It only took one swing from Blaine Prescott to change the course of the game.
Prescott sent a first-pitch fastball over the left-center field fence with the bases loaded to give the Indians the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. Spokane hung on, edging the Boise Hawks 9-6 for its fourth consecutive victory on Wednesday at Avista Stadium.
Charles LeBlanc singled the opposite way, Travis Bolin reached on an error on an attempted fielder’s choice and Darius Day walked to load the bases for Prescott, who delivered in emphatic fashion off Boise right-hander Brandon Gold.
“If you make a bad pitch, he can get you,” Spokane manager Tim Hulett said. “He really saved us tonight.”
Scott said he saw a fastball on the upper-inside corner, which is “just where he likes it.”
Prescott was 3 for 5 with five RBIs and two runs scored to kick-start the Indians’ offense.
For Prescott, who was the Rangers’ 28th-round pick in 2015, said he didn’t expect to get drafted. But it wasn’t because he didn’t think he was good enough. A hamstring injury in his sophomore season at Midland College derailed his chances, or so he thought.
“I knew there was a chance, but I wasn’t really getting my hopes up,” Prescott said.
Once his name was called by the Rangers, it was a tough decision for him on whether to finish out the season and transfer to Texas Tech, a short 1 1/2-hour drive from his home in Amarillo, Texas, or sign on the dotted line. But his desire to play baseball at the professional level was vigorous enough that it wasn’t a difficult choice.
“My dad said that when I was a little kid I would get my spoon eating cereal and swing it like a bat,” Prescott said. “It was my dream to play professional baseball ever since I was a little kid.”
The Indians added to their lead in the same inning as Prescott’s grand slam, as Stephen Lohr drove in Chad Smith on a single to right field to push the Indians’ lead to 8-5.
After Kaleb Fontenot’s wild pitch scored Willie Abreu and cut the Indians’ lead to two in the seventh, Xavier Turner, who is 10 for 14 in the series against Boise, doubled to the right-field corner to score Seth Spivey and the Indians’ lead climbed back to three.
Boise got to Spokane starter Tyler Phillips early and often, first in the second inning with an RBI single from Eric Toole and a two-run double from Garrett Hampson to go up 3-0.
Willie Abreu tripled to right-center field to score Luis Castro and Bobby Stahel roped an RBI single to left field to tack on two more runs for Boise in the third, and provide the Hawks a 5-0 cushion.
Phillips left after five innings, surrendering eight hits and five earned runs.
In the bottom of the third, Prescott doubled to left field to score Day and to give the Indians their first runs of the game.
Day walked with the bases loaded, scoring Turner and reducing the lead to 5-3.
Spivey was 3 for 5 and Lohr, Day and Turner each drove in a run for Spokane.
Tyler Ferguson pitched 3 2/3 innings of relief striking out six and giving up one run (unearned) and earned the win.
Johan Juan threw a scoreless ninth for his second save of the season, which leads the team.
Willie Abreu was 2 for 4 with three runs scored and two RBIs to lead Boise.
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