Battle Of Bats Ends With C's On Top
VANCOUVER, BC – A two-run bottom of the seventh that saw the lead change hands for a fifth time Thursday night is what proved to be the difference for the Canadians in a 10-9 triumph over the Hillsboro Hops (Diamondbacks) in front of a packed house at The Nat. Trailing
VANCOUVER, BC – A two-run bottom of the seventh that saw the lead change hands for a fifth time Thursday night is what proved to be the difference for the Canadians in a 10-9 triumph over the Hillsboro Hops (Diamondbacks) in front of a packed house at The Nat.
Trailing 9-8 after the Hops used a two-out, two-run homer from #12 Diamondbacks prospect AJ Vukovich to go back in front in the top of the seventh, Vancouver kick-started their rally with a lead-off walk from Garrett Spain before Dasan Brown was hit by a pitch to put the tying and go-ahead runs on base. After a deep fly out moved Spain to third and Brown stole second, a balk called on reliever Conor Grammes (L, 0-1) forced home a run to tie the game. Soon after, Damiano Palmegiani’s ground ball to shortstop on a drawn-in infield turned into a run-scoring fielder’s choice after Brown scampered home and slid past the tag to put the C’s in front 10-9.
Hillsboro put the pressure on in the top of the eighth. After two quick outs courtesy of Mason Fluharty (W, 1-0), Troy Watson (S, 1) came on and surrender two soft singles then hit a batter to load the bases for #6 Diamondbacks prospect Deyvison De Los Santos. The slugging third baseman hit a dribbler past the mound that second baseman Miguel Hiraldo scooped up, threw off balance to first and, thanks to an incredible stretch and pick from first baseman Rainer Nunez, recorded the final out of the inning to strand the bases loaded and preserve the one-run advantage. Watson set down the side in order in the top of the ninth to secure the win.
Both teams found ways to rally when trailing the other. Hillsboro jumped out to a 1-0 lead after the first two batters of the game then added another run in the top of the third, but the C’s took their first lead of the night in the bottom of that inning. With two on and two out, Andres Sosa worked a full count, fouled off two two-strike pitches then took ball four to load the bases for Palmegiani. The Surrey, BC native punished an 0-2 pitch from Hops starter Luke Albright for his third grand slam with the Canadians this season to give Vancouver a 4-2 lead.
The Hops got four runs of their own in the fifth to go back up by two then added a run in the sixth to lead 7-4, but another four-run frame for the C’s in the bottom of the sixth put them back in front. Two walks started the stanza and bounced Albright from the game before Nunez singled home a run to make it 7-5. Up stepped PK Morris, who hit his fourth home run in the last nine games when he took reliever Junior Mieses over the wall in right field to help Vancouver lead it 8-7.
The Canadians scored their 10 runs with only six hits, finishing 4-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Palmegiani’s five RBI were a career high and the second most in a game by a C’s hitter this year.
With the win, a Eugene (Giants) loss and Spokane’s (Rockies) win at Everett (Mariners), Vancouver is now 1.5 games back of the Emeralds for first place in the second half but still only a half game up on the Indians for the second playoff spot shout the Ems win both halves of the season. The C’s visit Spokane next week for seven games in six days.
A victory on Friday afternoon as part of a Fortis BC ‘Nooner at The Nat would secure a series split for the Canadians. Lefty Trenton Wallace goes for Vancouver opposite Hillsboro’s Chad Patrick. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. with coverage available on CanadiansBaseball.com, MiLB.TV and Sportsnet 650.