Leadoff hitter Grady Morgan hammered a 3-2 pitch with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning to walkoff the Victoria HarbourCats over the Bells 9-8 Wednesday night in Victoria. Morgan connected with the payoff pitch to notch a single off of Jace Phelan, scoring Noah Sudyka from third and tying the series up to give the Cats their seventh win in their last 10 games.
The Bells started out slow, as the HarbourCats jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead, but gained momentum with a big fourth inning. Kyle Parkman and Blake Conrad hit back-to-back singles to lead off the inning, then Jaidon Matthews got beaned to load the bases. The next at-bat, Touissaint Bythewood reached first on a fielder’s choice that scored Parkman and Conrad on an error by Sudyka at third, then Matthews stole home to tie the game at three.
Ty Saunders followed with a single to put runners on the corners, then scored on a 2-run double by Colin Blanchard. Blanchare would cross home plate later in the inning on a sac fly by Cody Russell to finish off a monstrous six-run inning by the Bells. The HarbourCats followed with runs in the fourth and fifth to climb within one, but the Bells tacked on two more in the sixth on a 2-run single by Bythewood that scored Hainline and Parkman. Hainline extended his on-base streak to nine games with a walk, while Bythewood picked up his second and third RBI of the game with the hit.
The Cats scored one in the eighth to put the score at 8-6, then rallied in the ninth. After getting two quick outs to begin the inning, Ty Saunders walked back-to-back batters in one of his rare stints on the mound, then surrendered a 2-run double to Russell Young that sent the game to extras. Jace Phelan entered the game for Saunders in the 10th, and gave up a walk before getting two outs. Then, on the 3-2 pitch with two away, Cats right fielder Grady Morgan slapped a single to the outfield to give them the 9-8 walkoff victory.
Austyn Coleman threw five innings to open the game, allowing five runs, three of them earned, with 4 K’s, while Phelan (0-1) earned the loss. HarbourCats closer Addison Sells (1-2) picked up his first win of the season with a scoreless 10th inning to ice the game.
The Bells drop to 24-13 overall, 5-6 in the second half, while the Cats improve to 19-22, 8-7 in the second half. The two teams will rematch Thursday night to decide the series, with Bells ace Trevin Hope taking the mound in the crucial game.