Vancouver Canadians start playoffs with a win over Spokane

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      It was a home game loss for the Spokane Northwest Division Single A Baseball Team (and yes, that's how the team will be referred to) in name only, as the city of Spokane set new records for air pollution, causing all three first round Northwest Division playoff games to be played in Vancouver. 

      But a loss it was nonetheless, as the Canadians were able to take the first game 2-1 on a two-run homer from shortstop Logan Warmoth after seven scoreless innings. 

      While Vancouverites spent most of the weekend complaining about the smog, Spokane was dealing with a situation that reached 254 on the air quality index and was labeled "hazardous" for three straight days. For reference, the highest Metro Vancouver reached this week on the index was 142. 

      So it was then that the team from Spokane played in front of a packed crowd at Nat Bailey (an announced attendance of 6,320), and against 6'6 right-handed pitcher Nate Pearson, a first-round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2017 MLB Draft. 

      Pearson had only been allowed to go into the fourth inning once before by manager Rich Miller, and he reached that milestone again tonight, striking out an incredible 10 batters in those four innings, allowing only one hit and pitching in the high 90-mile-an-hour range. 

      In addition to Pearson's monstrous effort on the mound, the C's were aided by superb fielding, with diving catches from both left-fielder Brandon Polizzi (who was also on base when Warmoth hit the homer) and right-fielder Chavez Young. 

      The Spokane Northwest Division Single A Baseball Team rallied in the ninth inning, putting a run on board and testing closer William Ouellette with two men on base and two out. After some heavy tension and a full count, Ouellette did what the towel-waving crowd was hoping he'd do and retired the side with a ground ball. 

      Because of the Warmoth homer, C's fans went home not only happy, but with coupons for a burger and root beer from A&W. Not bad for an away game. 

      The C's playoff schedule continues tomorrow as they host Spokane again and hope to close out the best-of-three series with a victory. 

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