The Vancouver Canadians lost their regular season finale 8-3 to the Eugene Emeralds at Nat Bailey Stadium Sunday.
Grant McCray got the Emeralds rolling with a leadoff single to center off Nathanael Pérez Lopez. McCray stole second and got to third when a shallow fly ball to right field from Hayden Cantrelle eluded C’s shortstop Michael Turconi. An error by Rainer Nuñez at first on a grounder by Jared Dupere allowed McCray to score Eugene’s first run. Luis Toribio grounded out to second to bring in Cantrelle with run number two. Jimmy Glowenke was hit by a pitch on a 3-2 count but Pérez Lopez got his first out by picking off Dupere at second with Miguel Hiraldo applying the tag. Pérez Lopez then plunked Robert Emery and walked Damon Dues to load the bases. Two more free passes to Max Wright and Simon Whiteman scored Glowenke and Emery respectively to make it 4-0 Eugene.
The Emeralds went back to work against C’s reliever Sam Ryan in the third. A pair of one-out walks to Dues and Max Wright on 3-2 pitches, a stolen base by Dues and a two-out walk to McCray after a full count loaded the bases. Ryan got ahead of Cantrelle at 0-2 but threw ball four to allow Dues to score. Eric Pardinho came in from the bullpen and did not throw a strike with his first four pitches to walk in a run as Wright crossed the plate to up the Emeralds advantage to 6-0.
Vancouver put together a one-out rally in the third against Jake Wong. Turconi singled to left and Palmegiani walked before Nuñez doubled to center to bring in Turconi and Palmegiani to make it a 6-2 game.
The Emeralds added a run on a two-out rally against Pardinho. Cantrelle got aboard on a four-pitch walk and stole second base and that was followed by a Dupere walk. Toribio singled to left to drive home Cantrelle.
The final Vancouver run came off the bat of Gabby Martinez as he hit a line drive to clear the left field fence for a solo home run off Abel Adames to open the sixth.
Designated hitter Jommer Hernandez pitched the ninth inning for the C’s and walked Dues, gave up a double to right by Wright and hit Whiteman with a pitch to load the bases. McCray walked on a 3-2 pitch to allow Dues to trot home. A fielder’s choice to short by Dupere got Wright home with the last run of the game.
Ryan worked around a Toribio two-out walk in the second inning by beginning and ending the frame with strikeouts of Cantrelle and Glowenke swinging and looking respectively.
Pardinho struck out Toribio swinging to strand two of three Ryan runners to finish the third inning. He walked Glowenke on a 3-2 pitch to begin the fourth but left Glowenkee at first with an inning-ending strikeout of Wright.
Fluharty finished the fifth by getting Glowenke to fly out to right after Toribio’s RBI single to strand two of three Pardinho runners.
After an infield single to short by Emery and another infield safety back to the mound from Dues, Fluharty started a 1-6-4 double play from Wright and got Whiteman to ground out to short. It was a 1-2-3 seventh for Fluharty who struck out Dupere swinging to end his outing. The defensive highlight was Turconi ranging deep into the hole to throw out Whiteman as Nuñez stretched to make the catch and complete the 6-3 putout.
T.J. Brock also turned in a perfect frame in the eighth when he struck out Toribio for the first out. Hernandez also struck out Toribio to wrap up the top of the ninth.
Pérez Lopez got the loss after lasting just one inning in which he gave up four runs (three earned) on two hits and three walks. Ryan surrendered two runs on five walks and struck out three over 1-2/3 innings. Pardinho could only strand one of Ryan’s three runners and was charged with a run on four walks while whiffing three over two innings. Fluharty stranded one of two runners for Pardinho as he yielded three hits and struck out one over 2-1/3 innings. Brock struck out one in a perfect frame before Hernandez coughed up two runs on a hit and two walks while striking out one.
Turconi was the first C’s player to reach base on a throwing error by Cantrelle at short in the first inning. Spain was the first to reach on a walk with one out in the second.
Vancouver could not build on their two-run rally in the third after Nuñez’s two-run double as Martinez flew out to left and Hiraldo fouled out to first.
Turconi drew a walk with one out in the fifth against Adames who came into the game for Wong. Adames would retire Palmegiani and Nuñez on a pop out to second and a 5-4 fielder’s choice respectively.
Spain walked again with one out in the sixth against Adames but was forced out on a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Turconi had a two-out walk in the seventh but that was the final baserunner Adames would allow.
The on-base leader was Turconi with a single and two walks. Nuñez’s double and Martinez’s homer—his third of the year—were the other Vancouver hits. Spain reached base twice with a couple of ball fours. Vancouver had just three chances with runners in scoring position and converted on one of them while leaving men five runners on base.
The Canadians conclude the regular season with a record of 67 wins and 62 losses and the second half with a mark of 37-29.
Game 1 of the Northwest League Championship Series between the Canadians and Emeralds goes Monday night at P.K. Park. First pitch is at 7:35 p.m. Tyler Zickel will have the play-by-play on CanadiansBaseball.com. The game can also be seen on MiLB.TV.
Vancouver will be huge underdogs in this series after winning just eight of 28 games against Eugene during the regular season and just two of their last 12.
Radar Gun Rundown
Pérez Lopez was around 81-92 miles per hour. Ryan rung up batters at 93, 97 and 86 and was around 83. Pardinho had punchouts of 92, 93 and 85 and came in at 80-94. Fluharty was in the 79-92 range. Brock lit up the gun at 97-99 and touched 100. Hernandez checked in from 75-87.