The Vancouver Canadians have won their first road series of 2019. They handed the Everett AquaSox / Conquistadores their second straight loss with a 9-4 decision at Everett Memorial Stadium Friday.
Everett scored first when Billy Cooke hit a triple off Gabriel Ponce‘s second pitch of the game. Trent Tinglestad drew a walk to put runners on the corners before Robert Perez brought in Cooke with a sacrifice fly. Austin Shenton flied out to center where Dominic Abbadessa started an 8-4-3 double play to double off Tingelstad.
The Canadians answered back in the second when Jesus Lopez—in his first action since June 18—singled to right against Brandon Williamson. Lopez would make it to second when Carter Bins was called for catcher’s interference with Luis De Los Santos at the dish. Pop-ups by McGregory Contreras and Abbadessa followed but Adrian Ramos picked them both up with a two-run single off Juan Mercedes to score Lopez and De Los Santos. Ramos was thrown out at second by trying for a double.
Vancouver would build on their lead in the third when Tanner Morris doubled and scored on a Yorman Rodriguez single. Rodriguez got to second on the throw home and moved to third on a Will Robertson grounder to second. Rodriguez would later score on a Lopez fielder’s choice at second.
Everett came roaring back to tie the game in the fifth against Randy Pondler. Cooke hit his second triple of the game and scampered home on a wild pitch. Perez followed with a single and he would score on a two-run home run by Shenton.
Vancouver would break the tie in the seventh. Rodriguez reached second base on an infield single and an error at third by Patrick Frick. Robertson singled to right to score Rodriguez and got to second on a throwing error by Bins. Trevor Schwecke was able to get a bunt single by Mercedes on the mound and that advanced Robertson to third. A sac fly by Brett Wright would score Robertson and lead to Everett going to Garrett Westburg on the mound.
The Canadians began the eighth with an Abbadessa single to left but he was nailed at second after Tinglestad recovered from a bobble and started a 7-4 putout. When Ramos bunted into an out, it looked like it would be a 1-2-3 inning but Morris kept the inning going with a bunt single to third as he took advantage of Everett’s infield shift. That gave Rodriguez an at-bat and he deposited one over the center field wall to make it 8-4 Vancouver.
Travis Kuhn entered the game for Everett in the ninth and plunked Wright with a pitch with one away. Contreras tripled Wright home by sending one out to left.
Pondler improved to 3-1 on the season by tossing 4-1/3 innings of relief and stranded two runners for Ponce. His only hiccup was the three-run Everett fifth. He struck out four and walked nobody. Ponce gave up a run in 1-2/3 innings of work on a hit and three walks while whiffing one. Grayson Huffman pitched two shutout innings of two-hit ball and struck out a pair. Parker Caracci struck one out in a perfect ninth.
With his four-hit outburst, Rodriguez is now in first place in batting average in the Northwest League. He is now hitting .393, giving him a 20 point lead on Shenton who had a 1-for-4 night.
Abbadessa had three hits while Morris, Robertson and Contreras had two apiece. Every Vancouver starter had at least one hit and all 10 hitters got on base once. Wright replaced Lopez in the bottom of the sixth and was hit by a pitch.
Pondler’s three wins leave him one back of Boise’s Frederis Parra for the league lead.
Vancouver has a chance for a three-game sweep in the series finale Saturday. The game will be broadcast on Sportsnet 650 and CanadiansBaseball.com. Rob Fai will be on the air at 7:05 pm. Mariners first round pick George Kirby is expected to make his professional debut. Nick Fraze is expected to get the start for Vancouver.