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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


NWL opener brought out early blunders

The Spokane Indians and Hillsboro Hops had all sorts of defensive woes during the first one-third of Thursday's Northwest League baseball opener at Avista Stadium. Read game story


Spokane won the game in exciting fashion, on Dylan Moore's two-out RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning, but the first three innings produced a comedy of errors.


The Indians and Hops committed three errors apiece on the night, five of which came during the first 2 1/2 innings.


"The defense was a little shaky at times, but sometimes that’s just Opening Day," Indians manager Tim Hulett said. "We’ll get over that. That’s just the jitters."


It started in the top of the second when Spokane's 2-0 lead evaporated after a pair of outfield errors. With two outs and Nate Robertson on third base, Indians center fielder Darius Day lost Fernery Ozuna's high fly in the sun. Day turned around and seemed ready to make the play, but he dropped the ball for a four-base error and 2-all game.


"It’s hard to see the ball off the bat," Hulett said. "I don’t think (Day) knew exactly where he was. He was feeling for it and the wind was blowing hard, right to left … and right at the last minute I think he had it, but he just panicked a little bit. He’s a pretty good outfielder. We’ll take our chances with him.


The Hops returned the favor with two errors during Spokane's two-run second for a 4-2 lead. Yeyson Yrizarri knocked a two-out RBI single to center to score Day from third base. LeDarius Clark moved from first to third on the hit and took home when center fielder Dane McFarland threw high to third base.


Hillsboro's two-run third started with Raymel Flores reaching first base when shortstop Yrizarri's throw pulled first baseman Diego Cedeno off the bag.


The only other error came during Spokane's sixth. It, too, produced a run. Doug Votolato led off with a bunt single and took second when catcher Nate Irving threw wildly to first. Votolato later scored on a wild pitch for a brief 5-4 lead.


Despite the early errors, the teams played well for most of the night and produced some timely hits, including Moore's winner.


"It means everything," Moore said. "My first professional game and I can’t thank all the people who helped make this possible, family members and everyone back home (in California). I’ve been working hard and this is very surreal for me right now."



Chris Derrick
Chris Derrick joined The Spokesman-Review in 1990. He currently is a copy editor for the Sports Desk.

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