The Vancouver Canadians nearly climbed all the way back from a 6-0 deficit but fell to the Hillsboro Hops 6-5 at Nat Bailey Stadium Monday night.
Hillsboro got the jump on Adam Kloffenstein in the first inning with a Ricky Martinez single to third that Luis De Los Santos tried to barehand but lost the handle on the ball. Stephen Leyton laid into one by homering into the C’s bullpen in left field that McGregory Contreras could not get to in time. He came up limping after jumping awkwardly into the short chain-linked fence but he was able to stay in the game.
The third inning Leyton smash a single to left that handcuffed De Los Santos at third. Leyton reached second on an Andy Yerzy grounder to second before scoring on a Tristin English base right.
The Hops poured it one in the fourth when Daniel Wasinger reached first on a throwing error by De Los Santos as he air-mailed a throw off the protective fence above the Hillsboro dugout. Wasinger eventually scored on a David Garza Jr. base hit. That was followed by a Martinez sacrifice fly and a Leyton RBI single to give the Hops a six-run advantage.
After being blanked by Wilfry Cruz over the first five frames and by Trevor McKenna in the sixth, the C’s finally got on the board against McKenna in the seventh. Brett Wright singled with one away and got to second on a wild pitch by McKenna. Walks by Ronny Brito and Adrian Ramos loaded the bases. Davis Schneider was then hit by a pitch to score Wright. The C’s could not get any more as Tanner Morris popped out to short before Justin Garcia got De Los Santos to fly out.
The eighth inning saw the C’s keep chipping away. Yorman Rodriguez led off with a single against Franklin Soriano and got to second on a Will Robertson groundout. A Contreras base rap would bring Rodriguez all the way around to score. Walks by Wright and Brito loaded the bags again. A Ramos fielder’s choice plated Contreras for Vancouver’s third run. Schneider then doubled off Jose Cuas to left to score Wright and Brito to make it a one-run game but Morris grounded out to end the threat.
Nicolas Medina supplied four shutout innings before turning the ball over to Luke Gillingham who worked a scoreless ninth.
Cuas would retire the side in order in the ninth to preserve the win for the Hops who have beaten Vancouver five out of six times this year.
Radar Gun Rundown
Kloffenstein checked in from 78-80, 82, 84, 85 and 90-94 miles per hour. Medina recorded a strikeout looking at 83 and was around 76, 77, 88, 89, 93 and 95. Gillingham clocked in at 69, 70, 76, 77, 82, 84 and 85.
The C’s almost got a lucky bounce in the first inning. Rodriguez drew a walk with two away before Robertson hit a ground ball that Nick Grande almost booted away but the Hops second baseman recovered just in time to get Robertston. Morris led off the frame with a hard hit ball to center that was caught.
Brito had a decent night at the plate and in the field. With the bat, he went 1-for-3 with a pair of walks. On the diamond, he made a nice backhanded stop at short to throw out Grande at first base to end the second. In the seventh, Brito made a nice flip to Schneider at second base in an attempt for a 6-4-3 double play. Schneider barehanded the ball but Jorge Barrosa beat it out at first. The eighth inning saw Brito make a nice backhanded stop to get Grande again to end that frame.
Medina also showed his defensive chops on the mound by handling a hot smash from Lyle Lin and throwing him out to finish the fifth.
The C’s and Hops face off for the final time in the 2019 regular season with an 1:05 pm contest at the Nat. Grant Townsend will be on the hill for the home side. The game can be heard on Sportsnet 650 and CanadiansBaseball.com with Rob Fai.