In the last game of the single-A baseball season Monday night at Nat Bailey Stadium, it’ll be do-or-die for the Vancouver Canadians.
In pursuit of their third consecutive championship, the C’s tied the best-of-three Northwest League series 1-1 Sunday afternoon when they beat the Boise Hawks 4-2 in front of a jubilant crowd of 4,655.
In 2012, Vancouver defeated Boise in three games to claim the Bob Freitas Trophy, and this year’s all-or-nothing final begins 7:05 p.m. Monday. Tickets are available online.
Ladner’s right-hander Tom Robson will get the start as he did last week when the C’s dispatched Everett on their way to the divisional series victory.
On Sunday afternoon against Boise, Vancouver’s starting pitcher Kyle Anderson went five innings but began to lose command and was saved by excellent fielding in the third.
The Canadians scored in the opening inning but couldn’t build any traction against Hawks pitcher Paul Blackburn, who ended with nine strikeouts and allowed three hits and one walk.
In the top of the fifth, Boise outfielder Kevin Encarnacion was picked off at first to end the inning and he was tossed from the game after he slammed his helmet into the ground and argued with the umpire along the line.
Facing two outs and two strikes, C’s shortstop Dawel Lugo drove in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning when he powered the ball through the infield. The bats stayed alive in the seventh, again with two outs on the board. This time Andy Fermin’s two-run triple gave the Canadians a 4-1 lead and a bit of breathing room.
They’d need the room. Boise answered with a double and a run-scoring single to come within two runs of the C’s. Relief pitcher Chuck Ghysels loaded the bases in the eight and then, with everyone holding in breath, he got his second strike out in two innings. Nat Bailey let the air out, cheering for the reliever.
C’s closer Scott Silverstein shut the door on Boise’s comeback, ensuring the teams would play each one of the series’ three games.
— With files from Kevin Hollett.
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