The Vancouver Canadians saw an opportunity to get above .500 for the first time this season slip through their fingers. The C’s fell to 2-3 for the second half after the Spokane Indians rallied for a 2-1 victory in 10 innings at Avista Stadium Saturday.
The Canadians scored first in the second inning when Cameron Eden worked a leadoff walk against Ricky Vanasco. Eden was thrown out trying to steal second by David Garcia but Ronny Brito found his way to second base after a fielding error by Starling Joseph in right field. A Dom Abbadessa tapper to the mound got Brito over to third before an Adrian Ramos single to right cashed in Brito. Ramos was then caught stealing second to end the inning.
Spokane evened things up in the eighth with a two-out rally when Grayson Huffman issued a two-out walk to Blaine Crim and surrendered a run-scoring double by Luis Ascunsion. Pinch-runner Jake Hoover advanced to third on an infield single to third by Garcia but Huffman struck out Jonah McReynolds to keep the game tied.
In the 10th inning, Parker Caracci intentionally walked Crim to join Kenan Irizzary on the basepaths to set up a force play at every base. The plan backfired when pinch-hitter Francisco Ventura loaded the bases on a bunt single back to the mound. Garcia popped out to short for the first out but Caracci walked McReynolds to score Crim the winning run.
The Canadians loss spoiled the professional debut of 2019 Toronto Blue Jays first round pick Alek Manoah. The former West Virginia Mountaineer struck out Kellen Strahm on three pitches to begin the game. Irizzary doubled but Manoah got Crim to ground out to third before striking out Ascunsion swinging to complete his first professional inning. According to C’s broadcaster Rob Fai, Manoah was only going to pitch one inning where he would not be allowed to exceed 30 pitches.
The loss also ruined William Gaston‘s best outing as a pro as he spun six shutout innings, scattering four hits and two walks while striking out six. The Cuban’s biggest jam was giving up singles to Irizarry and Crim to start the sixth but he retired the next six hitters before turning the game over to Huffman in the eighth.
Huffman gave the tying run in the eighth and walked Alexander Ovalles to begin the ninth. Ovalles would steal second before Caracci struck out Joseph and Derwin Barreto. Caracci hit Strahm with a pitch before getting Irizzary to fly out to end the threat.
Tanner Morris was the only Vancouver player with two hits. He began the game with a base hit and Philip Clarke drew a one-out walk but that was all the C’s could muster. Morris doubled off Jeifry Nunez with two away in the fifth but he was stranded.
Cameron Eden had a leadoff single against Nick Starr in the seventh and Morris walked to start the eighth but those rallies went nowhere. Morris was thrown out stealing to end the eighth.
Jesus Lopez reached on a throwing error by McReynolds at third to begin the ninth but Daniel Robert struck out the side swinging. The 10th inning saw Ramos work a one-out walk to join Brito on the bases but Morris hit into a 4-6-3 double play.
Vancouver concludes its series with Spokane with a 5:09 pm first pitch at Avista Stadium. The game is on Sportsnet 650 and CanadiansBaseball.com.