C's Find A Way In Gritty Extra Innings Win
SPOKANE, WA – The Canadians arrived in Spokane earlier this week with a 1.5 game lead over the Indians (Rockies) with little margin for error and needing to win four of the seven games in the set to feel good about their chances to clinch their first postseason berth since
SPOKANE, WA – The Canadians arrived in Spokane earlier this week with a 1.5 game lead over the Indians (Rockies) with little margin for error and needing to win four of the seven games in the set to feel good about their chances to clinch their first postseason berth since 2017 at some point during the final regular season series at The Nat next week. After taking five of the first six – most recently a 7-6 triumph in ten innings on Saturday – they suddenly find themselves one more win away from punching their ticket well before the first Yard Dog is served on Ontario Street Tuesday night.
It all came down to the tenth inning with the game tied 6-6. After coming up empty in the tenth and eleventh in their lone loss of the series on Thursday, the C’s installed Glenn Santiago as a pinch placed runner to start extras. Alex De Jesus moved the runner to third with a ground out before Miguel Hiraldo lofted a fly ball down the line in right that tailed into foul ground but stayed in play; right fielder Bladimir Restituyo moved into the home bullpen to make the catch and fired home with Santiago sprinting towards the plate. The throw came up the line and arrived at nearly the same time as the runner, but Santiago avoided the tag and catcher Ronaiker Palma dropped the ball to allow the go-ahead run to score and make it 7-6 Vancouver.
2022 6th rounder TJ Brock (W, 1-0) skillfully walked a tightrope across the final two and a third innings of the ballgame. After striking out the last man of the eighth on a 3-2 pitch to strand the bases loaded after the Indians rallied for four runs on six hits off two different pitchers in the inning – including two line drive RBI singles that caromed off Eric Pardinho and Devereaux Harrison, respectively – the former Ohio State Buckeye worked around a lead-off walk and a two-out single that put the winning run at third in the ninth and escaped the frame with the tie score intact to send the game to extras.
Brock flirted with danger in the bottom of the tenth. Another lead-off walk put the winning run on base behind the placed runner then a sacrifice bunt moved both men into scoring position with one out. Up stepped Nic Kent, who lofted a fly ball to relatively shallow right field. Garrett Spain made the catch and initially the runner at third – who had gone back to tag up – started racing home. The distance (or lack thereof) of the fly combined with Spain’s perfect one-hop throw to the dish forced the runner to retreat to the bag but by then the catcher Andres Sosa had caught him in a run down with a snap throw down to third in what proved to be a game-ending 9-2-5-2 double play to secure Vancouver’s 7-6 win.
Spokane started the scoring with a run in the first – the only time they’ve scored before the C’s in the series – and the Canadians tied it on a two-out single from PK Morris in the third. The Indians got to #12 Blue Jays prospect Dahian Santos for another run in the fourth, but the 19-year-old right-hander was otherwise terrific. He scattered four hits, walked one and struck out ten, including six in a row between the second and the third.
Had Spokane not rallied for four runs in the eighth to even the score, Santos would have earned his first High-A win after the offense struck for four runs in the fifth to take the lead. The inning began when Spain worked a walk that was followed by a Dasan Brown single. That set the table for Surrey, BC native and #27 Blue Jays prospect Damiano Palmegiani, who popped his third home run of the series, his 13th with the Canadians and 24th this season to put the C’s in front 4-2. They added to their lead with an RBI double from #9 Blue Jays prospect Gabby Martinez that had Vancouver ahead 5-2 later in the stanza and a two-out wild pitch in the top of the sixth netted them their sixth run of the night.
All nine starters reached base, seven had a hit and four – Brown, Martinez, Hiraldo and Rainer Nunez – logged multiple knocks. After 12 tonight, the offense has put up 60 hits in the six games of this series.
With the win, the C’s have lowered their magic number to two and could clinch a spot in the Northwest League Championship series by beating the Indians in the series finale Sunday evening. Eugene (Giants) won again tonight, so the Canadians remain a game back of the Emeralds for first place in the second half with the Ems set to arrive at Nat Bailey next week for the final home series of the year.
Nathanael Perez gets the ball for Vancouver in their last road game of the regular season. Spokane has tabbed Mason Green as their starter. Coverage begins at 6:00 p.m. with a special evening edition of C’s On Deck presented by A&W and continues with first pitch at 6:35 p.m. on CanadiansBaseball.com and Sportsnet 650.