The Vancouver Canadians hope they will have better luck against the Boise Hawks in Boise’s new stadium next season. The C’s suffered a heart-breaking loss in their final regular season appearance at Boise Memorial Stadium, dropping a 3-2 decision to the Hawks Thursday night.
Vancouver broke a scoreless tie with a one-out rally in the sixth inning. Philip Clarke singled to right field off to Joel Condreay and scored on a McGregory Contreras triple to center. Tanner Morris then took one up the middle to score Contreras for a 2-0 lead.
Boise cut the C’s lead in half when Ezequiel Tovar singled with two outs on an 0-2 pitch from Alex Nolan. Tovar would steal second and score on a Vladimir Dilone base hit. Michael Toglia singled to push Dilone all the way to third but Nolan—after a mound visit from pitching coach Demetre Kokoris—got Joe Aielts to fly out and preserve the lead.
Gage Burland relieved Nolan in the seventh and appeared to have things under control, retiring two of the first three hitters he faced. He plunked Yorvis Torrealba with one out away and Zach Hall kept the inning going with a walk. Both Torrealba and Hall would score on a Bladimir Restituyo double.
Josh Almonte survived a pair of walks by striking out a pair in the eighth to give Vancouver another chance but the C’s had just one baserunner the rest of the way with Clarke drawing a one-out walk in the eighth off Reagan Todd. Jacob Wallace retired the side in order in the ninth for the save. The win went to Boby Johnson for a scoreless seventh. Wander Cabrera kept the C’s down for the first four innings before giving the ball to Condreay.
He may not be going to the All-Star game in Boise next week but Nolan pitched like an All-Star in Boise. The Burlington, Ontario hurler retired the first eight men he faced and 13 of the first 14, allowing just two hits over the first five frames before running into trouble in the sixth. Though he struck out just one, 54 of his 72 pitches were strikes. His earned run average is down to 2.58.
Yorman Rodriguez had a three-hit night to improve his Northwest League-leading batting average to .374. His first hit was a one-out single in the first and he moved to second on a wild pitch but he would be stranded. He singled again in the third with two away and stole second base but was left aboard. A third single with two away in the fifth produced the same result.
Morris had a two-out double in the second but he would not go any further while Clarke and Contreras had one-out singles in the fifth but that was as far as they got.
Vancouver’s hit total of nine was the result of a three-hit night from Rodriguez and two-hit games from Clarke, Contreras and Morris. Clarke drew the only walk. The rest of the order was a combined 0-for-21.
Other than Game 3 of the 2012 Northwest League championship final in which the Canadians celebrated their second of three consecutive titles, Boise Memorial Stadium has been a house of horrors to the C’s in recent years with the Hawks taking three out of four. Vancouver will be looking for payback when they visit Nat Bailey Stadium later in the month.
Meanwhile, the Canadians head to Tri-City for a weekend series. Alek Manoah is expected to be the opener for Vancouver. Nick Thwaits gets the ball for Tri-City in a 7:15 pm start at Gesa Stadium. Rob Fai will describe all the action on Sportsnet 650 and CanadiansBaseball.com.