For six innings it looked like the Boise Hawks were on their way to a dominating game one victory which would have put them one win from a league championship. Two innings later the Hawks found themselves not only trailing in the game, but trailing in the series, and one game away from being eliminated.
The Hawks were clicking on all cylinders early, as Ian Dickson was dealing on the mound, and the Hawks brought their bats to Vancouver. Albert Almora got things started in the second inning with a one out single and advanced to second on a Rock Shoulders ground out. Wilson Contreras followed with a clutch two out single to drive in Almora and give the Hawks a 1-0 lead. The Canadians wasted no time getting back into this one as they plated the tying run in the bottom half of the second on a Carlos Ramirez RBI double. It looked like the Canadians took the lead on the play but Matt Newman was called out at the plate when it looks like he might have been safe. Boise jumped back in front in the third behind a Daniel Vogelbach one out run scoring double that also put men at second and third. The opportunity was wasted as both Jeimer Candelario and Almora struck out swinging, and Boise had to settle for one run and a 2-1 lead. Ian Dickson ended his night after the third inning, and it was a terrific outing for Ian, he went three innings giving up one run on two hits while walking three and striking out three.
Justin Amlung took over for Dickson in the fourth with Boise hanging on to a precarious one run lead. Right of the bat Amlung was in trouble and it looked like Vancouver was ready to finally break through. The Canadians loaded the bases with nobody out, that’s when Amlung took it to another level by striking out the next three Canadian hitters to get out of the jam with the lead in tact. The Hawks were clearly inspired by Amlung’s performance as they answered the Vancouver 4th in their half of the 5th by loading the bases with nobody out. Unlike Vancouver, the Hawks took advantage of their opportunity as Vogelbach walked with the bases loaded, Candelario singled, and Almora grounded out. The result was three more runs for Boise and a commanding 5-1 lead heading into the bottom of the 5th. The Hawks weren’t done there as they tacked on two more runs in the top of the 6th as Marco Hernandez laced a two-run single to give the Hawks a 7-1 lead, nothing could go wrong now.
Oh, how I wish that was true, as everyone should know by now, when the Boise Hawks are in Vancouver no lead is safe. The Canadians have come back two different times against Boise this year, they began their third comeback of the season in the bottom of the 6th. Jorge Flores greeted Jame Pugliese rather rudely as he ripped a two run double to bring the Canadians a little closer making the score 7-3. No big deal, a four run lead in the 7th inning should be easy enough to hang on to. The key word being should, as the Canadians made a huge statement, with some help from the Hawks in the 7th. Art Charles started the madness with a two-run homer to make it 7-5, and that was just the beginning. Hayden Simpson replaced Pugliese and made things worse as he walked the next guy then watched as Gioskar Amaya threw an inning ending ground out into left field to open the flood gates. When it was all said and done the Canadians scored seven times on four hits, two walks, two errors, and one wild pitch. A tired Hawks bunch was ambushed and had nothing left in them to make a comeback in this one, as they fell to the Canadians 10-7. The Hawks have to win the final two games of the series, and season or their 2012 will be over, the same situation they were in after game one of the East Division series against Yakima. Game two is tomorrow night in Boise, the Hawks have to forget this one and move on, I think they will.
Thanks for reading,