Game 1 of the Northwest League Championship Series couldnt have played out much worse for Boise.
The Hawks built a six-run lead, then watched it evaporate as Vancouver scored nine unanswered runs. The Canadians won 10-7 win in front of their home crowd.
We beat ourselves, Hawks first baseman Rock Shoulders said.
The loss was disheartening, but manager Mark Johnson had a clear message for his players as the baseball club made the 12-hour overnight bus trip back to Boise.
Erase it, its over, Johnson said Friday.
He talked about the teams resiliency when it won the East Division title by winning two games at Yakima after dropping the first game of the three-game series in Boise.
The way theyve been bouncing back all year, I dont see them doing anything different (Saturday), he said.
Boise has the youngest team in the league this season, and Johnson admits that was likely a factor in the Game 1 collapse. But he said his players have the determination needed to turn the short series around.
If Boise can win Game 2, the third and deciding game would be played Sunday night at Memorial Stadium.
Theyre young enough, and they have enough fire to do it, Johnson said. I can see them coming in and acting like nothing has ever happened. Just, Weve got to win two. Thats the kind of attitude theyve had all year.
WHY THE HAWKS CAN STILL WIN THE SERIES
1: Hitting. The Hawks had the strongest batting lineup in the league this year, and they have consistently put up big numbers at home. In their final three regular season victories, they scored seven, nine and 12 runs.
2: Home crowd. A large, noisy Vancouver crowd may have rattled Boise in Game 1, but that wont be a factor for the rest of the series.
3: Starting pitching. Pierce Johnson should keep Boise in Game 2. The same could be said of Tayler Scott, the scheduled Game 3 starter.
WHY THE HAWKS ARE IN TROUBLE
1: No lead is safe. Thursday was the third time this season that Vancouver trailed Boise by six or more runs and rallied for a win.
2: Relief pitching. Boises bullpen had no answers Thursday; that has been a glaring weakness all season.
3: Inexperience. The Hawks have shown a tendency to let errors and mistakes lead to more errors and mistakes. The Canadians are the defending champions and more battle-tested.