On Saturday, Everett got to C’s starter Sem Robberse with a pair of runs in the first inning. Connor Hoover led off with a single and went to second when Spencer Horwitz dropped a ball at first base on a one-out ground ball to short by Jose Caballero. Both Hoover and Caballero advanced 90 feet on a double steal and Victor Labrada walked to load the bases. A Tyler Keenan sacrifice fly scored Hoover and another double steal by Caballero and Labrada led to score Caballero scoring when Philip Clarke threw one out away from behind the plate.
Everett starter Jimmy Joyce struck out the side in the first but ran into trouble in the second. Luis De Los Santos opened with a single to right and Will Robertson doubled to center to put two runners in scoring position. De Los Santos would score on a groundout to second from Clarke that also advanced Robertson to third. Trevor Schwecke followed with an RBI groundout to short to bring in Robertson with the tying run. Eric Rivera kept the inning going with a single to center, Zac Cook walked to get Rivera over to second and Rafael Lantigua singled to right to drive in Rivera to put Vancouver ahead 3-2.
Everett would tie the game in the third when Labrada reached on an infield single to second with one out. Labrada would get to second on Robberse’s throwing error on a pickoff attempt. A Keenan groundout got Labrada over to third before a Dariel Gomez single brought Labrada home.
The AquaSox would go back out in front in the fourth inning. Robberse hit Kennie Taylor with a pitch before Joseph Rosa connected for a two-run home to left-center field to make it 5-3 Everett.
The C’s would grab the lead again in the sixth against Frogs reliever Peyton Alford. A one-out single to center by Rivera was followed by a Cook home run to right field to tie the game at 5-5. Lantigua then drew a walk but was picked off by Alford for the second out but Alford then served up a home run to Tanner Morris over the right-center field wall to put Vancouver up by one.
Vancouver expanded its lead in the seventh when Clarke took Brendan McGuigan deep to center field for a one-out solo blast. Rivera worked a two-out walk and scampered home on a Cook double to left to put the C’s up by three.
The AquaSox would fight back in the bottom of the eighth against Will McAffer who walked Hoover and Cade Marlowe to begin the frame. Caballero reached on a fielder’s choice to put runners on the corners. A double steal of home by Hoover and second by Caballero produced Everett’s sixth run and Caballero made it to third on a throwing error by De Los Santos at short. Labrada then doubled home Caballero to make it a one-run game. Labrada then got to third on a wild pitch by McAffer and tagged up to score on a Keenan sac fly to tie the game at 8-8.
The C’s would take the lead again in the top of the 11th. A Robertson pop-up to short and a throwing error by Rosa would allow designated runner Morris to cross home plate to give Vancouver a 9-8 advantage.
However, the Water Sox would pull this one out in the bottom of the frame. Position player Davis Schneider had to take to the mound and he gave up a two-run Labrada homer to right that scored the designated runner Caballero.
On Sunday, the Canadians got in the driver’s seat with a three-run second inning against Stephen Kolek. Philip Clarke parked one over the wall in right-center with one away. Zac Cook was then hit by a pitch and Davis Schneider walked and they moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch. Justin Ammons extended the inning with a two-out walk to load the bases and Eric Rivera singled up the middle to score Cook and Schneider.
Clarke drove in another run in the third. Spencer Horwitz began the inning with a double to right field and got to third on a Luis De Los Santos fly ball to right before scoring on a Clarke RBI knock to center.
Vancouver went up 5-0 when Andres Guerra greeted Frogs reliever Fred Villarreal just two pitches into the top of the fourth with a home run to center.
The AquaSox were able to break the shutout against C’s starter Paxton Schultz in the bottom of inning number four. Victor Labrada led off with a double and moved up a base on groundouts to the right side of the infield by Tyler Keenan and Dariel Gomez.
The Canadians used three straight hits to score another run in the sixth off Villarreal. Schneider doubled to left, went to third on a Guerra single to left and scored on another base hit to left by Ammons.
Everett matched that run in the bottom of the sixth when Cade Marlowe‘s triple with one out came in to score on a Schultz wild pitch.
The Canadians scored again in the seventh when De Los Santos doubled on the first pitch he saw from Everett reliever Franklin Van Gurp. A Clarke single up the middle and a wild pitch got De Los Santos home to make it 7-2.
The AquaSox responded when Gomez belted a 3-2 pitch from Roither Hernandez for a leadoff homer in their at-bat in the seventh.
Gomez would go deep again for another solo blast with one out in the ninth off Hagen Danner but the Frogs would finish three runs shy.
On Saturday, the Canadians had two one with one out in the third when Horwitz drew a free pass and Robertson reached on an error by Rosa at second with one out but Clarke and Schwecke struck out swinging.
They put two more runners on in the fourth on Rivera’s leadoff single to third and a Lantigua hit by pitch with one out but Morris lined out to left and Horwitz grounded out to short.
After Morris’ sixth homer of the season in the sixth chased Alford from the game, Horwitz singled off McGuigan and got to second on a passed ball but De Los Santos struck out to end the inning.
Cook’s RBI double in the seventh was left on when Lantigua flied out to center. Clarke drew a walk with one out in the ninth before being forced out on a Schwecke 4-6 fielder’s choice.
Rivera was on base four times with three hits and a walk and Zac Cook homered, doubled and walked to give the C’s a 5-for-9 performance at the bottom of the order. Horwitz had a single and two walks and Lantigua was on base three times with a single, a walk and a plunk. Vancouver was 1-for-16 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base.
Vancouver also had a sloppy game in the field with five errors with De Los Santos committing two miscues while Horwitz, Clarke and Robberse making one apiece. They also could not stop the Frogs running game as they stole six bases.
Robberse was charged with five runs (three earned) over three innings on five hits, a plunk and a walk while striking out four. Hayden Juenger tossed two shutout innings of two-hit ball and struck out three. Gabriel Ponce also put up two zeroes on the board and four strikeouts to offset two hits and two walks.
Will McAffer gave up three runs on a hit and two walks and struck out one in the eighth. Thomas Ruwe kept his ERA at 0.00 since joining the C’s with two goose eggs, striking out five of the six men he faced in a rare back-to-back appearance for a reliever in the minors. Ruwe had thrown just two pitches Friday to record the save.
Schneider got tagged with the loss and an infinity ERA by allowing a two-run home run, only one of which is earned.
Morris’ 22-game hitting streak came to an end but he drew a walk in the first to extend his on-base streak to 32. Morris was doubled off on a Horwitz liner to first.
Horwitz had a double in the eighth off Van Gurp to give him two doubles on the day and a hitting streak of 24 games.
After Ammons’ RBI single led to Villarreal leaving the mound in the sixth, Rivera took four pitches out of the strike zone from Bryan Pall to load up the bases but Morris hit into a 3-2-3 double play and Horwitz grounded out to second.
Clarke had three hits and drove in two to lead Vancouver’s 12-hit attack. Horwitz, De Los Santos and Guerra had two hits apiece with Guerra getting his first home run of the season.
Ammons walked in his first plate appearance with the C’s to go along with his RBI single. Seven of the nine C’s hitters had one hit and all nine reached base safely with Cook taking one for the team. Vancouver was 5-for-14 in the RISP department and stranded nine runners. The defence made amends for its five-error performance Saturday with a zero-mistake effort defensively.
Schultz evened his record at 5-5 with 5-2/3 innings of two-run ball on four hits and a walk. He struck out five to go along with a groundout total of five. Hernandez gave up a solo homer and a walk but struck out five in two innings. Danner surrendered a dinger but struck out two over 1-1/3 innings.
Congratulations goes out to Philip Clarke for winning the High-A West player of the week. He batted .520 with four doubles, two home runs and seven RBI for the week of August 31-September 5. Clarke joins Sebastian Espino and Spencer Horwitz as Canadians hitters to earn PoW honours.
The Canadians are now 51-57 on the season, 9-1/2 games back of a playoff spot with 12 games to play. The AquaSox—in first place for a majority of the season—find themselves in third place, a half-game back of Eugene and one back of first place Spokane. The top two teams advance to the playoffs for a best-of-five championship final in two weeks time. Vancouver went 16-20 against Everett this season.
The C’s head back to Hillsboro to host Spokane in the first game of a six-game set. Alejandro Melean will fire the first pitch for Vancouver at 7:05 pm on CanadiansBaseball.com. Noah Davis gets the call for Spokane.
Vancouver’s rotation for the rest of the series will see Adam Kloffenstein start Wednesday, followed by Andrew Bash, Sem Robberse, Paxton Schultz and Alejandro Melean.
The game between the Tri-City Dust Devils and the Hillsboro Hops has been cancelled to allow for more COVID tests for those in the Dust Devils organization.