The C’s clinched a series victory over Tri-City with an 6-2 victory Sunday afternoon to move into a three-way tie for first place in the Northwest League North Division. Cavan Biggio led the way with a 3-for-5 day at the dish. Dalton Rodriguez lasted five innings for the win.
Tri-City got the first run by serving the C’s a taste of their own medicine with a two-out run. Rodriguez rung up Nate Easley to start the game with an 88 mile per hour fastball but a walk to Josh Magee and a wild pitch put a runner in scoring position. Taylor Kohlwey would eventually bloop a single to score Magee with the game’s first run.
The C’s would respond quickly when Biggio beat out a grounder to second and advanced another 90 feet after a wayward throw by Easley. Lance Jones made a productive out with a ground ball to second to get Biggio over to third. After J.B. Woodman drew a walk, the C’s decided to execute a double steal.
Was J.B. Woodman safe on this steal attempt? The base umpire said yes.
While Woodman was ruled safe at second, Biggio made his way home and scored the game’s tying run. Tri-City manager Ben Fritz came out to argue the safe call against Woodman with the base umpire and was eventually ejected. The home plate umpire had to get between Fritz and his co-worker to settle things down.
Based on the above photo, I think Fritz had a case and he was some kind of upset. I didn’t stay with the play as Biggio broke for home. The C’s have been very aggressive on the basepaths this season and it paid off in this instance.
The Dust Devils looked like they were going to get a break in the second when a foul ball hit by Boomer White dropped in between second baseman Biggio and first baseman Christian Williams on a play that could have been made to give Rodriguez the inning’s first out. Instead, that led to a White leadoff walk. However, D-Rod picked off White on a 1-6-3 play for the first out. Rodriguez also had to deal with a Bryan Lizardo throwing error but he got out of the inning by inducing a tapper back to the mound and threw it over to second for a force out.
Vancouver busted this one open in the third as Woodman made very loud contact with the ball which just eluded the Dust Devils diving left fielder Kohlwey. That double moved a Jones leadoff walk to third. Williams would walk to load the bases and that chased Tri-City starter Jordan Guerrero from the contest. Dalton Erb came out of the Dust Devils bullpen and nicked Andres Sotillo with a pitch to score Jones with the tie-breaking run. Lizardo busted things open with a two-run knock to right to plate Woodman and Williams and Deiferson Barreto doubled home Sotillo to give the C’s a 5-1 bulge.
The Dust Devils wouldn’t give up yet as Kohlwey walked and White doubled him to third to start the fourth. However, Rodriguez buckled down and struck out the side with the last two pitches coming at 82 and 83 miles per hour.
Vancouver added one more run in the fourth when Biggio doubled, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Woodman sac fly.
Rodriguez walked the leadoff batter of an inning for the third time but got three straight flyouts to end his five-inning stint. He matched his four walks with four K’s and gave up the one run on three hits.
Griffin Glaude got the job done in the sixth but gave up an unearned marker in the seventh when a double scored a runner that reached base on a Biggio error at second. Glaude would turn things over to the Jackson Two the rest of the way.
Jackson McClelland managed to escape trouble in the eighth when a single, a wild pitch and a walk put two runners on. However, McClelland got a breather from pitching coach Willie Collazo when he visited the mound. He retired his first hitter on a fly ball out and got Luis Asuncion to line out to left for a 7-4 double play to double off Chris Baker.
Jackson Lowery finished things up with a 1-2-3 in the ninth to give the C’s their second straight win over the Dust Devils.
Vancouver won this game despite going 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and leaving seven men on. That’s because Tri-City was even worse by going 1-for-12 while also stranding seven. Biggio had three of Vancouver’s eight hits to boost his batting average to .354, second best in the Northwest League to Salem-Keizer’s Ashford Fulmer. Woodman and Williams had a hit and a walk apiece while Sotillo had a walk and a plunk. He also threw out the only runner who tried to steal on him.
Joey Lucchesi gets the start for Tri-City in the series finale Monday evening. Juliandry Higuera would appear to be in line to start for Vancouver but the probable starter is listed as TBA.
Radar Gun Rundown
Dalton Rodriguez threw his last pitch at 75 miles per hour but threw pitches at 80, 82, 83 and 85 while topping out at 88 and 90-92.
Griffin Glaude hit 95 once on the gun but hovered around 90-92 with an 87 and an 89. He also threw a pitch at 81.
Jackson McClelland clocked in at 90-92 with a changeup at 82 and what may have been a slider at 87.
Jackson Lowery hit 92 and 93 at the upper end with his fastball as well as 88 and 90 with a mix of four-seam and two-seam fastballs.