VANCOUVER, BC – The longest drought in professional sports is over. After 963 days away, the Vancouver Canadians are officially back home at Nat Bailey Stadium following a cancelled season and an entire year on the road playing south of the border. Even though the Eugene Emeralds (Giants) edged the C’s 6-5 on Tuesday night, the excitement, enthusiasm and appreciation from players, staff and fans was palpable from the first pitch to the final out.
Eugene got the scoring started with two runs in the second and another in the third, but a raucous crowd was given their first chance to cheer in the home half of the third inning. Trevor Schwecke – one of six current C’s who have previously played at The Nat – clubbed his team-best second homer of the year into the home bullpen to cut the deficit to two.
Vancouver rallied to tie it with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Harry Ray started a two-out rally with a single then went to third on a Leo Jimenez double. Up stepped Addison Barger, who wrapped a triple around the first base bag to score a pair and make it 3-3.
The C’s bounced back to even the score for a second time in the bottom of the seventh after the Emeralds scored two runs in the top of the inning. Garrett Spain walked, Ray doubled – his third hit of the night – and Barger cashed in again with a two-RBI single to even the score at 5-5.
MLB.com’s #1 Giants prospect Marco Luciano delivered the decisive blow in the top of the eighth with a one-out solo home run to put Eugene ahead for good.
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