Wilfri Aleton improved to 2-1 with five shutout innings of relief in Boise Thursday.
The Vancouver Canadians followed a similar script by scoring early and leaning on their pitching to carry the rest of the load as they upended the Boise Hawks 4-1 at Boise Memorial Stadium Thursday night. The C’s have won three straight to begin their road trip and five overall.
Riley Adams had a two-hit night and drove in the C’s first run against Boise Thursday.
Vancouver wasted little time getting the bats going. Reggie Pruitt and Kevin Vicuna greeted Boise starter John Valka with singles before Brock Lundquist walked to load the bases after Pruitt and Vicuna pulled out a double steal. All three of them would score on a base hit by Riley Adams and a pair of groundouts from Kacy Clemens and Bryan Lizardo respectively.
Kevin Vicuna had a triple, a single, a run batted in and a stolen base in Boise Thursday.
The C’s got one more run in the third when Brandon Polizzi singled, went to third on a Pruitt base hit and scored on a Vicuna sacrifice fly. For Polizzi, that was his first Northwest League hit.
Wilfri Aleton was the winning pitcher as he entered the game in relief of Brody Rodning in the third and compiled five shutout innings of two-hit ball, walking nobody and striking out five. Six of the lefthander’s eight outs in play were on the ground.
Aleton sat down the first six hitters he faced before giving up a leadoff single to Cole Anderson in the fifth and a one-out knock by Sam Tidabeck. Aleton then ended his outing by retiring the last eight men in a row including 2014-2015 Vancouver infielder Ryan Metzler, one of Aleton’s four strikeout victims over his last two frames.
Aleton’s outing was sandwiched by a pair of lefties making their Vancouver debuts. Rodning struck out J.B. Moss to start the game and overcame a walk to Matt McLaughlin by getting a 5-4-3 double play ball from Sean Bouchard to end the first. Rodning wouldn’t get away with his second walk when Bret Boswell doubled home a leadoff pass to Daniel Jipping in the second for Boise’s only run. Cole Anderson followed with a base hit but Rodning got the next two hitters before turning things over to Aleton.
Also making his debut in a C’s uniform was Jake Fishman. He alternated walks from Tidaback and McLaughlin with strikeouts of Moss and Bouchard. After getting a visit to the mound, Fishman got Jipping to ground out to short to finish off the eighth.
Grayson Huffman recorded his first professional save in Boise Thursday.
Grayson Huffman completed the quadfecta of lefties on the mound by getting three groundball outs in a perfect ninth for his first save of the season.
Other than the first two innings, Vancouver could not do much offensively until Adams picked up his second base hit of the night in the sixth but he was erased on a double play as Valek faced the minimum over his last four frames.
A Deiferson Barreto double was stranded in the seventh but another opportunity to score presented itself in the eighth when Vicuna tripled with nobody out. He would be thrown out at home on a fielder’s choice by Adams. Clemens drew a walk but nothing else came of it. Matt Morgan started the ninth by reaching on an error at short by McLaughlin but he was left at first.
The C’s were 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and abandoned six men on base.
2014 C’s outfielder Roemon Fields went 2-for-5 with a run batted in and stole his 20th base of the year in Buffalo’s extra-innings loss to Scranton. 2012-2013 infielder Jason Leblebijian also had two hits for the Herd. 2012 outfielder Dalton Pompey was 1-for-4 and was pinch-hit for by 2012-2013 outfielder Ian Parmley who had a single.
2015 outfielder Andrew Guillotte had three hits, a walk and three runs scored for New Hampshire in the Fisher Cats’ setback to Portland.
2015 first baseman Connor Panas and shortstop J.C. Cardenas had two hits apiece in Dunedin’s loss to Lakeland. Relievers Ryan Cook (2015) and Jackson McClelland (2015-2016) had scoreless outings in relief with Cook going two innings and McClelland throwing one.
Two former Vancouver Canadians are taking part in the Eastern League home run derby in 2014 first baseman Ryan McBroom and 2014-2015 infielder Gunnar Heidt.
The C’s have a two-game lead for first place in the North Division after Tri-City beat Eugene Thursday. Vancouver has a 15-7 record on the season. Boise drops to 11-11 but are still one game back of Hillsboro for top spot in the South after the Hops lost to Spokane.
Tonight’s game goes at 6:15 pm Pacific Time and that is the start time for the other three games of the series. They can all be heard on CanadiansBaseball.com.