A record-setting Victoria HarbourCats’ baseball season fell one win shy of the franchise’s first West Coast League (WCL) crown.
The HarbourCats were blanked 5-0 in Corvallis, OR, with the Knights taking the league title for the seventh consecutive season. Each of the HarbourCats’ three appearances in the WCL final have ended in losses to the Knights, also in 2017 & ’19.
The championship was decided in a single-game showdown and the Knights earned home-field advantage with the best overall record, that was only a half game ahead of Victoria.
The HarbourCats were shut-out for just the second time in 2023 and held to just five hits in the championship game, as Knights’ pitching combined for 13 strikeouts.
The Knights scored five runs on eight hits, opening the scoring in the second, and adding two runs in both the sixth and seventh innings.
The HarbourCats started their tenth season in the WCL with six straight wins, and finished the first half with a 19-8 record, but a game behind the Bellingham Bells for the North Division’s first half crown.
But the Cats went 19-7 in the second half, capped off with a six-game win streak, to earn the North’s second playoff-seed, and a date with the Wenatchee Applesox in the opening round best-of-three.
During the season, the HarbourCats set a new WCL record by going 25-2 at Wilson’s Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park, the most home wins in a single-season in league history.
The Cats then eliminated the Applesox in two straight games to set up a North Division Final in Victoria against the Bellingham Bells.
Victoria erased a 5-0 deficit, and held on to defeat the Bells on August 12, 7-6, to win the division pennant.