(PK Park - Eugene, Oregon) - A solo home run from Canadians RF Chavez Young combined with three fearless innings fron RHP Brayden Bouchey helped spur Vancouver to a 7-5 victory on Saturday night to open the 2017 Northwest League Championship Series, presented by Scotiabank.
After both teams exchanged early runs, RF Chavez Young hit his first home run of the post-season off Emeralds RHP Keegan Thonmpson to give Vancouver a 2-1 lead.
Eugene would take its only lead of the night in the bottom of the 3rd inning helped by a trio of walks from Canadians RHP Juan Nunez who couldn't escape the frame. RHP Graham Spraker came in after two of the three runs had already come into count and with one out in the inning got two big outs, a sac fly and a groundout, to keep the game within reach at 4-2.
It had been a while since Vancouver's offense really broke out, but shortly after Thompson was lifted from the game for RHP Enrique De Los Rios, the Canadians finally had a 'big' inning. In the top of the 5th, Vancouver would plate four runs on five hits and a little luck as the Eugene defense faultered. 1B Kacy Clemens had a two-run single that gave the Canadians their third lead of the night scoring both LF Norberto Obeso (single) and SS Logan Warmoth (single).
Vancouver LHP Brody Rodning came in to pitch the bottom of the 5th inning but couldn't manage an out as a pair of walks, a wild pitch and a passed ball allowed Eugene leadoff hitter Zach Davis to score making it 6-5. Canadians manager Rich Miller didn't blink as he went right back to his bullpen calling on RHP Brayden Bouchey who went three fantastic innings of no-hit relief to calm down the Emeralds offense and get the ball to closer RHP Orlando Pascual.
1B Kacy Clemens would reach on a two-base throwing error in the top of the 7th inning, and later score on a base hit from C Riley Adams to make it 7-5, while Pascual would come in and throw two shutout innings to grab his first save of the Championship as the Canadians took Game One of the Final, 7-5.
With the win, Vancouver takes a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five Northwest League Championship Series, and improves to 46-33 (.582) on the season. The Canadians also extend their current winning streak to a season-high seven games, and remain undefeated in the 2017 post-season, presented by Scotiabank.
The Canadians will send LHP Jose Espada (1-3, 5.14) to the mound in Game 2 opposite Chicago Cubs 1st round standout LHP Brendon Little (0-2, 9.37) with the first pitch from PK Park in Eugene, OR set for 5:05pm. This game can be heard live on TSN Sports Radio with the pre-game show starting at 4:30pm.
Game 3 of the Northwest League Championship will be in Vancouver as will Game 4 and 5 (if necessary) on September 11, 12 and 13 all scheduled for 7:05pm. Tickets can be purchased right here at canadiansbaseball.com or by calling 604.872.5232.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.