August 27 2018 Vancouver- The Canadians took three of five games in their most recent home-stand against the Boise Hawks, and throughout the series they searched to extend their lead atop the NWL’s north division over rivals Spokane. Despite the Canadians good run of form which included some excellent pitching, they were unable to extend the lead as The Indians beat the life out Salem-Keizer to stay within reach. The C’s saw themselves finish the series the same place they started. One game up on Spokane.
The first game of the series was the first of two times that Boise would find a “W” on this trip to Vancouver, and all it took was one swing of the bat to sink the C’s on opening night of the five game stand. Daniel Jipping’s three run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning erased an early 1-0 lead from the home team. The Canadians would come close in the series first game with a late run, but it wasn’t enough as they fell to Boise for the fourth time this season.
Following the first game, everything changed for the C’s. they would win the next three, although they certainly did not do it quickly. Three of the games went over three hours, while two of them were won by a one run margin. Throughout the series the Canadians did everything they could to extend their lead above Spokane, but as the C’s won in Vancouver; The Indians did the same in Salem-Keizer.
Games two and three of the series were the two split by one run as the Canadians prevailed 2-1 and 4-3 victors. Boise’s pitching struggles began in game two as they sent 19 year-old Jeffri Ocando to the mound. He pitched a solid outing, but his three walks were the death of the Hawks in the second game. Although he is one of the younger pitchers in the NWL, Ocando began the downhill slide for Boise in the series. Game three saw Colten Schmidt as the losing pitcher as he gave up three hits and two runs in his one inning of work which dug a hole too big to dig out of for Boise. As the Hawk’s pitching struggled, the Canadians were on the upswing. Will McCaffer, Josh Wincowski and Randy Pondler shined throughout the two games, with Pondler putting in seven scoreless innings as part of game three.
One of the league most intriguing pitchers was called to start for Boise in game four. Riley Pint, the fourth overall pick in 2016’s MLB draft has become infamous for his speed and inability to hit the strike zone. His effort was no different against the C’s as he walked two batters in his single inning of work, despite throwing three pitches over 100MPH. The C’s would go on to win with the help of three RBI from RF Griffin Conine coming off a sacrifice fly and a double. Although the extended their win streak to three, they received no help from Spokane as the Indians again shellacked the Volcanoes.
Joey Murray started for the Canadians in game five and struck out four batters in his two innings. He was followed by Pulido and Wymer; with Wymer striking out his first three.
Alec Byrd was on the mound for Boise and he continued their pitching struggles despite throwing 5 shutout innings. He finished his night with three walks and only one strikeout. The Hawks would find the first run of the night in the top of the sixth when Daniel Jipping went deep into left field for a solo home-run and would extend their lead in the top of the ninth as the Hawks went on to win game five 2-0 .
While the game was being played, fans of the C’s were constantly scoreboard watching to see whether or not Salem-Keizer would show up for their final game vs The Indians. Lucky for Vancouver, their loss came on the same night as a Salem win; keeping their one game lead above Spokane.
After finishing with wins in three of five games vs Boise The Canadians remain in the same place they started, one game up on Spokane. There are two series to go in the season, one against first-half winners Everett at home and the other against none other than The Indians at Avista Stadium in Spokane. It looks like the season will come down to those final three games against Spokane, as the C’s look to clinch a playoff spot in search of their fourth NWL Championship.