The Vancouver Canadians turned the tables on the Everett AquaSox with a 6-5 come-from-behind victory at Nat Bailey Stadium Friday.
Everett went to work early as Noelvi Marte began his final game as the Seattle Mariners number one prospect with a leadoff single up the middle off Sem Robberse. Alberto Rodriguez doubled to left field to get Marte over to third to set up a James Parker sacrifice fly to the warning track in left field to score Marte and get Rodriguez over to third. A hot smash off the glove of Riley Tirotta at third by David Sheaffer plated Rodriguez to make it 2-0 Everett.
Vancouver replied in the second inning when P.K. Morris drilled a one-out double to center field off Jordan Jackson. Morris would come in to score with a headfirst slide on a single up the middle by Garrett Spain.
Andrés Sosa would deliver an RBI double to right to bring home Spain with the tying run.
Everett would retake the lead with a two-out rally in the fifth off Robberse. Colin Davis kept one fair by inches down the left field line and made the turn for second. Morris fired the ball to Miguel Hiraldo at second who applied the tag on Davis but the Frogs center fielder was called safe by base umpire Matt Blackboro, much to the disbelief of Hiraldo. The MiLB replay showed Davis should have been called out.
That proved costly when Windsor, Ontario native Myles Miller hit a ground-rule double on a 2-2 pitch to drive in Davis. A wild pitch resulted in Miller getting to third before a Tirotta fielding error at third on a Cole Barr grounder scored Miller with Everett’s fourth run. Marte popped one up to shallow right field but Hiraldo ran over to cover the second base as AquaSox manager Eric Farris elected start Barr from first base. Steward Berroa had to run in from right field to field that single from Marte to put runners at first and third. Rodriguez followed with a base rap to left to score Barr and up the Frogs lead to three.
The C’s would get back into the game in the sixth when Damiano Palmegiani singled to left on a 1-2 pitch from Michael Flynn with nobody out. A Tirotta grounder to second sent Palmegiani to second. Morris struck out swinging but reached first base on a wild pitch to place runners at first and third. Glenn Santiago bounced one to second to score Palmegiani with Vancouver’s third run. Spain jumped on the first pitch he saw from Miller to deliver a single to center to send Morris home and cut the Everett lead to one.
Monty’s Mounties would pull even in the seventh. Sosa took one for the team off his left arm on a 3-2 pitch from Flynn to start the frame. Anthony Morales worked the count full before hearing ball four. With one out, Leo Jiménez singled to left as his fly ball glanced off the glove of Miller and that allowed Sosa to reach the pentagon with the tying run.
The Canadians would take their first lead in the eighth as Riley Tirotta got things started with a single to left on a 3-2 pitch from Matthew Willrodt past a diving Parker at third base. Morris lined out to left before Tirotta stole second base with a feet-first slide and third with a head-first slide. Tirotta had to hold up at third on Santiago’s grounder to third for the second out. Spain picked up Santiago by dropping a bunt single up the third base to score Tirotta with the winning run.
Robberse had to throw a few more pitches to get out of the first. A ground ball by Gomez down the first base line was handled by Sosa at first and he stepped on the bag to start what looked to be an inning-ending 3-6 double play when Jiménez put the tag on Sheaffer at second. The play was ruled foul to the disbelief of Sosa at first and Canadians manager Brent Lavallee. A dubious balk was called on Robberse to send Sheaffer to second base. A Morales passed ball moved Sheaffer to third but Robberse would strike out Gomez and Justin Lavey swinging.
Naswell Paulino stranded runners at the corners for Robberse with just one pitch to end the fourth as he got Parker to fly out in front of the manual scoreboard in center.
In the second inning, Sosa had to leap in the air and come down on the first base bag with a high throw from Jiménez at short to just get Miller for the second out of a clean inning for Robberse.
Marte singled to center on Robberse’s first pitch of the third inning and stole second base. A Rodriguez tapper to Morales in front of the plate got Marte over to third as Sosa showed good footwork to get across the first base bag to get the out. Robberse then struck out Parker swinging and retired Sheaffer on a fly ball to left.
C’s pitching coach Phil Cundari was ejected by home plate umpire Zee Zidek for arguing for balls and strikes. Cundari felt Lavey should have been rung up for strike three on a checked swing on a 1-2 pitch from Juan Nuñez but Blackboro upheld the call from first base. Lavey would strike out swinging after a six-pitch at-bat. Trent Tingelstad—pinch-hitting for Miller—drew a two-out walk before Barr singled to left and Marte reached on a strikeout/wild pitch to load the bases. Nuñez would get out of the jam by retiring Rodriguez on a fly ball to left.
Jol Concepcion was called upon to lock down the game in the ninth. He struck out Parker swinging for the first out but he lost Sheaffer on a full-count pitch. Gomez popped out to second for out number two. Mike Salvatore—whose home run tied Thursday’s game in the ninth—entered the game to pinch-hit for Lavey. It looked like Concepcion had ended the game by striking out Savaltore swinging on a 1-2 pitch but Blackboro called a balk to extend the contest. Salvatore took the next pitch outside but started to head to first base. However, it is four balls to earn a walk in the Northwest League. The next two pitches were fouled back before Concepcion sailed one high for ball three. Concepcion then finished the job by getting Salvatore to swing at a second strike three to nail it down.
Robberse pitched 4-2/3 innings and was charged with three earned runs out of five on eight hits. The Dutch hurler struck out five and walked nobody.
Paulino stranded two Robberse runners and pitched 2-1/3 innings of shutout ball, allowing just one hit and one walk while whiffing five. Nuñez also had just one hit and one base on balls on his line as he struck out two over two shutout innings to boost his record to 4-0. Concepcion collected his sixth save by punching out two batters to offset a walk in a scoreless ninth.
Vancouver tried to take the lead after a pair of two-out singles by Palmegiani to left and a Tirotta bouncer to third that Lavey could not find the handle on but Morris flied out to center.
The game was delayed for about five minutes with two outs in the bottom of the fourth as there was a hole in the center field wall in which the sun was peering through, causing a distraction for Sosa at the plate. Head groundskeeper Levi Weber used a long piece of duct tape to cover the hole. Sosa would later ground out to second to end a three-up, three-down inning. Hiraldo began the inning by grounding out to short but was replaced at second by Glenn Santiago in the top of the fifth.
Berroa snuck a ball under the glove of Lavey at second with one out in the fifth inning but was picked off by Jackson at first. To add injury to insult, Berroa jammed his right hand against Gomez’s right foot and had to leave the game. Spain was moved from center to right field to replace Berroa and Hugo Cardona entered the game to play in the middle of the outfield.
After Spain drove in Morris with Vancouver’s fourth run, he was thrown out trying to steal second by Sheaffer to end the sixth.
Jiménez’s game-tying RBI single in the seventh inning moved Morales to second base. Palmegiani flied out to center off WIllrodt and Morales tagged up to go to third but the AquaSox appealed the play and it was ruled that Morales left the base early. That resulted in an 8-6 inning-ending double play.
Sosa was hit again by a pitch again in the left shoulder on a 93 mile per hour by Willrodt to move Spain’s bunt RBI single into scoring position in the eighth. Spain tried to score on a Morales base hit to right but Rodriguez threw out Spain at the plate for the third out.
Spain had a three-hit day and drove in three runs. Palmegiani and Tirotta had a pair of hits apiece with Tirotta taking his 10th and 11th steals of the year. Sosa got on base twice the hard way via the HBP and earned his ninth double of the year. Morales singled and walked while Jiménez singled and Morris doubled for his 11th two-bagger. Berroa had a base hit before leaving the game due to a hand injury but he did wind up coaching first base in the late innings. Santiago was 0-for-2 but had an RBI groundout. The C’s were 6-for-14 with runners 180 feet or less away from home and stranded six runners.
The C’s maintain a half-game lead over Eugene for first place in the second half Northwest League standings by improving to 17-11. Everett now falls to 2-1/2 games off the pace.
The AquaSox will no longer have Marte on the roster as the 20 year-old Dominican was traded by Seattle to Cincinnati for pitcher Luis Castillo as part of a five-player deal.
Vancouver and Everett play the fifth game of this six-game set on Saturday. Trenton Wallace gets the ball for the C’s and is scheduled to throw the first pitch at 7:05 p.m. Juan Mercedes will be on the mound for Everett. Tyler Zickel will have the call on CanadiansBaseball.com and MiLB.TV.
Radar Gun Rundown
Robberse registered batter kills at 91, 89, 92, 90 and 91 miles per hour. Paulino punched out batters at 80, 90 and 80 and was around 78-92. Nuñez had a strikeout at 81 and touched 98. Concepcion had a K at 84 and reached 97.