PASCO, WA – Hitless in his last ten at-bats, P.K. Morris came to the plate with the bases loaded in the top of the tenth inning of game two in the Vancouver Canadians’ double dip with the Tri-City Dust Devils (Angels) Friday night looking to simply put some good wood
PASCO, WA – Hitless in his last ten at-bats, P.K. Morris came to the plate with the bases loaded in the top of the tenth inning of game two in the Vancouver Canadians’ double dip with the Tri-City Dust Devils (Angels) Friday night looking to simply put some good wood on a decent pitch. He did that and more; the Tampa, FL native parked a 1-2 pitch to the right of the batter’s eye to break a 2-2 tie and help the C’s to a doubleheader sweep and sole possession of first place.
Morris’ heroics were set up by a walk and a hit by pitch, putting a pair of men aboard to join the placed runner on base. In a game where the Canadians had gone 1-for-16 with runners in scoring position, his big fly couldn’t have come at a bigger moment.
“I fouled two pitches off early and found myself in a hole 1-and-2,” Morris said after the game. “I was just able to get on top of a fastball and put a great swing on it.”
Asked about some of his recent frustrations at the dish, Morris kept it all in perspective.
“[The game is] super tough at times,” Morris continued. “It’s early on in the season and you have to do all you can to help your team win each and every night. It doesn’t matter what happened in the previous game but you just have to keep it rolling.”
The game had been tied 2-2 since the sixth, when the C’s rallied for a pair of runs after falling behind 2-0 in the first. Morris walked, went to second on a groundout then advanced to third on a two-out wild pitch. Up stepped Riley Tirotta, who spoiled the Tri-City shutout with a triple that made it 2-1. Davis Schneider followed with a routine ground ball to third that should have been the final out but instead allowed the tying run to score when the throw short-hopped the first baseman and went in and out of his glove.
Adam Kloffenstein got the start and settled in after allowing two runs on three hits to start his night. The #11 Blue Jays prospect went on to work four innings and scattered six hits, walked three and struck out five. Alex Nolan followed with two perfect innings of relief then Gabriel Ponce put up a zero in the seventh before loading the bases and the count in the bottom of the eighth, but he struck out the final hitter of his outing to strand three runners and send the game to the ninth.
Colton Laws (W, 2-0) retired the side in order in the ninth and got the first two hitters in the tenth, but a run-scoring single followed by an RBI triple cut the Canadians lead to two. After a walk, Will McAffer (S, 1) was brought in to get the final out and did so with a strikeout that stranded the tying runs on base.
Vancouver rallied from an early deficit in the first game as well. The Dust Devils got to starter Hunter Gregory with a run on three hits in the opening frame, but he proceeded to strike out the next three batters to limit the damage. The Chesapeake, VA native logged four innings, allowed only one more hit after the first, didn’t walk anyone and struck out six.
The C’s tied it in the top of the second on the very first pitch when #12 Blue Jays prospect Miguel Hiraldo clubbed his first homer of the season, and Tirotta’s two-out RBI single in the third brought home the eventual game winner.
Abdiel Mendoza (W, 1-0) allowed all of one base runner over the final three innings to earn the win.
By sweeping the doubleheader, the C’s guaranteed themselves a series split with the Dust Devils and secured a winning road trip. They are 5-2 in their first seven games.
The series continues tomorrow night. #23 Blue Jays prospect Trent Palmer (0-1, 0.00 ERA) gets the ball for Vancouver and will be opposed by Tri-City’s Adam Seminaris (0-0, 0.00 ERA). First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. and can be heard on the Sportsnet Radio Network.
The Vancouver Canadians make their triumphant return to Nat Bailey Stadium on Tuesday, April 19 at 7:05 p.m. Tickets for the home opener and the rest of the 2022 season are available now at CanadiansBaseball.com.