The Spokane Indians combined a lively offense, sound defense, solid starting pitching and excellent relief pitching Friday night and came up with a 7-3 win over the Eugene Emeralds to open the Northwest League season at Avista Stadium. Spokane and Eugene will play four more games in the series, starting Saturday night. Read story
Hulett said Pinto's superb catch to open the second inning was the spark the led to the Indians' good defensive night.
“He got a great jump on it and he was very comfortable,” Hulett said. “He didn’t panic when he got to the wall.”
“My whole goal was to help the pitcher,” Pinto said. “I didn’t have any doubt that I could catch the ball.”
Spokane's lone error came in the fourth inning. Eugene second baseman Jalen Goree led off with a double to left field and moved to third on a ground out. Nick Schulz, who'd hit the liner that Pinto tracked down in the second, bounced a tricky grounder that Indians third baseman Jose Trevino fielded cleanly. Trevino's throw home hit Goree in the back, allowing the Emeralds to score their first run.
Spokane reliever Pollorena has a different arm angle with his delivery this season.
“Luis has dropped down a little bit further this year, just to get a little more sink on it and keep the ball down in the zone,” Hulett said.
Hulett, who began his eighth season as Indians manager, evened his career mark in Spokane to 266-266.