There’s some life yet in the Spokane Indians’ bats.
The Indians unleashed a season-high 16 hits and scored a season high for runs Thursday night while dismantling the Everett AquaSox 12-3 in the next-to-last Northwest League regular-season game at Avista Stadium. The Indians’ home schedule wraps up tonight before they begin a three-game, regular season-ending series at Everett on Saturday.
The Indians snapped a three-game losing streak and ended the eight-game winning streak of Everett, which had been 6-1 against Spokane this season. Vying for a postseason spot, Spokane had lost eight of its last 11 games and scored three runs or less in eight of its last 10 games.
The Indians sent 11 batters to the plate and totaled seven hits during their seven-run second inning, and nearly batted around while scoring five runs on five hits in the fifth.
Evan Van Hoosier, Joe Jackson and Gabe Roa had three hits apiece for Spokane. Van Hoosier finished 3 for 3 with a triple, two singles, two walks, two runs and two RBIs. Jackson opened the big second with a single and added a two-run double during the inning.
Spokane (16-18 second half) needs to win its last four games, all against Everett (19-15), to capture the North Division second-half title and play the first-half champion AquaSox in the divisional round of the NWL playoffs.
The Indians can also advance to postseason by having a better overall record than Vancouver. Spokane (36-36) is one game behind Vancouver (37-35) after the Canadians blanked Tri-City 2-0 on Thursday. Vancouver’s final four games are against T-C.
“For us, we have to take care of business every game here and hope Tri-City beats (Vancouver) a couple of times,” Indians manager Tim Hulett said. “But we just have to play these guys.”
The Indians’ outburst came against right-hander Lars Huijer, who entered the game tied for first in league wins and second in earned-run average behind Spokane’s Kelvin Vasquez (2.04), who will start tonight. The Indians lit up Huijer (8-2) for seven earned runs in 12/3 innings as his ERA rose from 2.20 to 3.03.
The early part of the game looked ominous as Indians starter Ryne Slack, trailing 1-0, loaded the bases in the top of the second with his fourth walk. Slack escaped with Justin Seager’s liner to right field.
Jackson’s leadoff single in the second started a sequence of six Indians hits for the first seven batters. The exception was Barrett Serrato’s potential double-play ball to second baseman Bryan Brito, who bobbled the grounder and had to settle for one out. Jamie Jarmon followed by dumping a 1-2 pitch into right field for a two-run double and 2-1 lead. Jarmon and the next four Indians batters all scored.
“That was a nice short, quick swing for (Jarmon) and that was a big hit because the flood gates really opened up after that for us,” Hulett said.
Van Hoosier’s two-run triple highlighted Spokane’s five-hit, five-run fifth.
Van Hoosier scored on the play on second baseman Brito’s scoring error.
By the time the fifth ended, Spokane had season highs for hits and runs. Spokane scored eight runs in its previous four games.
“It’s been obviously frustrating, but we’ve been putting pretty good swings on the ball,” Van Hoosier said. “We’ve just been getting unlucky. Things finally started to go our way today.”