The Vancouver Canadians trounced the Eugene Emeralds 7-2 at Nat Bailey Stadium Friday afternoon.
Canadians starter Trenton Wallace needed just eight pitches to sit down the Emeralds in the first inning, striking out Logan Wyatt. Meantime, Emeralds lefty Seth Lonsway threw nine pitches alone to Vancouver leadoff hitter Devonte Brown and the former North Carolina State product hit a broken-bat double that just stayed fair down the left field line. Alan Roden produced an opposite-field single to left to plate Brown before moving to second on the throw home. Rainer Nuñez had a productive out with a ground ball to second to get Roden over to third before Gabby Martinez put one in play with a grounder to third up the third base line to score Roden with Vancouver’s second run.
Eugene’s Victor Bericote singled to center field off Wallace to start the second inning. A 6-4 fielder’s choice by Jared Dupere exchanged runners at first base and a base hit by Adrian Sugastey to right put two runners on. Dupere tagged up to go to third on a Luis Toribio fly ball to right that Brown ran down in foul territory. Ghordy Santos hit into another 6-4 fielder’s decision to get Wallace out of trouble.
Riley Tirotta hit Lonsway’s first pitch in the bottom of the second to right field for a double that went off the glove of a leaping Bericoto. Tirotta would take third when Bericoto had trouble picking up the ball. One out later, Karl Ellison made contact by grounding out to short as Aeverson Arteaga had to go to his backhand to field the ball. That allowed Tirotta to step on home plate with the Canadians third run. Garrett Spain walked and went to second on a wild pitch but Brown grounded out to third for the third out.
The Em’s were retired in order in the top of the third inning by Wallace as he struck out Damon Dues and Grant McCray looking. Lonsway completed his first scoreless frame of the day as he overcame a Nuñez one-out single off the glove of Luis Toribio at first base.
Wallace got Wyatt looking at strike three to begin the top of the fourth but lost Bericoto on a 3-2 pitch by walking him. Bericoto moved around the bases on a Dupere single to right and a Sugastey double to the left field fence to give Eugene its first run of the day. Wallace would not allow any other Emerald to touch the ball with their bat as Toribio and Santos struck out swinging.
The Emeralds had to go to the bullpen two batters into the fourth when Tirotta singled to left and Turconi walked. Lefty Joe Kemlage took over for Lonsway and he walked Ellison to load the bases. Kemlage was two-thirds of the way of getting away unscathed when he got Spain and Brown to go down swinging but Roden pulled a base hit to right to drive in Tirotta and Turconi. Eillson got to third on the play but the C’s could not tack on any more runs when Nuñez was rung up for strike three.
It was a wobbly beginning to the top of the fifth for Wallace when he walked Dues on the first four pitches of the frame. Dues would swipe second base but Wallace bore down with a called strike three on McCray and a swinging third strike of Wyatt to bracket on Arteaga pop out to second.
The Canadians would load up the bases for a second straight inning in the bottom of the five when Josh Kasevich, Tirotta and Turconi had all base hits to center, center and left respectively with one out but Kelmage struck out Martinez, Ellison and Spain.
Abdiel Mendoza took over for Wallace in the top of the sixth and allowed the first two hitters to reach with Bericoto singling to center and Dupere doubling to right. However, the C’s 2022 Pitcher of the Year K’d the side with Sugastey and Toribio going down swinging and Santos looking at strike three. Mat Olsen completed a perfect bottom of the sixth for Eugene.
The top of the seventh began with Mendoza striking out Dues but McCray belted a solo home run to right to trim Vancouver’s lead to 5-2. Arteaga was credited with a double on the next pitch when Kasevich ran toward shallow center from his shortstop position but he could not make the catch. Wyatt drew a walk to bring the potential tying run to the plate before Mendoza got Bericoto to pop out to short. Devereaux Harrison was brought in from the C’s bullpen and he loaded the bases by walking Dupere on a 3-2 pitch. to load the bases with a walk. The former Long State Beach Dirtbag stranded the bases loaded by getting Sugastey on a tapper back to the mound.
Vancouver expanded its lead against Olsen in the seventh. Kasevich walked with one out and was doubled over to third on a ball kept fair down the left field line by Tirotta. Ellison then came up with a two-out single to center to score Kasevich and Tirotta to give Monty’s Mounties a five-run cushion.
Harrison turned the Emeralds away by striking out Toribio and Santos swinging and looking to begin a 1-2-3 eighth. Nick Morreale struck out Brown looking to set down the C’s in order in the home half of inning number eight.
Lefthander Mason Fluharty came in the ninth to finish things up for the Canadians in the ninth. He knocked down a McCray comebacker to the mound for the first out. The former Liberty Flame needed just two pitches a batter to retire the side in order, Turconi then handled a sharp grounder over the second base bag on the backhand and made a bounce throw that was dug out by Nuñez to get Arteaga. The final out came when Wyatt hit a fly ball that wound up in the glove of Brown in center to end the game.
Dahian Santos steps on the slope for the C’s on Saturday afternoon. Game time is 1:05 p.m. The game will be broadcast on CanadiansBaseball.com and MiLB.TV with Tyler Zickel handling the play-by-play. 1991 Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Tom Candiotti will be at the game to sign autographs on the concourse.
Hunter Gregory is slated to start the series finale for the Canadians on Sunday.
Radar Gun Rundown
Wallace was 72 to 92 miles per hour and recorded strikeouts of 79, 77, 90, 91, 89 and 80. Mendoza had strikeouts at 78, 88, 80 and 79 and was up to 94. Harrison had strikeouts at 85 and 95.was also up to 94. Fluharty had pitches at 81 and 89.