Brandon Polizzi homered, scored twice and made a key defensive play to lead the C’s to victory Sunday.
The Vancouver Canadians began the first of six games against the Everett AquaSox on the right foot with a 5-3 victory at Nat Bailey Stadium Sunday afternoon. The victory gives the C’s a 4-3 record against the AquaSox in 2017.
The C’s tabbed lefthander Wilfri Aleton to start this one and he gave up a double to leadoff man Chris Torres that just touched down in right field beyond the reach of second baseman Mattingly Romanin and right fielder Brandon Polizzi. Aleton would respond with strikeouts of Manny Pazos and Greifer Andrade with a Eugene Helder groundout in between to leave Torres at second.
The C’s carried the momentum into their first at-bat when Reggie Pruitt scorched a double to left off Everett starterAndres Torres. Norberto Obeso would bring Pruitt with a base hit up the middle to put Vancouver ahead 1-0. Logan Warmoth punched one through to left field off Helder at third to put Obeso up to second but Kacy Clemens grounded into a double play and Riley Adams could not bring home Obeso from third as he grounded out to second.
Aleton set down the AquaSox in order that saw him strike out Onil Pena. He retired six in a row before Torres got him again with a two-out single in the third. Adams would throw out Torres trying to steal to end the frame. The big defensive highlight of the third was a incredible diving catch by Polizzi in right field to rob Ronaldo Rosario of extra bases that started the frame.
After beginning the top of the third with a tremendous defensive play, Polizzi started the bottom half with an equally tremendous offensive play by poking one over the right field fence and into the Vancouver bullpen for his first professional home run to lift the C’s to a 2-0 lead. Obeso had a one-out single and Clemens picked up a two-out base hit but Clemens was thrown out trying to advance to second on a ball in the dirt by Everett catcher Juan Camacho.
The AquaSox threatened in the fourth with one-out base knocks by Helder and Andrade and a two-out walk to Pena to load the bases but Aleton got out of it with a strikeout of Camacho and a pop-up to third from Joe Venturino.
After the C’s were retired 1-2-3 in the fourth, Aleton finished up his five-inning outing in style with a Rosario strikeout to begin a 1-2-3 frame of his own.
Wilfri Aleton shutout the AquaSox over five innings Sunday afternoon.
Vancouver looked to pad their lead for Aleton when Bryan Lizardo lined a single to right and Polizzi reached on a throwing error at short. Pruitt would strike out but Obeso loaded the bases by drawing a walk against AquaSox reliever David Hessler. Warmoth had the count 3-0 in his favour but he was caught looking at strike three, just when he was about to toss the bat away for what he thought was ball four. Clemens would leave the bases loaded by fouling out to first.
With the C’s unable to add to their lead, the AquaSox made it disappear against Donnie Sellers in the sixth. Pazos doubled and Helder singled to put two runners in scoring position. Andrade would strike out but Camacho singled to score Pazos with the first Everett run. Pena popped out to second with the infield fly rule in effect but Sellers plunked Venturino to load the bases. Rosario then singled to left to score Helder with the tying run but Obeso threw out Camacho trying to score to keep the game tied.
After tagging out Camacho at the plate, Adams got a rally started with an infield single to third. Romanin would reach base on a one-out error at second and Adams was able to make it all the way to third. Hessler got Lizardo to hit a soft liner to first for the second out but he uncorked a wild pitch to allow Adams to score the tie-breaking run. After Polizzi drew a walk, Paul Covelle took over for Hessler and also threw one to the backstop to move Romanin and Polizzi up 90 feet. Pruitt then picked up a single to right to score Romanin and Polizzi to give Vancouver a 5-2 lead. Pruitt would steal second but Obeso lined out to center for the third out.
Jansiel Rivera singled off Sellers to start the seventh and issued a one-out walk to Pazos but a strikeout of Chris Torres would help him to get through the inning unscathed.
After getting nothing accomplished in the home half of the seventh, Sellers came out for the eighth with a new third baseman in Deiferson Barreto and a new first baseman in Lizardo who was replacing Cameron O’Brien. Sellers struck out Camacho to begin the frame but he made it to first on a wild pitch. Sellers got Pena to hit into a 6-4-3 that was started smoothly by Warmoth at short. Venturino kept the inning going when he reached on a Barreto error but Sellers got Rosario to strike out swinging to snuff out that threat.
Donnie Sellers picked up the victory in relief by pitching three innings.
Barreto began the eighth with a base hit but was thrown out trying to steal second. Lizardo drew a two-out walk but that was it for the C’s offence.
Orlando Pascual has a quick chat with Deiferson Barreto before pitching in the ninth.
Orlando Pascual arrived out of the pen for the ninth and struck out Rivera to begin the proceedings. He then walked Torres who was doubled home by Pena to bring the Frogs to within two. With the tying run at the plate, Pascual got Helder to ground out to third before striking out Andrade swinging to end it.
Pruitt and Obeso sparked Vancouver’s 10-hit performance with two apiece. Obeso also reached base on a walk and Pruitt stole his 26th base of the year. Lizardo and Polizzi had a hit and a walk apiece. Vancouver was 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base.
Aleton struck out six and walked only one in five shutout innings of four-hit ball. Sellers gave up two runs on five hits, a walk and a hit by pitch. He was charged with a blown save but he racked up four K’s in three innings to improve to 2-1. Pascual allowed a run on a hit and a walk but collected his fourth save of the year.
Romanin went 0-for-4 in his return to Vancouver but did score a run. He is now wearing #6 after wearing #2 last season and for the first part of this season before being promoted to Lansing. Romanin’s #6 was worn by Cullen Large (injury) and Chavez Young (Bluefield) already this season.
Righthanders Dalton Rodriguez and Nate Pearson celebrated their 21st birthdays on Sunday.
CYCLE WATCH: #BlueJays prospect Connor Panas is a homer shy in the seventh for @DunedinBlueJays. Gameday: https://t.co/Ax7XZ2A4OZ pic.twitter.com/H2s75zc3Xw
— MiLB.com (@MiLB) August 20, 2017
Nick Sinay tied the Midwest League’s single-season HBP record in an 8-6 loss to South Bend. RECAP: https://t.co/vtLUX3bAxm
— Lansing Lugnuts (@LansingLugnuts) August 20, 2017
C’s Fast Forward
The C’s and Frogs play two more games in Vancouver before heading to Everett for three. Jose Espada is expected to throw the first pitch at The Nat Monday night at 7:05 pm.
Vancouver remains tied with Tri-City for first place in the North Division with 15-10 records. Spokane is two games back at 13-12 while Everett drops to three games back at 12-13.