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Thursday, July 9, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Indians walk away with wild road victory

Opportunistic Spokane leads series

Spokane third baseman Matt West tags out Vladimir Frias between third and home plate. Statesman Journal (Andrea J. Wright Statesman Journal / The Spokesman-Review)
Spokane third baseman Matt West tags out Vladimir Frias between third and home plate. Statesman Journal (Andrea J. Wright Statesman Journal / The Spokesman-Review)
By DAN ITEL Salem Statesman Journal

KEIZER, Ore. – Volcanoes fans probably thought game two of the Northwest League championship series was strange.

Well, the Spokane Indians’ 11-10, 10-inning victory Friday against the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes was commonplace compared to what happened in game three on Saturday at Volcanoes Stadium.

The Volcanoes blew a 10-2 lead, tied the team record with 14 walks, committed four errors in an 11-10 loss. With the win, Spokane takes a 2-1 series lead and has a chance to clinch the championship tonight.

Spokane scored its 11 runs on just five hits and at one point had seven runs on just one hit. The Volcanoes used six pitchers – five after the fifth inning.

The wheels first started coming off for the Volcanoes in the top of the sixth inning. Spokane scored five runs on no hits as three Volcanoes pitchers walked six batters and allowed a run on a wild pitch. To make matters worse, third baseman Jose Flores made a fielding error that led to a run. That cut the Volcanoes’ 10-2 lead to 10-7.

Then in the seventh inning, a run-scoring double by Doug Hogan, only Spokane’s second hit at the time, made the score 10-8.

Another two walks by Volcanoes pitchers, a sacrifice fly by Eric Fry and a RBI hit by Joey Butler led to two more runs to tie the game at 10.

The comeback was completed with two outs in the ninth inning. No. 9 hitter Kyle Higgins singled and moved to second on a throwing error by Flores. Higgins then scored the winning run on an infield single by Jared Bolden.

It was an inauspicious start for the Volcanoes and starting pitcher Ari Ronick. He walked David Paisano with two outs and then gave up a two-run home run to Fry.

The Volcanoes answered back in the bottom of the inning, sparked by a leadoff single by Pepe Frias and a double by Ryan Lormand. Frias was thrown out on the double trying to score from first.

But Lormand scored on an infield single by Mike Loberg, cutting the lead to 2-1.

The Salem-Keizer bats really got going in the second inning.

Dan Cook blasted the first pitch of the inning from Spokane starter Neil Ramirez over the right-field wall.

With one out, Casey Bond struck out but reached base on a wild pitch. He moved to third on a Spokane fielding error on a Caleb Curry ground ball.

Bond scored on a sacrifice fly, and Curry came home on a Lormand single to give the Volcanoes a 4-2 lead.

Loberg banged a home run over the right-field wall to lead off the third inning. With the bases loaded, Ramirez walked home a run to give the Volcanoes a 6-2 lead. The Volcanoes wasted a chance to really blow it open when Lormand popped out to end the inning with the bases loaded.

The Volcanoes batted around in a four-run fifth inning to extend the lead to 10-2. Frias, Lormand, Loberg and Cook all had RBI hits in the inning.

Ronick settled down after the first inning and didn’t allow another hit through four more. He lasted five innings, allowed two runs on one hit and struck out six.

Justin Gutsie and winner Trevor Hurley pitched two hitless innings apiece for Spokane.

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