The Redband Rally successfully rescued the Spokane Indians (9-15) as Clay Middleton led a ninth inning comeback to walk off the Hillsboro Hops (13-11), 10-9, in Saturday night’s Northwest League game at Avista Stadium.
With runners at second and third and two down, Middleton’s line-drive single to right scored Chad Smith from third to instigate the walk-off celebration. The winner capped a three-run ninth inning rally.
To top it off, the rally was followed by a firework show which made an even more memorable and enjoyable night for fans in attendance to witness the debut of the Indians new redband trout uniforms and mascot.
Spokane starter Luis Lopez encountered trouble early on as Hillsboro tagged him for two runs in the first inning and five runs in the second inning.
The Indians countered with two runs of their own in the first and a lone run in the second to cut the Hillsboro lead to 7-3.
Hillsboro starter Mitchell Aker surrendered another run in the fourth inning and was lifted in favor of Luis Castillo after giving up another run in the fifth for a 7-5 score.
Castillo didn’t fare any better, as Andretty Cordero uncorked his fourth home run of the season, good for two runs and to tie the game at 7.
Eudy Ramos broke the tie in the sixth inning with a run-scoring single to put Hillsboro ahead 8-7, but was thrown out advancing to second to conclude the inning.
Catcher Daulton Varsho added to the Hillsboro lead with a two on, two-out double to score Bryan Araiza for a 9-7 lead.
Reliever Erbert Gonzalez took over the ninth inning for Hillsboro and allowed three consecutive singles, with Chad Smith’s RBI single initiating the rally and cutting the lead to 9-8.
Smith’s single moved Jonah McReynolds to third base, representing the tying run.
Smith took off for second base and Varsho threw the ball into centerfield, which permitted McReynolds to score and tie the game.
Middleton then delivered the decisive blow with a single to right to score Smith for the walk-off win.
The teams battle for the fourth time in a five-game series on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
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