(Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium - Vancouver, BC) - It was a play you might see once a generation. Led by CF Chaz Frank's game-winning single in the 7th inning and spectacular game-saving catch in the 8th inning, the Vancouver Canadians defeated the Spokane Indians 3-1 in crucial matchup on Monday night at Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium to keep their playoff hopes alive and also secure a second half tiebreaker against Spokane should the Canadians need it in the North Division.
The Canadians opened the scoring in the bottom of the 4th inning when DH Brendan Kalfus reached base on a fielder's choice and eventually came around to score on a fielding error from Spokane 1B Cam Schiller as Vancouver SS Dawel Lugo raced up the first base line on a slow roller to Schiller. The throw from Schiller missed RHP Eric Brooks allowing Lugo to reach base and Kalfus to cross the plate.
Spokane was stymied by Canadians LHP Alonzo Gonzalez over his 5 1/3 innings of work but tied the game in the top of the 7th as 1B Cam Schiller drew a walk off of Vancouver reliever LHP Scott Silverstein, stole second base and third base before coming around to score on a single from LF Jamie Jarmon.
The lead proved to be short-lived, as the C's came back in the bottom half of the seventh to regain the lead. SS Dewal Lugo singled to lead off the inning, moved to second on a balk by LHP Luis Pollorena before going to third on a groundout and scoring on an infield single from Frank. Vancouver added some insurance in the eighth when Lugo hit a RBI single of his own to make it 3-1.
Spokane pushed back in the top of the 8th inning when Canadians RHP Garrett Pickens came in and allowed a lead-off single to Eduard Pinto that eventually brought up C Joe Jackson as the potential lead run. A deep drive off the bat of Jackson had Canadians CF Chaz Frank chasing a ball that few could get to, but the former North Carolina Tarheel left his feet and caught the ball destined for the right field power alley to record the second out of the inning. Frank would immediately pop back up and throw the ball back into the infield where 1B L.B. Dantzler would receive it before Pinto could get back to first base completing the improbable inning ending double play.
Canadians closer RHP Chuck Ghysels would pitch a tidy 9th inning for his 8th save of the season.
With the win, Vancouver moves to 14-18 (.436) in the second half of the 2013 Northwest League season and 36-34 (.514) overall, while Spokane moves to 15-17 (.468) and 35-35 (.500). Vancouver now moves one game up on Spokane in the overall North Division standings.
Note: The Vancouver Canadians announced a crowd of 5,021 fans on Monday night giving them 168,871 fans through 35 home dates, marking a 5th consecutive franchise attendance record with three dates remaining. In 2012, the Canadians welcomed 164,461 fans - the previous franchise mark.
The Canadians will enjoy an off-day on Tuesday, August 27th before opening up the final regular season home series of the summer on Wednesday, August 28th as the Tri-City Dust Devils head to Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium through August 30th.
Tickets to Vancouver Canadians Baseball are available by calling 604.872.5232 or by visiting the Nat Bailey Stadium Box Office at 4601 Ontario Street in Vancouver, B.C.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.