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Offense AWOL In Doubleheader Loss

C’s sputter in pair of Saturday defeats, including another Hops walk-off
(Mark Steffens - Fotoguy)
May 1, 2022

HILLSBORO, OR – Sigh. There wasn’t much more than that anyone in the third base dugout could do at Ron Tonkin Field Saturday night, as the Vancouver Canadians were shutout for the first time this year then walked off on for the third consecutive day of play in a doubleheader

HILLSBORO, OR – Sigh.

There wasn’t much more than that anyone in the third base dugout could do at Ron Tonkin Field Saturday night, as the Vancouver Canadians were shutout for the first time this year then walked off on for the third consecutive day of play in a doubleheader sweep at the hands of the Hillsboro Hops (Diamondbacks).

In the first game, the C’s offense – scorers of 19 runs in the first three games of the series and averaging over five runs a game this year – ran into a buzzsaw in the form of 2019’s 26th overall pick and Arizona’s top pitching prospect Blake Walston. The lefty was as advertised and then some; he diced up the Canadians over five shutout innings and nearly matched a career best with 10 punch outs.

Chad Dallas (L, 1-1) simply drew the short straw. The #23 Blue Jays prospect had three unearned runs score on his behalf while he gutted his way through 4.2 innings by scattering four hits and a walk with two strike outs.

Vancouver scratched two hits off Walston and another two against reliever Bobby Ay, but that was all for the bats in a 5-0 shutout loss

The Canadians wasted no time putting their first run of the day on the board in game two. Zach Britton worked a lead-off walk in the top of the first and Trevor Schwecke – who singled in the first game to match a C’s season high with a hit in 11 straight – hit a rule book double to left field to put runners at second and third. Addison Barger lifted a sacrifice fly to left field and Vancouver jumped in front 1-0. Forebodingly, they failed to add on by stranding Schwecke in scoring position.

Adam Kloffenstein took the hill in the bottom of the first and proceeded to put together his finest start of the year. The #11 Blue Jays prospect stranded a pair of runners who reached to start the opening frame then was touched for the only run of his night in the second. He plunked Danny Oriente on a 2-0 pitch with one down then struck out the next better. Oriente took second with a steal in the following at-bat and a few pitches later Jose Curpa ripped a page out of the baseball textbook with a picture-perfect Texas Leaguer that caromed off the glove of a sliding Riley Tirotta in right field to score the tying run. Kloffenstein went on to retire the next eight hitters and nine of his last ten to finish five solid innings.

Vancouver failed to put more than one runner on base for the rest of the game, thanks in part to three double plays turned by the Hops defense.

Jimmy Burnette struck out three and walked a batter in the sixth then Thomas Ruwe (L, 0-1) mowed down the trio of hitters he faced in the seventh by way of the K. After the C’s couldn’t score the placed runner in the top of the eighth, it was Curpa who delivered the decisive blow in the home half. The diminutive nine-hole hitter slapped a 1-2 pitch just inside the bag at first to sneak a double down the line and score the placed runner for Hillsboro’s third walk-off win of the week, a 2-1 heartbreaker in eight.

With the loss, the C’s have dropped a season-worst four in a row, are now 9-9 on the season and have returned to .500 for the first time since they were 2-2 on April 12.

The Canadians will try and salvage the final game of the series tomorrow afternoon. #23 Blue Jays prospect Trent Palmer climbs the slope for Vancouver and Hillsboro will send Radio coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. and continues with first pitch at 6:35 p.m. on CanadiansBaseball.com and the Sportsnet Radio Network.