It didn’t break Todd Haney’s personal career record longest game of 22 innings in Phoenix when he was playing in Triple-A with the Calgary Cannons.
“That was the first game my wife-to-be [Kira] ever saw me play,” recalled Haney.
It might have taken Kira Haney some convincing that not all baseball games were so long that breakfast had to be served afterward.
Todd Haney came close to his personal record early Thursday morning as head coach Haney’s Victoria HarbourCats needed 19 innings to outlast the Walla Walla Sweets in a West Coast League game that lasted five hours and 44 minutes and well into the wee hours in a far corner of Washington state.
It’s a good thing the HarbourCats had Thursday off and don’t play again until tonight to begin a three-game set against the Yakima Valley Pippins at Wilson’s Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park.
“We followed the marathon game up with a seven-hour bus trip and then ferry ride to get home,” noted Haney.
“Thank goodness we didn’t play Thursday night. It allowed our guys to catch up on some sleep.”
It was the second-longest game in WCL history after the 20-inning affair in 2009 in which Kitsap beat Corvallis 2-1.
A bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Chase Meidroth gave Victoria the winning run in the top of the 19th inning in Walla Walla. Derek Salata, who came to the mound in the 16th inning, then recorded his fourth shutout inning to preserve the victory.
“We grinded it out and battled,” said Haney.
“It was a great game with so many diving catches in the outfield that kept it going.”
Kyle Harper had five hits in an incredible nine at-bats for Victoria.
Victoria slugger Nick Plaia’s two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning tied the game 3-3 to begin the marathon drama.
It was the rubber match of the teams’ three-game set in Walla Walla as Victoria concluded its road trip 6-1.
“It was a great road trip and we played well,” said Haney.
The HarbourCats are 7-3 in the second-half of the season and 25-12 overall. The Sweets are 2-3 and 20-12.
DIAMOND DUST: Karen Doerksen, wife of the late Humboldt Broncos bus driver Glen Doerksen, and her family will be the special guests at tonight’s and Saturday night’s Victoria-Yakima Valley games. Glen Doerksen was among the 16 people killed when the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League Broncos team bus was hit by a semi-truck in April of 2018.
“This was a tragic event that touched the hearts of all Canadians, and people around the world,” said HarbourCats co-owner John Wilson, in a statement.
“This is our way, as the HarbourCats, to show our love for one family that has been deeply impacted,” added Wilson, who heads a family-run bus business.
“We know Victoria will give them the special treatment that can help them take another step in their grieving and recovery.”
The Doerksen family will be introduced before the start of tonight’s game.