VANCOUVER, B.C. -- A couple of Hillsboro catcher Gavin Logan's most memorable moments as a pro baseball player have come at Vancouver's Nat Bailey Stadium: his first pro game and first pro hit came in Vancouver last August after the Oyen, Alberta native was drafted by the Diamondbacks in the
VANCOUVER, B.C. -- A couple of Hillsboro catcher Gavin Logan's most memorable moments as a pro baseball player have come at Vancouver's Nat Bailey Stadium: his first pro game and first pro hit came in Vancouver last August after the Oyen, Alberta native was drafted by the Diamondbacks in the 9th round out of Oregon State. Logan was off to a great start to the series in this June's road trip up north until a bad ball caught him in a vulnerable spot behind the plate and knocked him out early in the opening game. Struggling at the plate over the first three months of the season and seemingly catching a painful foul tip or wild pitch bruise multiple times a night, Logan went down a level to Visalia in the California League to get settled in and made his return to his homeland a triumphant one this week.
Logan came to the plate in the 10th inning of a 2-2 game Friday and rocketed a Colin Larkin pitch over the wall in right field and the Hops (26-32 2nd half, 50-74 overall) held on as Vancouver (36-22, 74-49) loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning for a 4-3 win over the Canadians in front of 5,353 fans in a "Nooner At The Nat".
It was Hillsboro's third straight win in the series and the Hops' fourth win in their last five games. All three victories have come down to the final out the last two days.
All of the scoring came late Friday. Hillsboro starting pitcher Jose Cabrera, who was ineffective over his first four starts since coming up from low-A Visalia, was dominant over five hitless innings. The 21-year-old right hander fanned a career-high tying nine Canadians batters and pitched around three walks and a hit batter.
Meanwhile, Vancouver pitcher Hunter Gregory, 0-6 on the season for the Canadians, was equally effective. The Chesapeake, Virginia native kept the Hops scoreless over five frames while striking out four without a walk.
Vancouver broke the scoreless deadlock in the seventh inning when Glenn Santiago cracked a two-run homer to left off Hillsboro reliever Zach Barnes. The no-hitter had ended when Barnes surrendered a single to left by Cade Doughty with one out in the sixth. Gabriel Martinez greeted the right hander with a stinging single to right field before Santiago uncorked his bomb. In just his second game back with Vancouver after playing his final 30 games with the C's in 2022, the fourth-year pro from Puerto Rico has driven in five runs on a pair of extra base hits, reaching base four times.
Just as in Thursday's doubleheader nightcap, it took the Hops little time to respond. In the eighth, with Vancouver reliever Sam Ryan beginning his second inning, Juan Corniel reached on a one-out single to right before Jack Hurley belted an opposite-field home run into the new grandstands in left field, his first as a Hop and second as a pro.
Neither team threatened in the ninth inning. Hillsboro's Zane Russell (2-0), a hard-throwing righty drafted in the 10th round out of Dallas Baptist this year, pitched two scoreless innings in his Hops debut.
Larkin (3-2), who got the save in Wednesday's Vancouver win, relieved Ryan in the tenth. With Jesus Valdez stationed at second, Manuel Pena dropped a beautiful sacrifice bunt down the third base line to advance Valdez to third before Logan unloaded on a 1-1 pitch, clearing the same wall in right field that he fell about a foot and a half short of clearing on a double here in the opening game of the series back on June 13 before getting his eggs scrambled on an Avery Short pitch in the dirt in the bottom of the third inning, missing the rest of that game and the next three.
Up 4-2 in the tenth, the Hops sent Alfred Morillo to the hill, looking for his first Hillsboro save after seven at Low-A Visalia. Morillo fanned Estiven Machado, but Kekai Rios poked a single into left field, putting runners at the corners. Angel Del Rosario came on to run for the Vancouver catcher and was off and running on the pitch when Dasan Brown banged a single through the hole on the right side, plating the ghost runner Santiago and putting the tying run at third base with one out.
That brought Garrett Spain to the plate. The Tennessean right fielder was responsible for two walk-off wins in the June series, homering off Barnes in the bottom of the ninth on June 14th and drawing a bases loaded walk (a LITERAL walk-off win) off Carlos Meza two nights later. Hitless in the series, but with a long history of Hops torment, Spain went down swinging, bringing the C's to their final out. Brown swiped second on the swing and miss, leaving first unoccupied. Morillo exercised caution with Cade Doughty, pitching around Vancouver's homer and RBI leader to load the bases for the hulking, 6-5, 255 pound cleanup hitter Peyton Williams. On a 1-0 pitch, Williams hit a moderately tricky chopper to the right side where Pena backed up to play the second bounce and calmly threw to Valdez at first to end the game.
Hurley had his finest game as a Hop, going 3-for-4 with a stolen base. It was his second three-hit game in 14 played and his first multi-RBi performance. Gavin Conticello extended his hitting streak to six games, but saw his streak of five consecutive games with a double snapped.
The Hops and the Canadians return for game five of the series Saturday night. Pregame coverage starts at 6:50 p.m. with the first pitch at 7:05 on Rip City Radio 620 AM.