(PK Park - Eugene, OR) - A three-run outburst in the bottom of the 1st inning combined with six shutout innings from RHP Javier Assad was enough to even the 2017 Northwest League Championship, presented by Scotiabank, as the Eugene Emeralds topped the Canadians 4-2 to split the first two games of this best-of-five series that now shifts to Vancouver.
C's starter RHP Jose Espada (0-1) ran into trouble early after allowing a one-out base hit to 2B Jared Young as the next batter, 3B Austin Filiere hit a line drive over the left field fence to give the Emeralds a 2-0 lead. Eugene would add a third run when 1B Gustavo Polanco hit an RBI single that scored SS Jhonny Bethencourt.
The Canadians would answer the early offense from Eugene with a pair of runs in the top of the 2nd inning helped by a pair of walks to DH Brock Lundquist and 3B Deiferson Barreto off the arm of Emeralds starter LHP Brandon Little. With two outs, CF Reggie Pruitt hit a triple that scored both Lundquist and Barreto to bring the Canadians to within one. Those two runs would be the last ones Vancouver scored on the night as RHP Javier Assad (1-0) came in and threw six innings of one-hit baseball, allowing no runs and striking out nine.
RHP Jake Steffens allowed a leadoff double to DH Brock Lundquist in the top of the 9th but got the next three hitters in order securing the win and his 1st save of the Championship.
Note: The loss was Vancouver's first in September (6-1) and snapped a season-high seven-game winning streak… The Canadians 3-4-5 in the order (Warmoth, Clemens & Adams) was a combined 0-for-11 with eight strikeouts.
With the loss, Vancouver falls to 1-1 while the Emeralds improve to 1-1 making this Northwest League Championship a Best-of-Three heading back to historic Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium. Tickets are on-sale for Game 3 (September 11), Game 4 (September 12) and Game 5 (September 13) by calling 604.872.5232, online at www.canadiansbaseball.com or by visiting the Nat Bailey Stadium Box Office at 4601 Ontario Street, Vancouver, B.C.
The Canadians will send RHP Nate Pearson (0-0, 0.95) to the mound in Game 3 opposite Chicago Cubs 2nd Round Draft Pick RHP Cory Abbott (0-0, 3.86) with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05pm.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.