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Tyler Ratliff’s pinch-hit single delivers comeback win for Spokane Indians

The Spokane Indians staged three separate comebacks in Monday night’s Northwest League series finale against the Eugene Emeralds en route to a 6-5 walkoff win led by Tyler Ratliff’s clutch pinch-hit, run-scoring single in the ninth inning.

Jhonny Bethancourt walked as the game’s first batter against Spokane starter Demarcus Evans and scored on a Gustavo Polanco sacrifice fly after stealing both second and third base.

In Evans’ first start with the Indians, he allowed five hits, four runs, three walks and struck out four in four innings.

Spokane first baseman Curtis Terry responded in the second inning with his eighth home run of the season to tie the game at one.

Evans then allowed back-to-back doubles with Eugene right-fielder Brandon Hughes driving in Jared Young for a one-run Emeralds lead in the third. A third double by Polanco scored Hughes and extended their lead to 3-1 in the third.

Rangers first-round draft pick Chris Seise began the Spokane fourth with a single, followed by a walk then a double by catcher Clayton Middleton to score Seise and reduce the deficit to one run. Terry continued the fourth inning rally with a two-run single to left-field to tie the game.

Bethancourt began the top of the seventh with a single off of Spokane reliever and Alex Speas.

Speas threw to first on a pickoff attempt, but the ball skipped away and allowed Bethancourt to advance to third. Hughes lofted a fly ball to centerfielder Miguel Aparicio which drove in Bethancourt for Eugene to regain a one-run lead.

With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, the Indians staged yet another comeback on a single, a walk, and a throwing error to load the bases. Seise walked against relief pitcher Enrique De Los Rios with the bases loaded to push across the tying run.

Indians reliever Lucas Jacobsen struck out the Eugene side in the top of the ninth.

Outfielder Nick Kaye singled to begin the ninth and Chad Smith followed with an intentional walk to put the winning run on second base.

Northwest League All-Star Ratliff pinch-hit for Jonah McReynolds with two outs laced a line drive out of the reach of Eugene right-fielder Hughes to drive in Kaye with the winning run.

The Indians travel to Everett Memorial Stadium on Tuesday to begin a three-game road series against the Everett Aquasox.

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