The Vancouver Canadians defeat the Everett AquaSox 3-0 to take Game 1 of Championship Series
2 months ago
The Vancouver Canadians are out for redemption.
For the second straight season, they are in the Northwest League championship and facing off against the Everett AquaSox. Last season against the Eugene Emeralds, they lost Game 1 soundly, before a close loss in Game 2, and blew a lead in Game 3, losing the best of five season 3-0. But that won’t happen this season.
On Tuesday, the AquaSox hosted the Canadians, with the Blue Jays High-A affiliate team defeating the Mariners affiliate team 3-0. Let’s look at some storylines from this game.
Adam Macko shines against his former team:
The 22-year-old left-handed starter is forcing the Blue Jays hand, as he is Rule 5 eligible after this season. On Tuesday, he finished with a line of 5 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 4 BB (1 HBP, 5 K). If you remember, Macko recently won the Northwest League Pitcher of the Week, as he threw five innings of no-hit ball with eight strikeouts on September 5th.
In fact, over his last four starts, he’s thrown 20 innings, giving up just one earned run, while striking out 31 and walking six.
Ian Churchill pitched well from the bullpen:
Macko ate five innings, while Leam Mendez only pitched a third of an inning before Canadians’ manager Brent Lavallee called for Ian Churchill. The 24-year-old lefty finished with a line of 2.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K.
The 2022 10th-round draft pick had 0.89 ERA in 40.2 innings pitched between Single-A and High-A this past season. Between the two levels, he had a 31.5 K% and a 15.2 BB%.
He has a fastball/slider/changeup mix with a funky windup which plays up his low-90s fastball.
Ryan McCarty gets the offense going:
The Canadians only had seven hits in this game, and Ryan McCarty was responsible for three of them, including an RBI double for the game-winning run.
The 24-year-old was signed as an undrafted free agent after putting together a fantastic career in Division III of the NCAA. In Vancouver this season, he slashed .248/.369/.397 with a 13.4 BB% and a 24.2 K% with three homers in 149 plate appearances. He also added seven homers in just 243 plate appearances while with the Single-A Dunedin Blue Jays.
Jeffrey Wehler makes the play of the game:
Sticking with undrafted free agents, Jeffrey Wehler made one of the best catches I’ve seen while watching minor league ball. Starting near the second base bag, the second baseman ran all the way to near the right side foul line to make a sliding catch on a ball that was cutting away from him. You can watch it for yourself.
Had Wehler not come up with this ball, this game could’ve gone very differently, as the AquaSox would’ve had two base runners on with no outs.
The championship series is a best of five. The second game will take place on Wednesday at 10:05 PM EDT, with Devereaux Harrison taking the mound. After this game, the series will turn to Vancouver on Friday for the remainder of the series.
They just need two more wins.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads @Brennan_L_D. Joey Pitt is our correspondent that covers Vancouver Canadians games, and you can follow him on Twitter @_JoeyPitt.
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