The Boise Hawks are going to need to forget Game 1 of the Northwest League Championship Series in a hurry.
Vancouver scored nine unanswered runs as it rallied for a 10-7 win over Boise on Thursday night in Vancouver, B.C.
Boise led 7-1 after the top of the sixth inning, but then things started going Vancouver’s way. After making it 7-3 in the bottom of the sixth, the Canadians exploded for seven runs in the bottom of the seventh to take control of the wild contest.
Boise had a 2-1 lead after the third inning and had all the momentum as it chased Vancouver starter Javier Avendano after four innings. Avendano was the pitcher of the year as he finished the regular season with an 8-1 record and a 1.27 ERA. But he left Thursday’s game after giving up six hits and allowed four earned runs.
Meanwhile, the Hawks batters were on fire. Marco Hernandez and Dan Vogelbach each drove in two runs, and Jeimer Candelario, Albert Almora and Willson Contreras all contributed RBIs as they built that 7-1 lead.
Then Vancouver struck — in a hurry.
And Boise started going through its relievers. First Hunter Ackerman came in, then James Pugliese, then Hayden Simpson.
By the time the dust had settled, and the Hawks had made a couple of critical errors, Vancouver had taken control of the game.
The Hawks had a 12-hour bus ride to forget their collapse. They’ll need a fresh start to avoid getting swept in Game 2 on Saturday night.
MEET THE TEAM
The Hawks are inviting fans to welcome the team back from its Vancouver road trip Friday. There will be free hot dogs for all in attendance, and players and coaches will be available for autographs.
The team is expected to arrive at Memorial Stadium between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. (check the team’s Facebook page for updates on the arrival time).
Game 2: Vancouver at Boise, 6:45 p.m. Saturday
Game 3: Vancouver at Boise, 6:45 p.m. Sunday (if necessary)
Prices start at $6. Get tickets at boise hawks.com, by calling 322-5000 or by visiting the team’s box office (opens at 10 a.m.).
Boise played Vancouver the last time it won a league title, in 2004.
Slugger Ryan Harvey led the way for the Hawks in the series, hitting four homers in a three-game sweep.
GOING TO EXTREMES
The Hawks have played in front of two entirely different fan bases on the road in the playoffs.
They clinched the East Division title Wednesday night in front of 368 fans in Yakima, Wash.
One night later, they played the first game of the Northwest League Championship Series in front of more than 5,000 fans in Vancouver.
The difference? The Bears were playing their last game in Yakima. The team is moving to Hillsboro, Ore., next season.
The Canadians, on the other hand, are trying to win their second straight league title in a stadium that finished second in the league in average attendance this season.
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Pierce Johnson, who had a 4.50 ERA in eight innings of work during the regular season, is expected to get the start for Boise in Game 2. Johnson, the 43rd overall pick in June’s draft, went three innings without allowing an earned run in the first game of the East Divisional Series.
Vancouver is expected to counter with Roberto Osuna, who went 1-0 in 19-plus innings with a 3.20 ERA.