In the Class-A Short Season Northwest League, wins don’t mean entirely much, at least when you compare to the way they drastically do for teams throughout the MLB. In the NWL, players are continuously being brought in, and the roster and batting lineup is shuffled almost daily.
Nonetheless, the fact remains. A 2-3 record after a five game set under the lights of Volcanoes Stadium in Keizer, Oregon is something the Vancouver Canadians will live with, quite frankly.
The narrative sure didn’t seem this way at first after the 2015 Vancouver Canadians’ bats crushed the home-field Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 11-2 on opening day.
Debuts for players like Earl Burl III went remarkably well, as the 30th round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in the past MLB Draft led off for the Vancouver Canadians in their first game of the Northwest League season. The 21-year-old Alcorn State alum’s first appearance in a C’s jersey was fantastic, collecting two doubles, two steals and one walk, resulting in three RBIs.
Everybody in the starting nine recorded at least one hit, and on the mound, Clinton Hollon dazzled with five innings of only two allowed hits, along with seven strikeouts. A 2013 second-round draft pick of the Blue Jays, Hollon missed all of last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
C’s manager John Schneider seemed pleasantly surprised afterwards, conveying that “it was an all-around good effort from the fellas.”
It felt like Vancouver would go 76-0. Unfortunately, the C’s timely hitting vanished in the next three games, only mustering up four runs altogether, leading to three disappointing losses in a row. Looking back at this series with a record of 1-4 would be a tough pill to swallow for the morale of this young team. Luckily, a comeback was finally in the works.
Monday night, the C’s rallied from 2-0 down in the 6th inning with four runs, capped off by an infielder Lane Thomas’ bases clearing double. Vancouver ended up prevailing 5-3, and as they head south to Tri-City for a three-game set with the Dust Devils, the ball club needs to simply weather the storm as we near closer to the C’s home opener this Friday night against the defending NWL champion Hillsboro Hops.
The big game at Nat Bailey Stadium was sold out before the season even commenced, but you can still purchase single game tickets for future home games online at canadiansbaseball.com.
Take your family out for a game, have a hotdog or two and enjoy baseball under the lights at the Nat’ this summer.