The Vancouver Canadians clinched a series victory against the Hillsboro Hops with a 2-1 win at Nat Bailey Stadium Friday.
The C’s got both of their runs in the first inning against Ross Carver. He was battling control issues as he walked Zach Britton on four pitches and made a throwing error on a pickoff attempt that saw Britton make it to third. Carver then hit Damiano Palmegiani with a pitch on the left shoulder to put runners on the corners. The Hillsboro hurler then made another throwing error as he was unable to field a comebacker to the mound cleanly off the bat off of Miguel Hiraldo. Carver tried to throw out Britton at the plate but the ball went to the backstop.as the C’s catcher slid home safely. With Hiraldo at second base on the play, Tyler Keenan walked to reload the bases before Carver plunked Riley Tirotta above the left elbow to score Palmegiani for Vancouver’s second run.
With the rain coming down, Hillsboro got on the board in the top of the second inning. Trenton Wallace walked the first two batters in Danny Oriente and Cam Coursey with the latter ball four coming on a pitch-clock violation. A sacrifice bunt by Channy Ortiz back to Wallace moved the runners up 90 feet. Lyle Lin then flared a single to shallow left out of the reach of Leo Jiménez at short to score Oriente.
Sean Wymer got the win in relief, Naswell Paulino got the hold and Jol Concepcion closed it out for the save.
Wallace struck out his first Northwest League batter by getting Ryan Bliss to begin the bottom of the first inning. He got A.J. Vukovich to lift a shallow fly ball to shallow right-center field but a backtracking Hiraldo from second could not make the catch and was shaken up after landing awkwardly. He would remain in the game. Vukovich stole second base but Neyfy Castillo struck out on the play and Jarrod Watkins also went down swinging as Wallace whiffed the side.
The second inning saw Wallace strand runners on the corners after Lin’s RBI jam shot by striking out Fox Semones and Bliss.
Mack Mueller made a nice running catch to rob Vukovich of a hit by flagging one down towards right-center field for the first out of the third inning. Castillo drew a walk afterwards but Wallace retired Watkins on a check-swing popup to second before picking off Castillo on a 1-3-6 play to end the frame.
The Hops were threatening to tie the game in the fourth with Oriente and Coursey opening the inning with a pair of ball fours. With the rain not letting up, Wallace called for the grounds crew to work on the mound after throwing ball one to Coursey. After Coursey’s walk, Ortiz could not get down his second sacrifice bunt of the game as he popped up to catcher Andrés Sosa in foul territory. Wallace jammed Lin as he bounced one over to second base but it was not hit hard enough for Hiraldo to start a 4-6-3 double play as he had to settle for a 4-6 fielder’s choice, putting runners on the corners. Lin tried to steal second base and Oriente broke for home and it appeared he scored the tying run when Hiraldo received the throw from Sosa but did not make a tag or a throw. Instead of the Hops tying the game, Semones was called out for batter’s interference for stepping in front of Sosa when he made the throw down to second.
Wymer yielded a single to right to open up the fifth inning but induced a 5-4-3 double play from Vukovich. Castillo walked with two outs but was stranded when Watkins flied out to left.
The sixth inning saw Wymer retire the first two hitters but an Ortiz walk and a Lin single to center resulted in C’s manager Brent Lavallee calling for Paulino out of the bullpen. Paulino froze Semons with a called strike three to turn the Hops away.
A leadoff single to left by Bliss in the seventh was erased on a 4-6-3 double play when Vukovich’s sharp ground ball near the second base bag was handled by Hiraldo who made the flip to Jiménez at short to turn the twin-killing.
Paulino walked Coursey with two outs in the eighth but was able to finish out the frame by getting Ortiz to fly out to left.
Concepcion hit Lin on the left elbow guard to begin the ninth and a sacrifice bunt by Semones to Palmegiani at first moved Lin into scoring position. Pinch-runner Caleb Roberts entered the game but he was left stranded when Bliss grounded out to third and Vukovich flied out to right.
The C’s had Carver on the ropes in the first inning but could not manage to break the game open as Hugo Cardona struck out swinging and Mueller popped up to first to leave the bases loaded.
Zach Britton was drilled below the left knee on a 3-2 pitch with two outs in the third inning. He limped over to first base and decided he could not continue. He was replaced on the base paths and behind the plate by Andrés Sosa.
Jiménez had the C’s first hit with a base knock to right with two outs in the fourth to move a Glenn Santiago walk to third base but Sosa grounded out to short.
Tyler Keenan had a two-out single to right in the fifth but he was also stranded. Tirotta had the final C’s hit with a two-out knock to left off Andrew Saalfrank but he did not go anywhere else
Wallace walked five batters in four innings but struck out five as he allowed one run on two hits. His three outs in play were on the ground and 40 of his 70 pitches were strikes.
Wymer was the winning pitcher as he contributed 1-2/3 innings of shutout relief, working around two hits and two walks as he upped his record to 3-0. Paulino stranded two runners for Wymer and pitched 2-1/3 innings of scoreless ball, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out one to pick up his second hold of the year. Three of his four outs in play were on the ground. Concepcion plunked a batter in a shutout ninth to notch his fifth save.
Keenan had a hit and a walk, Tirotta singled and took one for the team and Britton walked and was also hit by a baseball. Palmegiani was also drilled once. Jiménez had the other base hit. Glenn Santiago drew a walk as Vancouver went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position, leaving eight men on base.
Jimmy Robbins is scheduled to throw the first pitch for Vancouver at 7:05 p.m. Saturday. Hillsboro has not announced a starter. Tyler Zickel will have the play-by-play on CanadiansBaseball.com and MiLB.TV.
Radar Gun Rundown
Wallace was in the 75-92 miles per hour and had strikeouts of 84, 80 and 91. Wymer was around 77-90. Paulino had a strikeout at 79 and was up to 92. Concepcion check in at 82-83 and 95-96.