C’s Recap – Hops Pop C’s To Clinch Playoff Spot

Bryan Lizardo, Vancouver Canadians third baseman

Bryan Lizardo scored the only run for Vancouver and had a three-hit day Friday.


The Hillsboro Hops know they are going to the 2018 Northwest League playoffs but the Vancouver Canadians know their playoff chances for the first half are in danger. The Hops humiliated the C’s 10-1 at Nat Bailey Stadium Friday afternoon to win the first-half South Division title.

hillsboro_celebrates_clinch

The Hillsboro Hops break out the champagne to celebrate winning the first-half South Division Title.


Vancouver received no help on the out-of-town scoreboard Friday as Everett and Tri-City both won their games. Everett is now two games up on 17-18 Vancouver with just three games left to play. The C’s have to win all three games left in the first half while Everett needs to lose all three and Tri-City has to drop two out of three for Vancouver to win the first-half North Division flag.

North York, Ontario native Andy Yerzy put Hillsboro on top with a home run off Vancouver starter Juan Nunez to begin the second inning.

The C’s answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the second when Bryan Lizardo lined a one-out double to right field. Sterling Guzman went to right for a base hit to put Lizardo at third. Guzman stole second before Christopher Bec lifted a sacrifice fly to right to bring in Lizardo. Guzman tagged up and went to third and McGregory Contreras drew a walk but Hops starter Jackson Goddard struck out Tanner Kirwer to keep the game tied.

The game stayed that way until the fifth when Denis Diaz entered the game for Nunez. Diaz walked Zach Hoffpauir who went to second on a stolen base. Tra Carter reached on an infield single to third and the bases were loaded when Ryan January walked. A Jose Caballero walk scored Hoffpauir with the go-ahead run. Yerzy singled up the middle to score Holmes and that chased Diaz from the game. Joey Pulido made his Nat Bailey Stadium debut and he uncorked a wild pitch to make it 4-1 Hillsboro. A Joey Rose sacrifice fly to right and a Jake McCarthy double to left plated Caballero and Yerzy. McCarthy would steal third and score after Pulido’s pickoff attempt went horribly awry to make it a six-run inning.

Hillsboro would tack on a field goal in the ninth. Holmes singled to center against Will McAffer, January followed with a walk and Yerzy reached on an error at second to load the bases with one out. Joey Rose walked with the bases loaded and in came Marcus Reyes out of the bullpen. The lefthander gave up a single to left by McCarthy and a sacrifice fly to center that scored January and Yerzy respectively.

Radar Gun Rundown

radar_gun_iconNunez reached 95 miles per hour and had one strikeout at 90. He also checked in at 77 and 79.

Diaz was clocked at 80 on the low end and 94 on the high end. Pulido shuffled as high at 93 and had strikeouts at 85 and 90. McAffer had strikeouts at 82 and 91. Reyes was in the high 80’s and low 90’s.

Vancouver Canadians Juan Nunez

Juan Nunez limited Hillsboro to one run over four innings Friday.


C-Notes

C's NotesDespite three errors, there were two nice defensive plays of note. Vinny Capra showed good range to his left at short and looked very smooth in retiring Holmes to begin the third. The beginning of the fourth saw Kirwer make a over-the-shoulder diving catch to rob Yerzy of a hit near the center field wall.

Errors were committed by Pulido, Lizardo and Podkul but led to just two unearned runs out of the 10 Hillsboro scored.

One point of contention came up during the fifth inning when Podkul called time at the plate and it was not granted by the home plate umpire. Hops pitcher Jake Polancic of Langley, BC wound up throwing a strike to even the count at 2-2. C’s manager Dallas McPherson came out to argue but there was no ejection. Podkul eventually earned a walk to join an Otto Lopez free pass on the bases. However, Griffin Conine struck out against Kai-Wei Lin to keep the C’s off the board.

The C’s got their first hit of the day on a Lopez single two batters in but that was snuffed out when Podkul grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. Capra and Lizardo had leadoff hits in the third and fourth that went nowhere. Lizardo had one more hit to start the ninth but he was left there to end the game.

Brandon Polizzi earned a pinch-hit bat in the eighth and nearly beat a groundball to first. Polizzi pinch-hit for Lopez and stayed in the game at right field.

Jake Brodt subbed in for Guzman at first base in the ninth and got an at-bat in the ninth but he was struck out by Josh Green.

Lizardo had three of Vancouver’s six hits on the day to boost his average to .264. Capra, Lopez and Guzman had the others with Lopez getting aboard on a walk and Guzman stealing his fourth base of the year. Vancouver had just one hit in six tries with runners in scoring position with seven men left on base and eight strikeouts.

Nunez surrendered a solo home run and offset three walks with three strikeouts over four innings to bring his earned run average down to 2.79. Diaz took the loss with five runs on two hits and three walks over one-third of an inning. Pulido allowed all three inherited runners to score and gave up an unearned marker over 2-2/3 innings. He gave up a pair of hits and struck out a pair. McAffer was cuffed around for three runs (two earned) over 1-1/3 innings on two hits and two walks. Reyes let his two inherited runners score on a hit before recording the final two outs.

The C’s and Hops play the third game of this series at 7:05 pm. Jose Espada (1-3, 4.76) is set to throw the first pitch for Vancouver. Ryan Weiss (0-0, 5.40) will start for Hillsboro.

Rob Fai will have the broadcast on CanadiansBaseball.com and TSN 1040. The pregame show begins at 6:00 pm.

C-Tweets

cs-tweetCongratulations goes out to 2014-2015 Vancouver Canadians infielder Gunnar Heidt as he has been promoted from Double-A New Hampshire to Triple-A Buffalo. Heidt was taken by Toronto in the 13th round of the 2014 draft from the College of Charleston. Heidt’s 2014 teammate Richard Urena was called up from the Bisons to join the parent club in Toronto.

 

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About Niall O'Donohoe

My name is Niall O’Donohoe and I am an avid follower of baseball, specifically Canada’s Teams – the Toronto Blue Jays and their affiliate, the Vancouver Canadians. My blog beginnings began in 2007 with Batter’s Box, where I’m still allowed to write stories, summaries and photos about the Blue Jays minor league system under the alias #2JBrumfield. The blog formerly known as Niall On Baseball, C’s Plus Baseball follows the C’s from behind the lens at Nat Bailey Stadium. The reason for the name change was to reflect the main purpose of this blog, which is to deliver plus coverage of the C’s through photos and observations of the players striving to make it to the major leagues, be it with Toronto or one of the other 29 MLB teams. From time to time, I do make it to other baseball games outside of The Nat and will post about them here as well. If you like what you see here, please spread the word about CsPlusBaseball.ca by tweeting about this website or using your favourite social media platform about this website that pledges to deliver awesome content about Canada’s only affiliated professional minor league baseball club. Thanks for visiting!
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