The Spokane Indians were a strike away from bookending victories of their six-game series against the Vancouver Canadians but the C’s rallied for a 7-6 victory in 11 innings at Ron Tonkin Field Sunday afternoon.
Hagen Danner looked to wrap things up for the C’s who were clinging to a 5-4 lead in the ninth. Danner retired the first two hitters he faced but singles by Niko Decolati and Brenton Doyle and Michael Toglia was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Willie MacIver punched a single to right field to plate Decolait and Doyle with the tying and go-ahead runs.
Vancouver would tie the game at 6-6 when Cameron Eden lined an 0-2 pitch from Trent Fennell to left field to score Tanner Kirwer, who singled to second base and stole that bag before rumbling home with the tying run in the bottom of the ninth. A Spencer Horwitz walk moved Eden into scoring position but Luis De Los Santos flied out to send the game into overtime.
With a runner on second base to start extra frames, Hunter Stovall advanced to third on a wild pitch by Danner with nobody out but Danner sandwiched a pop-up to short with flyouts to center field to give the C’s a chance to win it in the 10th. De Los Santos was joined on the base paths by Davis Schneider who was plunked by Trysten Barlow but the C’s could not advance either runner.
The top of the 11th saw Parker Caracci walk Decolati with one out before inducing a 6-4-3 double play ball off the bat of Doyle to keep the game tied. Eden ended the game with a one-out single to left off Barlow that scored Eric Rivera with the winning run.
Spokane got the early jump on Vancouver starter Paxton Schultz with an Eddy Diaz triple on the third pitch of the game. Diaz scored on a 1-6-3 groundout from Decolati for the game’s first run.
Vancouver fought back with a two-out rally in the bottom of the first. Eden drilled a single to center field off Chris McMahon and scored and Horwitz worked a full count before earning a base on balls. De Los Santos then doubled to right to score Eden and Horwitz before being thrown out at third base to end the inning.
The Canadians had a chance to add to their lead when they loaded the bases on one-out singles by Schneider and Andres Guerra and a two-out hit by pitch to Kirwer but McMahon got Ryan Gold to ground out on a 3-1 play.
Spokane would retake the lead in the third against Schultz who hit L.J. Hatch with a 3-0 pitch. Schultz then made a throwing error on a Diaz bunt to put runners on the corners. Doyle would drop a ball into right field to score Hatch before Toglia doubled home Diaz to make it 3-2 for the visitors.
Vancouver responded with a two-run rally of their owner in their half of the third. Eden and Horwitz singled on the first two pitches from McMahon before he got De Los Santos to rap into a 4-6-3 double play. Just when it looked like the C’s would come up empty-handed, Ronny Brito launched one over the fence in left-center field to put Vancouver ahead 4-3.
Brito doubled off McMahon to start the sixth inning and was bunted over to third by Schneider. Guerra then produced a seeing-eye single up the middle to score Brito with the C’s fifth run.
Cobi Johnson was summoned from the Vancouver bullpen to work the seventh but a leadoff walk to Hatch on a full-count pitch and a triple to center by Decolati made it a one-run game. Johnson did walk Toglia with two outs but he managed to keep Decolati at third with a Doyle pop-up to second and a MacIver ground ball to third.
Caracci earned the victory in relief to improve to 2-0. He has walked seven batters over seven innings but has allowed just one hit while whiffing seven to keep his earned run average at 0.00 after five appearances.
Brandon Eisert was in line for his second win of the homestand after tossing two shutout innings of one-hit, one-walk ball with three strikeouts. The Beaverton, Oregon native has struck out six batters in 4-1/3 innings of work so far with Vancouver.
Justin Maese pitched a perfect eighth by getting two outs on the grass before an inning-ending whiff, wrapping up his day with just six pitches-five of them for strikes.
Schultz was charged with three runs on five hits and a hit by pitch over four innings but struck out eight without walking a batter. He also produced four outs on the ground. He needed 76 pitches to get his dozen outs, throwing 47 of them for strikes.
Eden had four hits with two RBI and his ninth stolen base of the year. Kirwer, Horwitz, Brito and Guerra all had two-hit afternoon. Kirwer stole his eighth base and was hit by a pitch while Horwitz earned a free pass to get on base three times.
The Canadians will remain in Hillsboro for another week but this time they will be the visiting team as the Hillsboro Hops return to Ron Tonkin Field to reclaim their home field. Game times are 6:35 pm Tuesday to Saturday and 1:05 pm Sunday and all games can be heard on CanadiansBaseball.com. The games will also be carried on MiLB.TV.
C’s Alumni Report
2017 Canadians shortstop Logan Warmoth singled twice and scored the winning run as Buffalo rallied to beat Rochester 2-1 in a Stephen Strasburg rehab start. Jackson McClelland (2015-2016) gave up a solo home run but went three innings and struck one to give him an earned run average of 1.50. Lefty Tayler Saucedo (2015) kept his ERA at zero with a shutout frame of one-hit ball.
2017 Canadians Otto Lopez doubled in the first run as part of a 2-for-3 day with a walk and Samad Taylor belted a two-run home run that scored a Vinny Capra (2018) single as New Hampshire stopped Somerset 6-0. Taylor was 3-for-4 with three runs scored and stole his fifth base and has raised his batting average from .059 to .229. Reggie Pruitt (2017) added an RBI single. L.J. Talley made his Double-A debut after his call-up from Vancouver and went 0-for-4.
A trio of former C’s hurlers preserved the win for Simeon Woods Richardson. Jon Harris (2015) worked two perfect innings with one punchout, Fitz Stadler (2018) walked a batter and hit another but struck out two over 1-2/3 innings. Connor Law (2018) stranded the two Stadler runners with a game-ending groundout.
The Dunedin Blue Jays won their third game of the year thanks to solid relief work by the 2019 C’s pitching duo of Willy Gaston and Gabriel Ponce. Gaston earned his second win with three shutout innings, scattering three hits and a walk and striking out two. Ponce whiffed four in two innings, working around two hits and a walk. 2019 C’s catcher Ryan Sloniger walked twice, was hit by a pitch, stole a base and scored run in Dunedin’s 6-3 win over Bradenton.
Rowdy Tellez (2014) singled and scored what turned out to be the winning run as Toronto held off Philadelphia 10-8. Tellez had to leave the game after his eighth-inning single with a hamstring injury and was replaced by 2016 Canadian Cavan Biggio.