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Sept. 9, 2008, midnight
Kolette Bailey prepared a big barbecue feast Monday night for her houseguests. Joey Butler and Jacob Kaase just returned from winning the Northwest League pennant. “They called me (Sunday) night and they had dumped champagne all over each other’s heads in the locker room,” Bailey said.
Sept. 4, 2008, midnight
With their last three games of the regular season, the Spokane Indians did exactly what they wanted to do: gain momentum heading into the Northwest League Championship Series. Spokane’s 3-1 win over Boise on Wednesday capped a 51-25 regular-season record, the best in the league by eight games and Spokane’s best since 1987. Tonight at 6:30, the Indians start a best-of-5 series against the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (40-36) at Avista Stadium.
Sept. 3, 2008, midnight
When two Spokane starters got injured two weeks ago and left town for good, the Indians’ depth took a hit. Left fielder Mike Bianucci had added a big bat to the lineup, hitting .316, and Jason Ogata offered a solid mitt at second base. But in Spokane’s 6-4 win over Boise on Tuesday, it became clear that others – coming off injuries, no less – have stepped up to the plate.
Sept. 2, 2008, midnight
Jared Bolden didn’t want to jinx it, but in the bottom of the ninth inning, his team down one run, he had a realization. This is the type of game the Spokane Indians have to be ready for. A close game against a tough opponent – playoff-caliber baseball.
Aug. 29, 2008, midnight
It wasn’t the Indians’ most graceful win, but it was a win nonetheless. Injuries plagued both teams in Spokane’s 7-4 win over the Tri-City Dust Devils on Thursday at Avista Stadium. The Indians (47-23) won their fourth consecutive game and remained six games ahead of Northwest League East Division title contender Boise.
Aug. 28, 2008, midnight
Shaving cream was the ingredient du jour in Jake Kaase’s postgame pie. “I was hoping it was whipped cream, but it’s got a bit of a taste to it,” he said, wiping the foam out of his eyes and hair. He smelled fresh and clean – yep, shaving cream.
Aug. 27, 2008, midnight
The Indians needed this game. They needed to assert their prowess. They needed to dominate. That’s what they did. Spokane attacked early and quickly and took a commanding lead in a 7-0 Northwest League victory over the Tri-City Dust Devils on Tuesday at Avista Stadium.
Aug. 23, 2008, midnight
The Spokane Indians have had a change of pace late in the season. They’ve lost four of their past six series, having not lost a single series before then. With Friday night’s 6-3 loss to Boise, the Indians – in first place in the Northwest League’s East Division – have lost both of their series against the Hawks, who are six games back in second place.
Aug. 21, 2008, midnight
There are 14 games left in the Spokane Indians’ regular season. Eight of them are against the Boise Hawks, the challenger for the Northwest League East Division title. The Indians have lost three out of their past four meetings with the Hawks, including Wednesday’s 3-2 11-inning defeat at Avista Stadium. Boise got the winning run with Kyler Burke’s solo homer off Trevor Hurley.
Aug. 10, 2008, midnight
Dan Thomas and his team knew when they loaded the bases in the top of the ninth that they could pull it off. The Vancouver Canadians were optimistic. The Spokane Indians, Thomas could tell, were down. Then later in the inning came the deal-breaker – Spokane reliever Justin Gutsie threw a wild pitch and let Vancouver’s go-ahead run score from third. The Indians – more to the point, the Indians relievers – had blown a three-run lead and the game, as the Canadians defeated Spokane 7-6 Saturday at Avista Stadium.
July 31, 2008, midnight
In the hierarchy of minor league baseball, nobody wants to move down. But that’s what happened to David Paisano, and that’s how he joined the roster of the Spokane Indians. He’s their hot-hitting center fielder. Heading into tonight’s home game, Paisano was second in the Northwest League in RBIs with 30. He had a .270 batting average and nearly hit for the cycle (he needed a triple) on July 22. So why, earlier this year, did the Texas Rangers send Paisano down from the Clinton (Iowa) LumberKings to the short-season single-A Indians?
July 25, 2008, midnight
The Spokane Indians were close. But close isn’t good enough. The Indians hit two balls hard in the bottom of the 10th inning – both of which fell comfortably into Salem-Keizer gloves – and the Volcanoes held on for a 1-0 Northwest League victory Thursday night at Avista Stadium.
July 23, 2008, midnight
It’s not exactly what Spokane Indians manager Tim Hulett wanted to see: his top pitcher limping and clutching his foot midway through the first inning. Wilfredo Boscan, the Northwest League’s winningest pitcher at 6-0, rolled his right ankle during a play at home plate. The Salem-Keizer run scored and Hulett had to turn to his already-thin bullpen.
July 21, 2008, midnight
Perhaps it was an omen, the ash haze that veiled the hills beyond the Avista Stadium outfield. While the Spokane Indians were on the road, the ash blew in from a volcanic eruption July 12 in Alaska. On Sunday, the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes rumbled into Spokane, ready for an eruption of their own. They buried the Indians 14-2 in the teams’ first meeting of the season.
July 17, 2008, midnight
Perhaps it was a good thing the Spokane Indians lost at home – they were getting a little cocky. Indians players had been using words such as “afraid” and “intimidated” when talking about their homestand opponents these past few weeks. So, was Wednesday’s 8-2 loss to the Yakima Bears a wake-up call?