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September 13, 2011

In Their First Year as a Blue Jays Affiliate The Vancouver Canadians Win Top Prize in the Northwest

There was a quiet intensity that carried on the gentle breeze through the grounds at Nat Bailey Stadium on Sunday morning.  With the previous night forgotten, anticipation was running high as everyone from the bench to the grounds crew and the fans filing into the seats were wondering if today could be the day for the Canadians.

The C’s celebrate their championship win after defeating Tri-City 9-2

It didn’t take long for the C’s-ville faithful to realize that they were witnessing something special as Jesse Hernandez and Vancouver retired the first nine Dust Devils in order.  It took until the 4th inning before Tri-City would finally find an answer to the young RHP when a double off the bat of Jared Simon would cash in Brian Humphries from first to open the scoring.

But the Canadians were quick to find a response for Tyler Gagnon when, after singles from Kevin Patterson and Andy Burns and with two out, an eleven pitch at bat by Pierce Rankin ended in a hard line drive over the mound and into centre field. When the dust had settled on the play (which included a throwing error by CF Brian Humphries) the Canadians had scored two runs with Rankin safely standing on third. Shane Opitz would send Rankin home on a base hit putting the C’s up 3-1. And there it would stay with both teams trading a scoreless fifth.

The sixth would remain scoreless thanks to the continued brilliance of Hernandez who completed the inning having allowed only one earned run on three hits with a career-high nine strikeouts, giving way to Bryan Longpre.  However, it was the seventh frame that would prove fatal for the Dust Devils when the C’s would send eight batters to the plate for a total of 5 runs including a leadoff solo shot from Jon Berti and a bases clearing triple from Balbino Fuenmayor.

Both teams would add a single run in the eighth but everyone in the stadium could see that this was Vancouver’s day.  And so, with Drew Permison on the mound (affectionately known as the ‘Perminator’), two out and one on, Jaron Shephard grounded past the mound into the waiting glove of Jon Berti who dished to Shane Opitz at second for the 4-6 put out sending the Nat into a frenzy.