It was a bit of a strange start to this one weather-wise. It was a mix of sun and cloud all day but as soon as the first pitch approached, a few rain drops began to fall and a light rain fell during the top of the first. It didn’t affect C’s starter Andy Ravel as he set down the side in order 1-2-3. He managed to face the minimum six batters over the first two frames with a 1-2-3 first and a single that was erased on a stolen base attempt by catcher Javier Hernandez.
Spokane would get their first run off Ravel thanks to some heads-up baserunning by Xavier Turner. After doubling to lead off the third, he advanced to third on a shallow single to center field by Darius Day and had slowed up before finding another gear to scamper home, taking advantage of a lob throw by J.B. Woodman back to the infield. Turner wound up eating dirt by sliding head first into the ground before touching home plate. On the same play, Hernandez made a heads-up play of his own to nail Day trying to advance to second.
Ravel gave up four hits in the third but the first by Turner was a flare double that Lance Jones could not catch up to near the right field foul line.
The C’s tied the game in the home half of the third when Hernandez doubled and advanced to third when Mattingly Romanin reached on an error at short. Hernandez would score the tying run on a Rodrigo Orozco fielder’s choice. Romanin did his part to break up the potential double play with a good, hard slide.
Spokane had the first of many chances to take the lead in the fourth against Mike Ellenbest. They strung together three singles with two outs but Ellenbest got out of it by apparently deflecting a throw from Woodman in center field after a single by Day. The ball still made its way to Hernandez in plenty of time at the plate to tag out Carlos Garay trying to score from second.
The Rangers affiliate knocked on the door again in the fifth with two singles but Hernandez threw out one of two basestealers to keep the game tied. An error by Yeltsin Gudino at short gave Spokane another runner in the sixth but they could not do anything else against Ellenbest.
Evan Smith overcame a two-out double in the seventh but two walks and a wild pitch left a pair of runners in scoring position with just one out in the eighth. Jackson McClelland came to the rescue when Gudino started a 6-4-3 inning-ending double play with Deiferson Barreto and Christian Williams.
The C’s wasted some chances in this one too as they could not do anything with a two-out single by Romanin in the fifth and a Jones stolen base was stranded at second after he reached on an error in the sixth. Their best chance was in the eighth when Romanin singled, went to second on a Rodrigo Orozco bunt and made it to third on a Gudino base hit. Williams hit one right on the nose but it was right at the shortstop and Jones hit into a fielder’s choice to end the threat.
McClelland had some trouble in the ninth with a Turner single, a Day sacrifice bunt, a Seth Spivey intentional walk and a wild pitch that put two runners in scoring position but McClelland retired Blaine Prescott on a nice running catch by Jones in right field.
J.B. Woodman got aboard in the ninth on a leadoff single and got into scoring position on a Barreto groundout to short. Bryan Lizardo could not bring Woodman home when he flied out to right for the second out. Just when it looked like extra innings was going to happen, Hernandez grounded one to the opposite field in right and Woodman managed to sprint home with the winning run.
Woodman had two assists from center field and had two hits and a walk to go along with the winning run.
Spokane had 12 hits and three walks to work with but left 10 men on base. Vancouver had seven hits and two free passes and left seven stranded.
The Radar Gun Report
Andy Ravel threw a fastball that topped out at 92 miles per hour. His other pitches settled in the 83-86 and 88-90 ranges. Mike Ellenbest came in at 89 with his fastball and 77-79 at the low end with other offerings from 81-85. Evan Smith ranged from 84 to 90 and 93. Jackson McClelland topped out at 94 with his fastball.