The Vancouver Canadians saw their modest two-game winning streak come to a crushing end. The Hillsboro Hops scored four times in the ninth inning to hand the C’s a 6-3 loss on Canada Day Monday at Nat Bailey Stadium.
The Hops scored the first two runs of the game in the fourth inning against Alex Nolan as they used four consecutive singles to start the frame. David Garza Jr.’s single past a diving Tanner Morris at shortstop scored Tristin English before a Jesus Marriaga sacrifice fly brought in Daniel Wasinger.
The Canadians were held off the scoreboard by Hillsboro starter Marcos Tineo for the first five innings but they got to Jacob Stevens in the sixth. Luis De Los Santos led off with a double to right field that was misjudged by English and would come around to score on another double to the right field corner by Will Robertson. Trevor Schwecke then beat out a grounder to short to put runners on the corners. What looked to be the beginning of a big inning was muted when McGregory Contreras grounded into a 6-4-3 double play that brought home Robertson with the tying run. Business would pick back up when Ryan Sloniger crushed a ball that went over the big fence in right field to make it 3-2 Vancouver. Brett Wright kept the inning by drawing a walk but was thrown out trying to steal second after Yaramil Hiraldo replaced Stevens.
The score remained that way until the ninth when North York, Ontario native Andy Yerzy singled off Andy McGuire. Things went from bad to worse when McGuire plunked Kristian Robinson and English to load the bases. Wasinger then singled up the middle to score Yerzy and Robinson with the tying and go-ahead runs. Parker Caracci could not strand the two runners he inherited from McGuire. Garza doubled home English and a bases-loaded walk by Marriaga brought in Lyle Lin.
Langley, B.C. native Jake Polancic was credited with the win after pitching a clean eighth inning.
Morris made a nice leaping grab at short to rob Yerzy of a hit in the first inning. The former Virginia Cavalier then singled to right in the bottom half of the frame but was doubled off on a De Los Santos liner as part of an inning-ending twin killing.
The C’s had a two-out rally in the second when Contreras singled and made it to third on a Sloniger single that was horribly misplayed by Marriaga in left. He committed fielding and throwing errors on the same play that put Contreras and Slonger in scoring position. Brett Wright was then plunked on a 72-mph pitch to load the bases but Ronny Brito struck out swinging for out number three.
Vancouver got a break in the third when Cameron Eden reached on an error at third by Garza. Eden was able to get to second on a wide pickoff throw by Tineo before moving to third on a Morris grounder to the right side of the infield. Eden tried to score on a De Los Santos grounder to short but he was cut down at the plate. Robertson extended the inning with a walk but the rally ended on a Schwecke flyout.
Nick Fraze pitched 2-1/3 innings at the start for Vancouver. He got away with a couple of walks over the first two innings but issued a leadoff walk to Nick Grande in the third. Fraze matched his three walks with three strikeouts, whiffing Marriaga before giving way to Nolan. The Burlington, Ontario native tried to barehand a comebacker from Leyton but could not recover as he lost his balance and was charged with a tough error. In a Canadian-on-Canadian matchup, Nolan walked Yerzy but he induced a 6-4-3 double play to get out of danger.
After coughing up two runs in the fourth inning, Nolan navigated his way out of trouble in the fifth and sixth. He stranded a two-out hit by pitch to English in the fifth and stranded singles by Lin and Leyton left in scoring position in the sixth after a De Los Santos error moved the runners up 90 feet.
Adams Cuevas worked a 1-2-3 seventh inning before giving way to McGuire in the eighth. McGuire got out of a dicey situation when the Hops loaded the bases with two away when Garza walked, Grande reached on an fielding error by De Los Santos at third and Marriaga reached on an infield single to short. McGuire was able to leave them loaded with Leyton went far enough on a swing for an inning-ending strikeout.
According to the C’s Media Relations department, the C’s are 2-7 during Canada Day Games since their affiliation since Toronto in 2011.
Radar Gun Rundown
Fraza had strikeouts of 81 and 79 miles per hour and was in the 86-90 range. Nolan registered a looking strikeout at 79. He was in the 88-90 category with a 79 at the low end and a 92 at the high end. Cuevas checked in at 89, McGuire had a swinging whiff of 80. He clocked in from 87-90 and hit reached 92 and 95 while going as low as 77. Caracci had a whiff of 90 and reached 92, 93 and 95 while dropping as low to 79-80.