Vancan Outta The Blue

Championship Cometh
September 8, 2011, 13:51
Filed under: Vancouver Canadians | Tags: , , ,

By Josh Hall

Just when you thought the boys from Vancity were down and out of the Northwest League West Division Final, they stunned, and they shocked. Vancouver who had an overall road record of 14-24 this regular season, lost game 1 at the Nat and surely, on the brink of elimination headed to Eugene, were finished.

What happened was nothing short of a major upset. Vancouver did in fact close out the series last night with a tight 5-4 victory but the story is more about how they got to that point. It begins with game two.

Travelling to Eugene for the first time since mid-July, the C’s knew what they needed to do and knew it was a big job. The Emeralds won both halves of the season in the West Division handily. Back when these two teams played though, Vancouver took 3 of the 6 games played in Eugene and limited the Em’s to 3 runs in those three games compared to their 20. The sides hardly knew each other going into this series and yet it was assumed that Eugene had the upper hand, which they did going in. They proved that in Game 1, blowing out Vancouver 8-3.

Game 2 got underway in Eugene and it was clear the C’s weren’t going down without a fight. Leading by a score of 2-1 going into the 6th, the C’s scored, count ‘em, EIGHT runs in the inning. The final score was 10-3 and a message was sent. The story was the same as the regular season. Now in four wins the Canadians had managed at PK Park, the Em’s had been outrun 30-6.

Twenty-four hours later, the atmosphere was tense; the stadium was full and the crowd in Eugene ready to celebrate a game three victory and a trip to the NWL final. Surely, it was their day. That feeling didn’t last long as the Em’s found themselves down 5-0 after three innings. But Eugene didn’t win both halves for nothing. They fought back and come the bottom of the 9th, it was 5-3 Vancouver. Justin Miller scores for the Emeralds and it’s suddenly 5-4, an intentional walk and the bases are loaded with 1 out. The crowd was volatile and so were the players. On a delayed strikeout call on Travis Whitmore, he became irate with the umpire. Eventually cooler heads prevailed but now the C’s were only 1 out away from a trip to the Final.

It was pure beauty, the simplest of baseball plays, a grounder to shortstop and the throw to first. That was it. Series over and an upset of fairly epic proportions. The comeback of the season.

The C’s did what they needed to do, keep it tight and stay ahead.

Bring on those Dust-Devils Friday in Pasco, Washington.

Original Post on VSP


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