Davis spurs Canadians back to NWL Finals

Vancouver will get shot at fourth straight title after besting Spokane

Jon Davis had four triples over 27 Northwest League games in the regular season. (Kyle Rosetta/Vancouver Canadians)

By Jake Seiner / MiLB.com | September 5, 2014 3:46 AM

Jonathan Davis hadn't recorded a base hit since July, but he broke that streak in emphatic -- and timely -- fashion Thursday.

The Toronto outfield prospect came through with three hits -- including a triple -- and helped jump-start two key rallies for short-season Vancouver on Thursday. Davis' bat helped the Canadians earn a 5-4 win over the Spokane Indians for a series sweep in the Northwest League semifinals.

Vancouver has won three straight Northwest League titles and will face Hillsboro this weekend in the Northwest League Championship Series. Game 1 will take place at 4:05 p.m. ET on Saturday in Vancouver.

Davis suffered a broken right hand in early July and didn't return to the Vancouver lineup until Aug. 29. The outfielder went 0-for-12 in his first five games back, contributing two RBIs and three stolen bases despite the hitless stretch.

"My hitting coach [Dave Pano] had been working with me on staying on top of the ball, staying short," Davis said. "I had been pretty long. It's just something you have to play through."

Vancouver piled up its runs in the fifth and seventh innings, and Davis was the catalyst in both frames. In the fifth, the 22-year-old reached on a bunt single and came around to score on Michael De La Cruz's two-RBI double.

The Central Arkansas product extended the Canadians' lead to 3-1 with a run-scoring triple in the seventh, then crossed the plate on a triple by Richard Urena.

The 22-year-old played in just 28 regular-season games due to injury, which spoiled what should have been his first full season as a switch-hitter. Since returning, he's hit from the right side only, but he plans to pick up switch-hitting again this offseason.

"It's been a challenging year, to say the least," Davis said. "When you don't come through in some tough situations where you feel like you could have, it kind of hurts. It's not a good feeling, to say the least, but my coaches and teammates have stayed with me, telling me to keep working on it, do what I do and try to help the team win."

Toronto's No. 16 prospect Jairo Labourt started and got the win for Vancouver. The 20-year-old began the year with Class A Lansing, but struggled in six appearances. He's hit his stride with the Canadians, though. In 15 regular-season starts, he posted a 1.77 ERA.

He continued that dominance by limiting Spokane to a run on six hits with three strikeouts over six innings Thursday.

Jake Seiner is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Jake_Seiner. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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