The Vancouver Canadians returned to their winning ways on national TV with a 3-2 win in 12 innings over the Boise Hawks at Nat Bailey Stadium Saturday. The C’s are now 4-1 under the bright lights of Sportsnet on Saturday night.
The first run of the game belonged to Vancouver as they were able to solve Boise starter Luke Chevalier in the fourth. Philip Clarke was the first batter to get a hit off Chevalier with a two-out base hit to right field. A wild pitch moved Clarke into scoring position and he would score on a Will Robertson double down the right field line past a diving Trey Jacobs at first base. Vancouver manager Casey Candaele had a lengthy conversation with the umpiring crew after Robertson’s double. Candaele may have been arguing the Hawks relievers may have interfered with the play when the ball rolled into their bullpen down the right field line. Trevor Schwecke grounded out to second leave Robertson at second.
The C’s strung together another two-out rally against Chevalier in the fifth. Luis De Los Santos and would score all the way from first on a double to left field by Adrian Ramos. Boise manager Steve Soliz pulled Chevalier from the game and brought in Joel Condreay to face Tanner Morris. The former Virginia Cavalier lined one to left but Trevor Boone made a nice leaping catch to limit the Canadians to a single run.
The Hawks put together a two-out rally of their own to tie things up in the sixth. Gabriel Ponce was a strike away from getting out of the inning unscathed twice. Vladimir Dilone reached base on a 1-2 pitch after a throwing error by Schwecke at short as Ronny Brito could not make the pick at first base. Dilone would steal second but Ponce got ahead of Yorvis Torrealba at one ball and two strikes. Ponce’s next pitch was right to where Jesus Lopez set the target behind the plate. Everybody in the park—including Sportsnet analyst and former Toronto Blue Jay Ricky Romero—believed the 93 mile-per-hour fastball from Ponce was a strike but it was not according to home plate umpire Matt Barrett. The next pitch saw Torrealba double to right to bring in Dilone with the Hawks first run despite a valiant effort by Ramos as he attempted to make a diving catch. Torrealba would score two pitches later on another double by Jacobs to tie things up at 2-2. Ponce deserved a better fate as he had struck out four over three innings and both runs on his pitching line were unearned.
The Canadians would end it in the 12th when De Los Santos laid down a bunt to advance McGregory Contreras to third. A wild pitch by Stephen Jones allowed Contreras to slide home with the winning run.
That allowed Luke Gillingham to earn his first Northwest League victory after throwing three shutout frames. The Navy southpaw was well deserving of the win as he had to deal with a runner on second base to start the 10th through 12th innings. He struck out the side in the 10th and retired the side in the 11th with an inning-ending whiff.
The 12th inning saw Gillingham overcome adversity when Metz singled to short with one out. A wild pitch moved Cope and Metz into scoring position but Gillingham retired Hall and Brown on fly ball outs to keep the game tied.
Radar Gun Rundown
DiCesare clocked in at 82, 83 and 85-91 miles per hour with strikeouts at 89 and 90. Ponce ranged from 78-80 and 87h-94 with strikeouts at 92 and 93. Pascoe checked in at 84-87 and 92-94 with a strikeout at 87. Gillingham went from 70-73, 75-79, 86 and 87 with Ks of 87, 78, 87 and 77.
Ramos did a fair amount of running in patrolling center field. He made a running catch in front of Robertson in right field to retire Torrealba in the first. Ramos’ best defensive gem of the night came when he chased down a ball in the left-center field gap towards the fence to turn away Daniel Cope and the Hawks in the fourth. That play happened after a strike three pitch from Jared DiCesare was not called. DiCesare faced just one batter over the minimum in his four innings with just one hit allowed while striking out two.
Robertson made a nice running catch towards right-center field on a Robert Metz fly ball to finish the top of the second. Metz returned the favour in the bottom half by running down a foul ball in left field from third base. Robertson would get the last laugh on Metz by making a nice diving catch in right field in the ninth.
Morris had a ball kick off his glove at second base to begin the second but he kept it front of him and was able to throw out Cope to begin the second inning. The eighth inning saw Morris make a difficult play on a ground ball by Torrealba. With runners at first and second, Morris’ momentum had carried him to first base on the ground ball but he elected to get the force out at second and made a strong throw to Schwecke at short to force out Turner Brown.
The C’s had their chances to end the game earlier. They loaded the bases against Jacob Wallace with one away in the eighth when Morris and Clarke walked to sandwich a Lopez hit by pitch that grazed the front of his jersey. Wallace would strike out Robertson before Colton Harlow was summoned from the Boise bullpen to strike out Schwecke.
De Los Santos singled with two away in the ninth and Ramos drew a base on balls but Morris was retired on a groundout to first.
Lopez laid down a bunt to advance Morris to third to begin the 10th inning off Colton Hathcock but Clarke and Robertson both struck out. The 11th inning saw Schwecke lay one down to advance Robertson to third but Brito went down swinging and Contreras popped out to second.
Boise had their opportunities as well to take the lead in regulation. Zach Hall drew a leadoff walk against Mike Pascoe and Brown bunted his away aboard to put two men on. Dilone also tried to play the short game but he popped up his bunt attempt to Lopez behind the plate. Pascoe got Torrealba on the aforementioned fielder’s choice before striking out Jacobs to strand runners on the corners.
More trouble for Pascoe came in the ninth when he hit Cope with a pitch. Boone bunted Cope over to second but Pascoe got the next two hitters with the aforementioned Robertson diving catch on Metz in right and Bryant Quijada popping out to second.
The Canadians and Hawks square off again at 1:05 pm Sunday afternoon at the Nat. Zak Baayoun gets the ball for Boise. Vancouver’s starter is to be determined. The game is on Sportsnet 650 and CanadiansBaseball.com with Rob Fai calling the action.