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Austin O’Banion homer lifts Spokane Indians over Boise Hawks

UPDATED: Sat., June 17, 2017, 10:16 p.m.

By Johnathan Curley For The Spokesman-Review

On Star Wars Night at Avista Stadium, Austin O’Banion used The Force to hit a sixth-inning home run off Boise left-handed reliever Kyle Cedotal and the Spokane Indians beat the Hawks 3-2 on Saturday night in Northwest League action.

“Right before my at-bat, my hitting coach said that the starter had a pretty good change-up so he said move up in the box, look for a pitch up you can handle, put a good swing on it, and that’s exactly what I did,” O’Banion said.

Indians starting pitcher Tyler Phillips went 5 1/3 innings, allowing two earned runs on seven hits – including a home run – and one walk while striking out three.

“My fastball felt pretty good tonight,” Phillips said, “but I mean my curveball has been struggling and tonight it was on.”

The Indians (1-1) struck early in the second inning against Boise starting pitcher Rico Garcia with an RBI single by catcher Yohel Pozo.

Boise tied the game in the top of the fourth inning with an RBI single from their catcher, Christian Correa. The Indians offense quickly responded in the bottom half, with Kobie Taylor driving in the go-ahead run in only his second professional at-bat.

Boise (1-1) tied it in the top of the sixth with a leadoff home run by Avery Romero before O’Banion provided the difference-maker in the home half.

The Indians shut out the Hawks for the final three innings, including a save by sidewinder Ronny Carvajal, who went two perfect innings with two strikeouts.

The teams play a doubleheader on Sunday starting at 3:30 p.m. Each game will last seven innings.

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