BOISE, Idaho - Dillon Maples and two relievers combined on a six-hit shutout, as the Boise Hawks opened the 2013 Northwest League Championship Series with a 5-0 victory over the Vancouver Canadians, before 1,070 fans at Memorial Stadium.
With the win, the Hawks move one win away from their seventh NWL pennant - and first since the 2004 season.
Boise got on the board first in the third as Carlos Penalver tripled and Lance Rymel was hit by a pitch. After Kevin Encarnacion was called out on strikes for not entering the batting box in a timely manner, Danny Lockhart hit a slow roller to second, with Rymel avoiding Andy Fermin's tag, allowing Penalver to score on the out at first for a 1-0 lead.
The Hawks would extend the lead in the sixth, as Yasiel Balaguert singled with two outs and Jacob Rogers was hit by a pitch. Reliever Brady Dragmire entered and served up a run-scoring single to Rony Rodriguez and a two-run double to David Bote to extend the lead to 4-0. An inning later, Rymel capped the night with a solo homer inside the left field foul pole.
It was more than enough for Maples, who worked around five singles and a double in six and one-third innings of work - his longest professional outing. The righty struck out seven men - working out of a second and third jam in the first and a first and second jam in the third. Matt Iannazzo and Zack Godley combined to retire the final eight men, including four strikeouts, to end the game.
Rodriguez went 3-for-4 in the win for Boise - who will send Paul Blackburn to the mound on Sunday afternoon in Vancouver.
C's starter Jairo Labourt was outstanding in his Vancouver debut, allowing just four hits and striking out 10 in the loss. Brenden Kalfus went 2-for-3 in the losing effort for the Canadians.
Game 2 of the Best-of-3 series is Sunday at 2:05 p.m. (MT) - and can be heard locally on 1350 KTIK-AM.