The Everett AquaSox scored early and often to outdistance the Vancouver Canadians 8-2 at Nat Bailey Stadium Friday afternoon.
The Frogs jumped on Adam Kloffenstein for a pair of first inning runs. Utah Jones began the game by grounding a single up the middle and Cesar Izturis Jr. battled Kloffenstein to a walk after falling behind 0-2 in the count. Patrick Frick got on base after a 5-4 fielder’s choice to push Jones to third. Jones would cross the plate on a Trent Tingelstad sacrifice fly to center. Kloffenstein gave up a single to Cade Marlowe and another base hit left by Robert Perez on a 1-2 pitch that scored Frick with the game’s second run.
Frick would score again in the third after his one-out single was tripled home by Marlowe with two away. Abbadessa attempted a diving catch on Marlowe’s drive to center but came up just short. He then made a relay throw on the money to Luis De Los Santos at third but De Los Santos could not hold on to the ball when he tried to tag Marlowe.
The Canadians finally responded in the sixth when Dom Abbadessa reached base on an error when his grounder to second went right through Jones. Tanner Morris and Trevor Schwecke then singled off Brayan Perez loaded the bases with nobody out. Instead of a big inning, all the Canadians could get was one run as the result of a 6-4-3 double play ball off the bat of Jesus Lopez that brought home Abbadessa. It appeared Lopez beat out the relay throw from second but base umpire Willie Traynor did not agree. C’s manager Casey Candaele came out to argue the call. Will Robertson then grounded out to first to leave Morris at third.
Everett pulled away with a pair of runs in the seventh. Gage Burland hit Jones with a pitch with one away before Izturis doubled him over to third. Both Jones and Izturis came in to score on a two-run knock by Tingelstad.
The AquaSox added two more runs in the eighth against Parker Caracci on a two-out single by Jones that brought in a Carter Bins fielder’s choice and a DeAires Moses hit by pitch.
Everett tacked on their final run in the ninth when a Robert Perez sac fly scored a leadoff double from Frick. Trevor Schwecke made an over-the-shoulder catch in front of Robertson but his momentum carried him away from the plate and his throw was late to Wright. Frick’s double to left was mishandled by Contreras as he leapt in the air to try to make the catch and nearly knocked the ball over the short outfield fence.
The last run of the game belonged to Vancouver. Lopez took a walk—only his third of the year in 85 plate appearances—from Travis Kuhn to begin the bottom of the ninth and Robertson and Contreras delivered base hits to fill up the bags with nobody out. A Brett Wright sac fly scored Lopez but Ronny Brito popped up and De Los Santos went down swinging to put an end to a game that lasted exactly three hours.
Radar Gun Rundown
Kloffenstein clocked in at 78, 79, 83-85 and 89-92 miles per hour with strikeouts at 87, 82, 78 and 91. Burland checked in at 75-78, 82-84, 89-92 and 95 with strikeouts at 91, 82 and 92. Caracci was at 79, 80, 87, 89-94 and 96.
Morris had a couple of nice defensive plays of note at short. He dealt with a tricky hop off the bat of Bins to throw out the Everett catcher for the final out of the first. The former Virginia Cavalier then ranged to his right and made an off-balance throw to retire his six-spot counterpart Izturis to begin the third.
The third inning also involved a lengthy argument with Everett manager Louis Boyd and home plate umpire Austin Nelson when Nelson ruled Tingelstad to have fouled off a pitch when it appeared he never made contact. The pitch in question from Kloffenstein went to the backstop and Frick then went to second. Tingelstad would later strike out but Frick would go on to score on Marlowe’s three-bagger to center.
Everett’s Miguel Perez was given a Bronx cheer by the sold-out crowd at the Nat after nearly falling down in the batter’s box before his at-bat to start the second inning. Perez would be Kloffenstein’s first strikeout victim.
The Vancouver bats were completely shut down over the first three innings. One reason was a nice 6-3 play started by Izturis on a ground ball off the bat of Robertson and Robert Perez almost had to do the splits at first base to handle Izturis’ throw to get Robertson.
Brandon Williamson pitched two shutout innings and Brock Minich followed with two more goose eggs for Everett. Vancouver did not get its first hit until Lopez doubled with two outs in the fourth.
The Canadians did not get two runners on base at the same time until the fifth when Contreras and Wright had back-to-back base knocks against Brayan Perez. That opportunity went by the wayside when Brito struck out and De Los Santos grounded into an around-the-horn double play. The twin-killing ended with an controversial out call by Traynor that Candaele came out to dispute.
De Los Santos was able to end the Everett seventh with a catch in foul territory on the third base side by reaching into the seats to retire Marlow.
Schwecke made a nifty play on a roller by Bins in the eighth inning by tagging the second base bag with his glove on a diving play.
Yorman Rodriguez had quite the debut with the Lansing Lugnuts as he went 4-for-5 with three runs batted in Friday. He finished a home run short of the cycle in the Lugnuts 12-2 win over the South Bend Cubs.
The Northwest League transactions page says catcher/first baseman Hagen Danner is on his way to Vancouver from Lansing. Danner was Toronto’s second round pick in 2017 from Huntington Beach High School in California. Current C’s outfielder Dom Abbadessa and 2018 C’s first baseman Jake Brodt were Danner’s teammates in Huntington Beach.
Happy birthday to C’s righthander Grant Townsend who turned 22 on Friday. He will get the start Saturday in the series finale against the AquaSox. George Kirby goes for Everett in a 7:05 pm first pitch at the Nat. The game can be seen on Sportsnet Pacific with Rob Fai, Ricky Romero and Caroline Frolic.