Vancouver Canadians Griffin Conine

Griffin Conine knocked in the tying and winning runs for the C’s Thursday afternoon.

It took four tries but the Vancouver Canadians have their first series victory of 2018. The C’s took the rubber match of their three-game set against the Tri-City Dust Devils with a 3-2 win at Nat Bailey Stadium Thursday afternoon.

C's RecapC’s starter Jose Espada struck out three of the first four hitters he faced but the Dust Devils would get to him for a run in the second. Michael Curry singled up the middle and Mason House drew a walk. Kelvin Alarcon then grounded to first where Jake Brodt threw to Vinny Capra to force House at second. It looked like the return throw to first was in time to get Alarcon but he was ruled safe. That brought C’s manager Dallas McPherson to the field to argue the call and he was thrown out of the game by base umpire Nolan Earley. Chandler Seagle would single to left to score Curry with the game’s first run but McGregory Contreras would throw out Alarcon at third where Sterling Guzman applied the tag to end the inning.


Jake Brodt scored the first Vancouver run Friday afternoon.

The C’s tied it in the fourth when Jake Brodt lined a single to right off Dust Devils starter Adrian Martinez and got into scoring position on a Contreras ground out to third. Bryan Lizardo smacked a line drive to right to score Brodt and got to second on the throw. Guzman would ground out to short to leave Lizardo at second.

Tri-City got the lead again in the fifth when Guzman mishandled a ground ball at third off the bat of Seagle. Tre Carter would get aboard on a single to right to put two runners on. Reinaldo Illarraza popped up a bunt in foul territory to C’s catcher Christopher Bec and Luke Becker hit into a 4-6 fielder’s choice to put runners on the corners with two away. The Dust Devils then executed a double steal by drawing a throw to second before Seagle raced home to score the go-ahead run. Espada would end his outing by striking out Owen Miller to close out the inning.


Jose Espada enjoyed his best start of 2018 with just two runs allowed in five innings Friday.

Both teams went to the bullpen in the sixth and that’s when the C’s evened things up. Griffin Conine belted a solo home run over the 25-foot wall in center field off Jonathan Guzman to make it a 2-2 game.

Vancouver would grab the lead in the eighth when Capra drew a walk and stole second before Bec reached on an error by Alarcon at third. Nick Podkul took one for the team as the ball glanced off his batting helmet but he was able to continue after being shaken up. Dust Devils manager Mike McCoy elected to go to the bullpen with Jordan Guerrero replacing Guzman. After Conine went deep against Guzman, he went deep enough against Guerrero as he lifted a sacrifice fly to left to score Capra with the go-ahead run.

A Brodt strikeout and a Contreras tapper to the mound did not produce any insurance runs for Vancouver as Guerrero was lighting it up on the radar gun.

Nick Allgeyer (1-2/3 innings), Connor Law (2/3 innings) and Orlando Pascual (1-2/3 innings) combined to toss four scoreless innings of relief with Pascual getting the win. The 2017 Northwest League All-Star stranded a Miller single by striking out Curry to end the game.


The C’s were just 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position but the Dust Devils were were 1-for-10, leaving 12 men on base as compared to Vancouver’s half-dozen.

Capra and Tanner Kirwer remain tied for the team stolen base lead with five apiece. Kirwer singled and stole second in the third inning but was stranded. That total places them in the top five in the Northwest League. Eugene’s Fernando Kelli has a league-best 13.

The C’s are 5-9 in the North Division, leaving them three games back of 8-6 Everett. Tri-City falls to 7-7 and Spokane is 6-8.

C's NotesWeather permitting (and it should!), the C’s begin a five-game series against the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes with a 7:05 pm first pitch on Friday. Jordan Barrett (1-0, 2.61) is expected to throw the game’s first pitch for the C’s. The Volcanoes have not listed a starter as of yet. The game can be heard on with Rob Fai.

On the transactions front, catcher/outfielder Reilly Johnson has been promoted to the Lansing Lugnuts where he will join his 2018 C’s teammates Freddy Rodriguez, Jesus Navarro and Owen Spiwak. Coming to Vancouver from Bluefield is outfielder Hunter Steinmetz, the Blue Jays 11th round pick from the 2018 draft from Missouri State.

Speaking of former Missouri State Bears, 2015 C’s righthander Jon Harris is a step away from the majors. The 2015 first round pick spun six solid innings in his Buffalo Bisons debut to get the victory against Pawtucket. He allowed just one unearned run on four hits, did not walk anyone and struck out four. Harris also recorded nine outs on the ground. 2014 C’s Rowdy Tellez and Richard Urena had two hits apiece with Tellez clubbing his sixth home run.

Rodrigo Orozco (2015-2016) was 2-for-4 with a double and Jake Fishman got the save as Dunedin edged Florida 4-3. Samad Taylor (2017) stole his 22nd base to go along with a double and a run batted in and Kyle Weatherly (2017) threw three shutout frames as Lansing upended Great Lakes 5-1.

On a sad note, the Blue Jays released 2017 C’s catcher Matt Morgan. He had his troubles with the bat but I still maintain he had two of the biggest hits of the first half of last season to help Vancouver win its first-ever first-half North Division title. You can read more about Morgan right here. I wish Matt all the best in his future endeavours.





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