The Hillsboro Hops won their second straight over the Vancouver Canadians with an 8-3 victory at Ron Tonkin Field Saturday night.
An early indication that it was not going to be the Canadians night came in their first at-bat. Cameron Eden flared a two-out single to left off Matt Tabor in the first inning. He had second base stolen but was called out base by umpire Nathan Diedrich. Eden stood at the second base bag in disbelief and Hops play-by-play announcer Matt Richert agreed with Eden’s assessment, saying “it was a terrible call.”
Adam Kloffenstein began the bottom of the first with striking out Reece Hampton swinging but he lost Axel Andueza on a 3-2 pitch to walk him. Andy Yerzy made Kloffenstein pay with a two-run home run to right field.
After needing 28 pitches to get out of the first inning, Kloffenstein’s 29th pitch resulted in a Tra Holmes single to start the second inning. Holmes got to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a Ricky Martinez groundout. With in the infield drawn in, Leodany Perez hit a grounder to shortstop Luis De Los Santos fired to home. Catcher Philip Clarke chased Holmes back to third base where Davis Schneider applied the tag to complete the 6-2-5 fielder’s choice. Just when it looked like Kloffenstein was going to get out of the inning, Hampton lifted a fly ball to right field out of the reach of D.J. Neal who gambled and lost when he dove for the ball. That allowed Perez to score all the way from first on the triple from Hampton to make it 3-0 Hillsboro.
Kloffenstein posted a zero in the third inning but ran into trouble in the fourth. Holmes and Martinez were at the corners after back-to-back singles and Holmes would score when the C’s could not convert a 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Perez. Martinez and Perez were both safe at second and first as De Los Santos’ glove flip was not quick enough to get Martinez while Morris’ relay throw was not in time to get Perez. Martinez and Perez pulled off a double steal as Schneider could not hang on to the ball at third on the throw from Clarke. A Hampton walk loaded the bases and a Kloffenstein wild pitch brought in Martinez to increase the Hillsboro lead to five. Another wayward pitch from Kloffenstein allowed Perez to score with the sixth Hops run.
Kloffenstein’s last eight pitches were balls as he issued a free pass to Andueza and that was the end of the night for the big right-hander. In between all of that, Hampton stole second and third. Lazaro Estrada retired all three hitters he faced but a one-out Buddy Kennedy sacrifice fly to right scored Hampton for run number seven for Hillsboro. Neal made a feet-first sliding catch in shallow right field and came up firing but his throw was up the line and Hampton eluded Clarke’s tag to score.
Vancouver got its first run in the fifth. Spencer Horwitz hit a ground-rule double to left-center but had to wait until there were two out to score. De Los Santos took a close 3-2 pitch to draw a walk before Neal lined a single to left to score Horwitz.
The C’s drew a little closer in the seventh against Hops reliever Hunter Haworth. Ryan Gold drew a leadoff walk but was out on the front end of a 4-3 double play. The inning continued when Neal reached on a error at short by Martinez on a sharp ground ball. That allowed Schneider to step up to the plate and club a home run to left field on a 3-2 pitch to make it a 7-3 game. Tanner Kirwer doubled down the left field line but Clarke lined out to centre
Hillsboro added their final run after the seventh-inning stretch when Kennedy’s double to right field off Hagen Danner was misplayed by Neal as the ball skipped under his glove. That gave Kennedy an extra 90 feet. Cam Coursey would single Kennedy home with one away.
Blake Workman put together two shutout innings to wrap up Hillsboro’s second straight win over Vancouver.
Kloffenstein only lasted three-plus innings, giving up seven runs on six hits and four walks and only striking out one. He recorded six groundball outs but he threw just under 50 percent of his pitches for strikes by landing just 34 of 69 in the strike zone, including three to the backstop.
Estrada retired all six hitters he faced, striking out three. He stranded one of two runners for Kloffenstein with that run scoring on a sacrifice fly.
Danner pitched the final three frames for Vancouver. He allowed an unearned run on two hits and a walk and threw the C’s fourth wild pitch of the night but he struck out six to go along with three outs on the ground.
Eden and Neal had two hits apiece for the C’s with Neal stealing his first base of the season which he did with two outs in the ninth. Horwitz had a double and a walk.
A four-pitch walk to Clarke in the sixth allowed him to stretch his on-base streak to 14 games. Morris drew a walk later that inning but they would both be stranded.
Kirwer was robbed of a hit when Kennedy made a leaping catch to start the fourth. He finished the game 1-for-5 and is now hitting an even .300 on the year.
Congratulations goes to North Vancouver, BC native and Canadians righty Will McAffer. He will represent Canada at the Olympic qualifying tournament. That will take place at the end of the month in Palm Beach and Port St. Lucie, Florida. McAffer is 2-for-2 in save opportunities with the C’s this year.
Vancouver is now in a three-way tie for first place in the High-A West League with Everett and Eugene with 11-6 records. The Canadians will look a salvage a series victory in the finale of this six-game set against the Hops. Paxton Schultz gets the start for the C’s in a 1:05 first pitch from Ron Tonkin Field. The game will be on CanadiansBaseball.com and MiLB.TV.
C’s Alumni Report
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