The expected rally from the West Coast League’s No. 2 offense in runs scored never came Saturday night.
Victoria jumped ahead of Corvallis with three runs in the third inning and the Knights, chasing their fourth straight West Coast League baseball title, couldn’t find an answer.
HarbourCats pitchers held Corvallis scoreless for the final eight innings for a 5-2 win, forcing a third and deciding game Sunday in the WCL’s championship series at Goss Stadium.
First pitch is set for 5:05 p.m.
Victoria right-hander Hunter Omlid shut down the Knights for the last 5⅔ innings in relief, retiring 10 in a row at one point.
Corvallis’ best opportunity to score late came in the eighth, when the Knights got runners to second and third with two outs after singles by Brooks Lee and Zack Moeller. But Matthew Gretler struck out looking to end the threat.
Lee, playing shortstop, turned a sure Victoria run in the top of the ninth into an inning-ending double play with a leaping catch.
But the Knights (53-14) couldn’t carry that momentum into the bottom half despite Nick Yovetich’s one-out double to right field.
Moeller led the Corvallis offense with two hits and one RBI.
The HarbourCats (45-21) got two hits apiece from Harrison Spohn and Andrew MacCuaig and two RBIs from Kyle Sherick.
Both teams went the distance in their three-game divisional series, with Corvallis getting past Walla Walla and Victoria rallying to defeat Wenatchee.
Saturday, Victoria scored first on Spohn’s two-out solo home run to left in the top of the first.
The Knights answered right back with two in the bottom half, highlighted by Moeller’s RBI single.
You have free articles remaining.
Victoria starting pitcher Reagan MacDonald, a 6-foot-9 left-hander from Dallas Baptist, struggled with his control. He gave up a walk, hit a batter and threw a wild pitch in addition to committing a balk in the frame. The Knights also stole two bases against him.
In a divisional series start three days earlier, MacDonald allowed no hits but walked five at home against Wenatchee lasting 2⅓ innings. The HarbourCats rallied to win that home game and the next to earn a spot in the championship series.
Corvallis starter Eric Hill, a right-hander and sophomore-to-be at Linn-Benton, lasted into the third, with two on and one out after two singles and a sacrifice bunt.
Taking on a 3-0 count in relief, William Kempner threw a wild pitch on ball four that allowed a runner to score and tie the game. The HarbourCats got three runs total, all charged to Hill, with Sherick adding a two-run single to center.
Hill yielded three hits and a walk with one strikeout.
Corvallis’ Tracye Tammaro and MacDonald both were ejected from the game in the bottom of the fourth inning after words were exchanged following Tammaro’s ground out.
MacDonald left with one out and none on and his team ahead 4-2.
The score stayed there until the sixth, when a double, walk and a Corvallis fielding error brought another run for Victoria. But reliever Kevin West, after a walk to the first batter he faced, got the defense off the field with a double-play grounder.
West, a UC Riverside righty, pitched 3⅔ scoreless innings, allowing one hit and a walk with three strikeouts.
With the help of a seven-run fourth inning, Corvallis won 14-8 in the series opener Friday at Victoria. The Knights got home runs from Jake Holcroft, Briley Knight, Lee and Moeller.
Corvallis and Victoria played in just one regular-season series this summer, with the Knights winning two of three road games in June.
The Knights won previous championships in 2008 (versus Wenatchee), 2011 (Walla Walla), 2016 (Bellingham), 2017 (Victoria) and 2018 (Kelowna). Corvallis also has two runner-up finishes, to Moses Lake in 2007 and Wenatchee in 2009.
Victoria, in its seventh year in the league, has reached the championship series just once before, in 2017.