VICTORIA, B.C. – The Knights snapped a three-game West Coast League losing streak by edging Victoria 2-1, spoiling the HarbourCats home opener at Royal Athletic Park.
Future Oregon Stater Kai Murphy (pictured, above) struck out Nick Plaia with the bases loaded to end the game, completing a two-inning save. It was the first save of the summer for Murphy, who started the game at DH.
Murphy also was up when the Knights scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning. Briley Knight (Utah) led off with a double and then scored when Victoria misplayed a ground ball by Murphy, who reached second while Knight trotted home.
It was also the initial WCL victory of the summer for the Knights (5-3, 1-3 WCL). They opened league play earlier this week by losing three straight road games to South Division rival Walla Walla.
A solo homer by Tanner Haney gave the HarbourCats (2-2 WCL) a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning, but the Knights replied in the sixth to tie the score.
A single by Knight and an error on a hard-hit ball by Andy Atwood (Texas Rio Grande) put runners on the corners. Trace Tammaro (Portland) then knocked in the tying run with a single, his first RBI of the WCL season.
Corvallis starter Colton Meyer (Linfield) allowed one run and three hits in four innings, with four strikeouts. Reliever Jackson Arnsdorf (Western Oregon) gave up a solo homer in the fifth but did not allow another run in three solid innings before giving way to Murphy in the eighth.
Knight and Jake Holcroft (Portland) had two hits apiece for the Knights.
The series continues at 6:35 p.m. Saturday. Utah righty David Watson (0-0, 0.00) will start for Corvallis, opposed by an undetermined starter for the HarbourCats.
Dixie State lefty Tevita Gerber (0-0, 0.00) goes for Corvallis in Sunday’s 1 p.m. finale, opposed by righty Cade Smith (0-0, 4.50) of Hawaii.
Sunday’s game concludes a six-game road trip. The Knights’ WCL home opener is 7:05 p.m. Friday against Cowlitz.