Tri-City Dust Devils

Tri-City Trounces Vancouver to Get Back to .500

May 17, 2023 - Northwest League (NWL)
Tri-City Dust Devils News Release

Tri-City Dust Devils' Werner Blakely at bat
Tri-City Dust Devils' Werner Blakely at bat
(Tri-City Dust Devils)

The Tri-City Dust Devils (17-17) ran it back Wednesday, getting an early burst of offense and great pitching to defeat the Vancouver Canadians (17-14) by a 9-2 score on a hot and humid afternoon at Gesa Stadium.

Starter John Swanda (4-0) won his fourth straight start, though the Canadians got to him early by scoring a run in each of their first two at-bats. That was all, though, as Swanda held Vancouver off the scoreboard for the rest of his outing, getting into the 7th before coming out of the game.

His teammates backed him up at the plate, first scoring in the 1st inning to tie the game via back-to-back hits from 2B Adrian Placencia (a single, followed by a stolen base) and 1B Gabe Matthews (a single to center that scored Placencia).

The game turned in the bottom of the 2nd. Trailing 2-1 after a solo home run to right by Canadians DH Riley Tirotta, the Dust Devils scored six times off Vancouver starter Abdiel Mendoza (0-1) to take a lead they would never relinquish.

SS Osmy Gregorio led off the inning with a triple to right-center, his third three-bagger of the year. CF D'Shawn Knowles then hit a hopping grounder to Canadians 2B Estiven Machado which eluded him and headed to right field. Gregorio scored on the error, tying the game at 2-2.

C Gustavo Campero then singled to left, moving Knowles to third and putting runners on the corners. Campero then stole second to put two in scoring position with LF Joe Stewart at the plate. Stewart then grounded back near the mound, where Mendoza fielded it and threw to first for the out. Knowles dashed home on the throw, sliding in safely to give Tri-City a 3-2 lead.

The hit parade picked back up from there, with Placencia hitting a high chop that bounced over Machado and into right field for an RBI single that scored Campero to make it 4-2. The big blow came two batters later, after Matthews added a second single. 3B Werner Blakely took a 2-2 pitch from Mendoza deep over the right field wall, a three-run shot that pushed the Dust Devils lead to 7-2 and ended Mendoza's afternoon on the mound.

Tri-City added two runs in the bottom of the 5th via a two-out rally. RF Alexander Ramirez hit a ringing double off the left field wall and Gregorio followed with an infield hit to put two on. Knowles came back up and sent another double to left, hitting the warning track and bouncing off the wall. Ramirez and Gregorio both scored for what ended up the final 9-2 margin.

Swanda, meanwhile, took care of things on the top side, facing the minimum in the 3rd through 5th innings and working around a pair of 6th inning hits to strand two. The Iowan righty gave up back-to-back hits in the 7th before leaving after another great outing.

Dust Devils reliever Roman Phansalkar took over from there. The Oklahoma State alum struck out the first two Vancouver batters he faced and, after walking a man to load the bases, came back with a third punchout to leave three Canadians on and assure Swanda of his fourth quality start of 2023.

Phansalkar added two more strikeouts along the way for a total of five, getting the final nine outs for a save the long way, his first for Tri-City. The win moved the Dust Devils back to .500 on the season, giving the team the chance to get above the mark for the first time since winning on Opening Night.

Game three of the seven-game, six-day series is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch Thursday night at Gesa Stadium. It's Breast Cancer Awareness Night, presented by Inland Imaging, with fans encouraged to wear pink in support of those fighting the disease. Those that do will receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win an item signed by the 2023 Dust Devils.

Righty Connor Van Scoyoc (1-2, 3.51 ERA) will go to the mound for Tri-City, and lefty Adam Macko (1-1, 6.11 ERA) the same for Vancouver. Broadcast coverage begins with the pregame show at 6:10 p.m. both here and at the MiLB First Pitch app.

Tickets for both Thursday's contest and the rest of the series, including a Friday doubleheader, are on sale now. Also, special ticket rates are available for groups of 20 or more. For more information on Dust Devils single game, season, mini-plan (11, 22, 33) and group tickets, visit, call the team office at (509) 544-8789, or visit the team office (10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on game nights, or Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. otherwise).

Images from this story

Tri-City Dust Devils' Werner Blakely at bat
Tri-City Dust Devils' Werner Blakely at bat


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