Joe Jackson experienced two flashbacks when he came to the plate in the bottom of the 10th inning Friday with runners at the corners in a 5-all game.
First, he thought back to the eighth inning, when he grounded into a double play with the Spokane Indians trailing the Tri-City Dust Devils 5-4.
Next, he watched as his liner headed toward diving T-C right fielder Julian Yan, as it did in the third inning Thursday on a trapped single that ended in a bizarre double play.
This time, however, the ball went in and out of Yan’s glove long enough for Marcus Greene to scamper home from third base for a 6-5 Indians comeback win at Avista Stadium.
“That would have been a really tough throw for (Yan) to make if he caught it,” Jackson said. “It might have been a close play, it might not have. Who knows?”
What the Indians do know is that the victory, capping a 3-5 homestand, gave them a boost heading into the final nine games of the regular season. Spokane (14-15 North Division second half) remained one game behind Everett after the AquaSox (15-14) rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat Vancouver 3-2, but Tri-City and Vancouver both slipped three games back at 12-17.
The Indians will begin a three-game series at Vancouver tonight. After a day off Tuesday, Spokane will return home for three games with Everett. They’ll complete the regular season with three games at Everett.
The Indians rallied twice, thanks to shortstop Gabe Roa. His three-run double to left-center in the fourth tied the game at 4, and his RBI single off the glove of NWL saves leader Trent Daniel knotted the score at 5 in the ninth.
Roa atoned for two errors in the second, when T-C took a 3-0 lead.
The Dust Devils were cooking up more trouble in the fourth, when they loaded the bases with one out while leading 4-1. Indians starter Ryne Slack escaped with a strikeout and flyout.
After Roa’s bases-clearing double tied the game, the Indians went 4 2/3 innings without a hit. T-C took a 5-4 lead with two out in the eighth when Pat Valaika, who had struck out three times, doubled home Sean Dwyer on a 0-2 pitch from Abel De Los Santos.
Ryan Cordell ended Spokane’s dry spell by leading off the ninth with a single off Daniel, who had 14 saves and a 0.48 ERA. Cordell moved to second on Barrett Serrato’s sacrifice and stole third base to set up Roa’s tying hit.
John Straka (2-1) pitched a scoreless ninth and 10th to earn the win.