Mitch Nay's first 2013 playoff experience was brilliant but short-lived. He ensured Sunday that his second one has a chance to be memorable.
The Blue Jays' No. 17 prospect collected two hits and drove in a run as Class A Short-Season Vancouver held on to beat Boise, 4-2, in Game 2 of the Northwest League Finals.
Nay got the Canadians on the board with an RBI single in the first inning. The 2012 first-round pick singled in his third at-bat in the sixth, but was forced out at second on a fielder's choice.
"Mitch is terrific and got us on the board in the first with an RBI single and came up in another big spot in the sixth and set us up for another run," manager Clayton McCullough said. "Since he's gotten up here ... since the start of the playoffs, he's given us another presence in the middle of the lineup."
Nay has had a strong postseason for Vancouver, batting .353 and is tied for the league lead with four RBIs in four games. The 19-year-old third baseman joined the Canadians after a similar playoff performance for Rookie-level Bluefield, batting .375 with a homer and three RBIs as the Blue Jays were swept in the opening round of the Appalachian League playoffs.
With the Canadians clinging to a 2-1 lead, Andy Fermin smacked a two-run triple to go with his .500 average. Fermin tied Nay for the RBI lead with the clutch hit.
"It was huge," McCullough said of the triple. "Tight game the whole way, we got the lead, and Andy, who's been great all year and in the playoffs, hit a two-RBI triple and gave us some breathing room. It gave those guys in the bullpen some wiggle room."
Kevin Anderson allowed a run on three hits and struck out four over five innings, but did not figure into the decision for Vancouver.
"Anderson, just typical of what he's done this and last year," the veteran manager said. "He's not going to be rattled, there's nobody better to put out there. Kevin gave us five good innings, that's what you want from your starter."
Matt Dermody was credited with his second win of the playoffs after allowing a run on three hits over 2 1/3 innings of relief. Chuck Ghysels retired the final two batters of the eighth and Scott Silverstein gave up a hit in a scoreless ninth for his first save of the playoffs.
The series heads back to Boise for the decisive Game 3 as the Canadians look to find a way to repeat their 2012 magic when they beat the Hawks in Boise to score their third straight Northwest League crown.
"We're going to have to play well," McCullough said. "I think it'll be similar to today, who comes up the big hits with runners on base."
Paul Blackburn, the Cubs' No. 17 prospect, gave up a run on three hits while striking out nine over five innings, but did not figure into the decision for the Hawks.