The Vancouver Canadians had all of two hits on the night but they were still able to eke out a 2-1 victory over the Hillsboro Hops at Ron Tonkin Field Thursday to extend their winning streak to eight games.
The left-handed hitting Spencer Horwitz worked a leadoff walk—his 20th of the season to lead the High-A West League—against Hops lefty Nick Snyder to start the ninth. Snyder retired the next two hitters but had trouble finding the plate as D.J. Neal drew a two-out free pass on a check swing after a full count. Sebastian Espino—pinch-hitting for Davis Schneider—loaded up the bases on a five-pitch walk before Rafael Lantigua worked the count full, taking ball four from Snyder to allow Horwitz to cross the plate with the go-ahead run. Kai-Wei Lin relieved Snyder and struck out Tanner Kirwer to leave the bags full.
Parker Caracci took over on the mound for Vancouver in the bottom of the ninth. He fell behind Axel Andueza at three balls and one strike before getting him to ground out to second for the first out. Reece Hampton worked the count full before an infield single to second base that was knocked down by Lantigua and he would get into scoring position by stealing second on the next pitch. Caracci would close the door when Blaze Alexander flied out to left and Yerzy weakly grounded out to first to earn his second save. Lefthander Brandon Eisert was the winning pitcher with by shutting out the Hops in the seventh and eighth.
Canadians starter C.J. Van Eyk struck out the side in the first inning on 12 pitches and had a 1-2 count on Andy Yerzy to begin the second inning but the North York, Ontario native singled up the middle past a diving Luis De Los Santos at short. Tristan English lined a single to right field on the next pitch to put runners on the corners before a sacrifice fly by Spencer Brickhouse brought in Yerzy for the game’s first run. Brickhouse was thrown out trying to steal second by Philip Clarke before Van Eyk struck out Nick Dalesandro to wrap up the second.
Vancouver evened up the game in the fourth inning against Hops starter Bryce Jarvis. Leadoff man Cameron Eden used his speed to beat out a ground ball to third despite the best efforts of English who ranged well to his left. Eden made it to second on a groundout to short by Horwitz but managed to score all the way from second on a throwing error by Brickhouse at first. Eden did not break stride as he rounded second base and made it to third on a headfirst slide ahead of the throw. Brickhouse’s throw went out of play and that allowed Eden to get up and trot home with the tying run.
Clarke robbed of a hit by Ricky Martinez in the first as the Hops second baseman ranged to his right in shallow right-center field in the first inning. Horwitz was also victimized by the shift on a ground ball to short-right field that was handled by Martinez.
De Los Santos blooped a one-out single to right field in the second for Vancouver’s first hit of the night after Horwitz led off the frame with a walk. Though De Los Santos stole second, Horwitz was thrown out at third on the attempted double steal by Andueza to short-circuit the C’s rally.
Van Eyk was able to strand a leadoff walk from Tre Holmes in the third inning. Much like Eden would end up doing, Holmes got himself to third base on a routine ground ball to third as he just kept on running when he reached the second base bag. He would be stranded 90 feet away on an inning-ending strikeout by Hampton.
Vancouver knocked Jarvis out of the game when Schneider worked a full-count walk with one out in the fifth inning. Southpaw Julio Frias entered the game and he wound up walking the bases loaded when he lost Lantigua and Kirwer on 3-2 offerings. Clarke worked the count to 2-0 but hit into a 4-6-3 inning-ending double play to keep the C’s from taking the lead.
Schneider made a nice diving stop at second base before getting up and throwing out Nick Dalesandro for the second out of the fifth inning. Van Eyk sandwiched that out with two more strikeouts in a clean fifth inning. He appeared to quick-pitch Brickhouse on the first whiff before catching Holmes looking at a fastball on the outside part of the plate.
Van Eyk retired the side in order in the sixth, finishing with a two-hitter and a walk over six innings. He struck out nine, using a high fastball as his finishing pitch on three occasions and his curveball twice. His first strikeout of the night appeared to be a changeup.
Eisert was touched up for a pair of one-out singles by Yerzy and English in the seventh but produced a 4-6-3 double play from Brickhouse to keep Hillsboro from going ahead. He retired the side in order—including a strikeout—to improve to 2-0 on the season.
Kirwer stole his ninth base of the season after a one-out walk in the eighth but he was picked off at first by Snyder. He had three walks on the night among Vancouver’s 11. Horwitz, Schneider and Lantigua had two apiece. Lantigua started the game at third base but took over at second in the ninth for Schneider after Espino pinch-hit for him. Espino subbed in for Lantigua at the hot corner.
Clarke kept his on-base streak alive by taking one for the team after Kirwer’s caught stealing. After being hit in his left shoulder, Clarke has reached base at least once his first 12 games of the year.
The Canadians have announced their starting pitchers for the remainder of their six-game series against Hillsboro. Nick Fraze will get the ball for Vancouver Friday while Adam Kloffenstein and Paxton Schultz are tabbed for Saturday and Sunday respectively. Start times are 6:35 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1:05 p.m. Sunday. You can check out the games on CanadiansBaseball.com and MiLB.TV.
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Logan Warmoth (2017) had two hits and a walk and Cullen Large (2017) and Richard Ureña (2014) had a walk apiece but Buffalo lost to Worcester 4-1.
L.J. Talley hit a grand-slam and a two-run home run and Samad Taylor (2017) went deep as part of a 4-for-4 night with three RBI, three runs scored and a stolen base as New Hampshire pounded Portland 12-6. Vinny Capra (2018) walked three times, scored twice and stole a base. Otto Lopez (2018) was 1-for-5 to push his hitting streak to 13 games. Jon Harris (2015) struck out in 1-1/3 scoreless innings, stranding the bases loaded.
Cavan Biggio (2016) was 1-for-5, Rowdy Tellez (2014) drew a pinch-hit walk and Jonathan Davis (2014) was 1-for-3 with a walk in Toronto’s 8-7 loss to Boston.