Sherman Lacrus can go home now, but he and the Spokane Indians proved Tuesday that they won’t leave without a fight.
Lacrus hit his first home run of the season to force extra innings and Connor McKay won the game with an RBI single in the 10th as the Indians avoided postseason elimination with a 7-6 comeback win over Everett at Avista Stadium.
Lacrus launched a one-out, two-run homer to left field on a 3-1 pitch from Joey Strain to tie the game at 6 in the ninth.
“Every day I tell the guys, ‘I’m not going home (to Curacao) without hitting a home run,’ ” Lacrus said. “I finally got it today.”
“Sherman doesn’t hit balls out in (batting practice) even,” Indians manager Tim Hulett said. “He’s a line-drive guy. He knows his lane. He tries to hit line drives. He doesn’t try to hit too many home runs. I don’t know if he tried there, but I’m glad he did.”
“I put a good swing on it and it went out,” Lacrus said. “I knew right away, but I wasn’t trying to hit it out. … I was just trying to hit something hard and it happened.”
McKay, in the game because Hulett sat starting center fielder LeDarious Clark after he didn’t run out a popup in the third, jumped on the first pitch from Kyle Wilcox (2-3) with one out and Jamie Potts at second base in the 10th. Left fielder Logan Taylor, playing in, had little chance to catch the liner over his head.
“(Wilcox) throws down and he has a sharp slider,” McKay said. “I knew he was confident because he was throwing it to everybody, so I just tried to jump on it. They were trying to play for a single to stop that run from scoring, which I guess ended up working to my advantage.”
“They seemed to be a little shallow, but we had a guy on second base and they’re trying to throw the runner out (at home),” Hulett said. “And Connor hit it hard. He smoked it. It was a tough play regardless.”
Spokane (14-19 Northwest League second half) would have been eliminated from its narrow playoffs hopes if North Division-leading Everett (19-14) had won. As it stands, Spokane must win its final five regular-season games, have the AquaSox lose all five of theirs, and get some help from Tri-City and Vancouver.
“We play every game like it’s our last because it very well may be,” McKay said. “But it’s not yet and we’re playing it like it’s not.”
Everett led 6-1 after the top of the seventh, twice aided by poor throws by Indians pitchers on sacrifice bunts. Indians starter Luke Lanphere threw high to first on a bunt in the sixth, leading to Jordan Cowan’s two-run single. Reliever Jacob Shortslef, making his Indians debut, threw high to second in the seventh, opening the door to a four-run inning.
Spokane clawed back, getting two runs in the seventh aided by four walks, and one run in the eighth when Potts doubled and scored on Darius Day’s single.
• Indians outfielder Doug Votolato was transferred to the Double-A Frisco (Texas) RoughRiders. Votolato hit .170 in 32 games with Spokane.
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