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Summer of Spain Continues With Walk-Off Blast

Former 15th rounder’s third career two-homer game caps 9-8 C’s triumph over Spokane
(Mark Steffens - Fotoguy)
August 27, 2023

VANCOUVER, BC – Losers of three straight at home for the first time this year, the Canadians entered Saturday night’s game opposite the Spokane Indians [Rockies] in need of a big-time performance to change their mojo. They got that from Garrett Spain, whose second homer of the night was a

VANCOUVER, BC – Losers of three straight at home for the first time this year, the Canadians entered Saturday night’s game opposite the Spokane Indians [Rockies] in need of a big-time performance to change their mojo. They got that from Garrett Spain, whose second homer of the night was a walk-off solo blast with two outs in the bottom of the ninth for a 9-8 win in front of a sellout crowd at Rogers Field at Nat Bailey Stadium.

Spain’s heroics were necessitated by a four-run top of the ninth from Spokane that stunned the C’s, who carried an 8-4 lead into the final frame. The Indians tied the game with a hit by pitch, a single, consecutive walks – the second of which forced home a run – a sacrifice fly, a single and a double steal with runners at the corners and two away to even the score at eight. After consecutive outs to start the bottom of the ninth, the Clarksville, TN native unleashed a 401-foot blast on the first pitch from Tyler Ahearn (L, 1-3) that left the batt at 100 MPH for Vancouver’s league-best 12th walk-off win of the year.

It was a hard-fought battle the entire way. Spokane scored first for the fifth straight game when they plated a pair in the top of the second, but the Canadians answered right back with a run in the home half of the inning after a Gabby Martinez walk, a Spain double and a Jeff Wehler sacrifice fly that made it 2-1. The C’s promptly grabbed their first lead since the tenth inning Tuesday night when they came to bat in the third; a two-out walk to Peyton Williams put a man on for #16 Blue Jays prospect Cade Doughty, who smacked a go-ahead two-run homer off the left field foul pole that put Vancouver in front 3-2.

Solo homers from Ryan McCarty in the fifth and Spain in the sixth tacked on two more runs while the Indians scratched across single scores in the sixth and seventh. Four C’s hits and two Spokane errors brought home a pair of Vancouver runs in the seventh and a Williams RBI single with two outs in the eighth ran the score to 8-4 Canadians before the madcap ninth.

Vancouver starter Rafael Sanchez turned in one of his finest outings of the year and was an out away from his first career High-A victory before the Indians tied it in the final stanza. The Antilla, Cuba native went six innings, allowed two runs on four hits – three singles and a double – walked two and K’ed six for his second quality start in Northwest League play

The C’s scored in seven of nine innings at bat and pounded out a series-high 13 hits. They scored more runs tonight (nine) than they had in the previous four games of the series combined (five) and had tallied 15 hits Tuesday through Friday. Spain’s three knocks and 10 total bases led the way while McCarty, Doughty, Williams and Jommer Hernandez all had two hits apiece.

With the win, the Canadians can still earn a series split to avoid their first home series loss of the year. They’ll look to finish the set on a high note Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. as part of an A&W Family Fun Sunday. Coverage is available on the C’s Broadcast Network: CanadiansBaseball.com, Sportsnet, Bally Live and the MiLB First Pitch App.