The Canadians waited eight innings to score one solitary run in the first game of the West Division Final against the Everett AquaSox Monday afternoon at Nat Bailey Stadium.
But on the road Tuesday evening for Game 2 of the best-of-three series, the C’s wasted no time and opened scoring in the top of the first inning to defeat the AquaSox 7-4 and win the division pennant.
The C’s defend their Northwest League championship with Game 1 set for Thursday in Vancouver.
To open scoring, Art Charles nailed a three-run home run in the top of the first off Everett starting pitcher Victor Sanchez.
In the second inning, the Canadians added two more runs for a 5-0 advantage. Jorge Flores hit his second double of the series to bring in Tucker Frawley, then the difference-maker of Game 1, Kellen Sweeney, hit a grounder that was mishandled by AquaSox second-baseman Brock Hebert which brought Flores home to score.
Everett scored in the bottom of the fourth and Vancouver responded with two runs in the top of the sixth inning. With Frawley on third and Flores on first, AquaSox reliever Blake Hauser was called on a balk. Frawley was brought home to score and Flores was sent to second.
Flores advanced to third base when Ian Parmley struck out, and Hauser’s actions from the mound would again benefit the Canadians. The AquaSox pitcher hurled a wild throw that skidded past the catcher to allow Flores to dash in from third and give the Canadians a 7-1 lead.
Canadians starter Taylor Cole, a 23-year-old right-hander from Bringham Young University, pitched six innings, struck out three batters and got his first win for Vancouver.
The Canadians will play the winner of the East Division Final, which is tied at one game apiece between Boise Hawks and Yakima Bears. Game 3 of their best-of-three series is set for Wednesday night at County Stadium in Yakima. The winner travels to Vancouver for Game 1 of the Northwest League Championship on Sept. 6 at 7:05 p.m.
Tickets are available by calling the Canadians box office at 604-872-5232, by visiting canadiansbaseball.com or in person at Nat Bailey Stadium (4601 Ontario St.).
With files from the Vancouver Canadians.