Sports

Spokane Indians drop game to Vancouver

Some mistakes are more costly than others. Just ask the Spokane Indians.

One night after being held to a combined three hits, the Indians got the wheels turning on offense, only to see their rally attempt squandered by errors as the Vancouver Canadians went on to an 11-4 Northwest League baseball victory Saturday night in front of 6,864 fans at Avista Stadium.

“Sometimes you make errors and they don’t hurt you,” Indians manager Tim Hulett said. “Tonight was one of those nights when it really hurt. The wheels fell off the cart.”

At least there was a cart to fall off of on Saturday – which was an improvement from Friday’s 8-1 season-opening loss to the Canadians (2-0).

After falling behind 4-0 in the first inning, Spokane (0-2) struggled to send a handful of runners in scoring position across the plate until Christopher Garia hopped into the driver’s seat in the bottom of the seventh.

Garia’s bases-loaded triple to the track finally put Spokane, which left seven runners on base altogether, on the scoreboard.

Indians catcher Joe Maloney led off with a line drive to left, Barrett Serrato walked and Gabriel Roa followed with a single to load the bases for Garia with no outs.

Garia drilled a shot to center, and after a pitching change for the Canadians, Garia scored on Nick Urbanus’ groundout to pull the Indians within two runs at 6-4.

“When we get back in a game like that, we’d really like to put up a zero on the board in the next inning and get the offense back out there,” Hulett said.

Instead, Spokane made a pair of errors in the eighth and allowed three unearned runs to score in the four-run inning. The Canadians added another run in the ninth.

“That was rough,” Hulett said. “Again, we’ve got to clean that stuff up.”

Also rough was Jose Valdepsina’s start for Spokane on the mound.

“He’s got great stuff,” Hulett said. “He’s young and I think he was very nervous tonight. He threw a lot of pitches in the first inning and we want to protect his arm, so it was tough on him today.”

The Willemstad, Curacao, native faced the first six batters – walking four and giving up four runs on two hits – before he was replaced by Shawn Blackwell. He helped the Indians out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the inning and scattered four hits and two runs over the next three innings.

“It’s always better when you get some hits and score some runs but we need to do better than just one inning,” Hulett said.

Gonzaga University product Royce Bolinger got his first hit as a pro and a Spokane Indian on a line drive to left in the sixth.



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