VICTORIA, British Columbia — Jordan Hovey launched a two-run homer for the Walla Walla Sweets, but he did that in the face of an 8-0 deficit after only five innings against the Victoria HarbourCats here on Tuesday.
Matt Whitney later singled home the only other Sweets run with two outs in the top of the ninth inning, but Victoria then retired Nick Nyquist on a fly out to wrap up a 10-3 beating of Walla Walla in West Coast League baseball action.
The Sweets (22-18 overall), third in the South, finished the night a full game back in the division standings, with first-place Portland and No. 2 Corvallis both victorious on Tuesday.
Portland has already clinched a playoff spot by besting the first-half of the season, leaving Corvallis (9-5 in the second half) and Walla Walla (7-6) as front runners for the other seed.
Walla Walla now trails Corvallis by a game-and-a-half, with fourth-place Cowlitz only one back of Walla Walla.
The Sweets continue their series in Victoria tonight, the first pitched scheduled for 6:35 p.m.
Walla Walla looks to bounce back after failing to cash in on several opportunities, leaving 10 men on base — at least one in all but two innings — here on Tuesday.
Cesar Lopez doubled and singled twice for Walla Walla, while Hovey matched Ryan Johnston with two hits. Matt Whitney and Jack Filby each had one.
But only Hovey and Whitney managed to record a run batted in.
Hovey had two with his sixth-inning home run on the heels of a lead-off walk by Nyquist.
By that point, however, Victoria had already mounted an 8-0 lead against Walla Walla pitchers Sean Sullivan and Samuel Reed.
Sullivan started but left midway through a five-run Victoria third, after Jaxxon Fagg had belted the second HarbourCat homer of the inning. Hunter Vansau had led off the frame with a round-tripper.
The Walla Walla starter ended up charged with seven runs (all earned) on seven hits, two walks and a strikeout.
Victoria then scored a fourth inning run off Reed, who worked through the sixth while scattering four hits without a walk against his two strikeouts.
Dimick Wood pitched the final two innings for Walla Walla, and Dustin Demeter would touch him for the third Victoria home run with two down in the seventh.
Wood ended up with two hits, two runs, two strikeouts and a walk on his line.
HarbourCats 10, Sweets 3
Sullivan, Reed (3), Wood (7) and Prizina. Friend, Inwalle (6), Ho (7), Yoshihara (8) and Jaco.
HR — WW: Hovey. Vic: Vansau, Demeter, Fagg.
Hits — WW: Lopez 3, Hovey 2, Johnston 2, Whitney, Filby. Vic: Vansau 3, Plaia 2, Malinchak 2, Spohn 2, Ober, Ricketts, Demeter, Fagg.