matanzas is in Victoria for a double header on Sunday. The Union de Reyes will starts day at 1 o'clock with an exhibition game against the Port Angeles Lefties at Wilson's Group Stadium at 1 o'clock. This will be the first time a US based team will take on a Cuban team in the 14 year history of the WCL.
The HarbourCats will then wrap up the preseason in the back half of the doubleheader, taking on the Cubans at 6:15pm.
The H-Cats will then hit the road to open the regular season, visiting the Apple Sox in Wenatchee, Washington, on Tuesday, June 4, at 6:30pm.