Reggie Pruitt‘s first-inning run turned out to be the only one the C’s would need Tuesday.
The Vancouver Canadians and the Tri-City Dust Devils finally met for the first time in 2017 and the C’s took round one with a 2-0 victory at Gesa Stadium in Pasco, Washington Tuesday night. The C’s and Dust Devils will be seeing a lot of each other with 11 more matchups in the second half, five of them to round out the week.
Reggie Pruitt started the game with a double to left field and motored the rest of the way home when Kevin Vicuna‘s bunt was thrown out away by Kelvin Melean at third. Vicuna would steal second, advance to third on a Riley Adams fly ball and score on a wild pitch by Ben Sheckler to give Vancouver a quick 2-0 lead.
Jose Espada had just two baserunners to deal with over four scoreless innings.
Jose Espada had a three-up, three-down first inning and retired the side in order in the second after plunking Chris Mattison. The third inning saw both sides go down 1-2-3 before Logan Warmoth doubled to begin the top half of the fourth. Adams followed with a single to left but Warmoth was thrown out at home by Robbie Podorsky.
Espada struck out Justin Lopez and Luis Almanzar to start the fourth before allowing his first hit to Mattison. He would end his outing by retiring Melean on a flyout to right.
Donnie Sellers put together four shutout innings to earn his first professional victory.
The C’s went down quietly in the fifth before Donnie Sellers returned the favour by getting the Dust Devils in order in their half of the inning.
The sixth saw Pruitt draw a leadoff walk in the sixth but was picked off at second by Sheckler. In the home half of that frame, Sellers ran into his first problem when he hit Podorsky with a pitch. After reaching second on a Lopez groundout, Podorsky got to third on a wild pitch but Sellers stranded him there by striking out Almanzar.
Vancouver had two runners on with one out when Bryan Lizardo doubled and Cullen Large walked. A fielder’s choice by Norberto Obeso put runners on the corners with two out but Dust Devils reliever Andres Munoz got Brandon Polizzi to go down swinging.
Sellers and Munoz exchanged 1-2-3 innings to bring the game to the bottom of the eighth when Tri-City started a two-out rally. Aldemar Burgos had an infield single to third and Podorsky earned a walk but Sellers got out of the jam by getting Lopez to ground out.
Kacy Clemens walked with one out and Large had an infield single at second in the top of the ninth but Obeso went down swinging for the third out. William Ouellette was brought in for the home half of the ninth and struck out Almanzar. Mattison and Melean both singled before Ouellette struck out Tre Carter and battled back from a 3-1 count to get Jalen Washington to end the game.
Pruitt and Large were the only Canadians to reach base twice with a hit and a walk. Pruitt, Warmoth and Lizardo all had doubles. Vicuna stole his 14th base of the year but Pruitt was caught for just the third time this year. The C’s were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position, leaving five men on.
William Ouellette converted his fifth save of the season with two strikeouts in the ninth.
Vancouver shut down Tri-City on just four hits, a walk and two hit by pitches while collecting seven strikeouts—three by Sellers and two each by Ouellette and Espada. Sellers earned the win to even his record at 1-1.
Game two of this five-game series goes Wednesday at 7:15 pm. Justin Dillon is listed as the probable starter for Vancouver. You can listen in to CanadiansBaseball.com for all the action.