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Spokane Indians done in by Hillsboro’s two-run ninth inning rally

UPDATED: Thu., July 20, 2017, 10:48 p.m.

From staff reports

HILLSBORO, Ore. – Tra’mayne Holmes singled in Drew Ellis in the ninth inning off Josh Advocate and the Hillsboro Hops used a two-out, two-run rally to walk off the Spokane Indians 6-5 in the first of a five-game Northwest League series at Ron Tonkin Field on Thursday.

Advocate (L, 0-2) entered the game two-for-two in save opportunities, but he didn’t retire a batter of the three he faced.

Hillsboro (21-14) trailed 5-4 entering the ninth. Indians’ reliever Lucas Jacobsen struck out Bryan Araiza looking and got Eudy Ramos swinging before giving up a single to Pavin Smith.

Manager Matt Hagen called on Advocate to face Drew Ellis, and he walked Ellis on four pitches. Advocate then left a breaking ball up in the zone and Camden Duzenack laced a single to plate Smith to tie it at 5-5.

Holmes then drove a single to center on an 0-1 count for the game-winner.

Spokane starter Tyree Thompson gave up three runs on six hits over four innings with four strikeouts.

Hillboro broke on top in the second. Smith led off with a double, Ellis walked and Duzenack was hit by a pitch to load the bases. After a visit to the mound, Thompson got a double-play ball – allowing the run to score – and struck out Dan Swain to limit the damage to just one run.

The Indians managed two hits and a walk, with just one runner reaching second base, through the first four innings.

In the bottom half, Hillsboro added to its lead. Smith singled through the right side to lead off, went to second on a single by Ellis, and scored on Duzenack’s single to left. Holmes followed with a single to load them up again with no outs, which prompted another mound conference.

Thompson coaxed Tim Susnara to fly out on the next pitch, Dan Swain struck out and Yan Sanchez flied to right to end the threat.

Spokane (14-21) rallied to score all its runs in the fifth. Melvin Novoa led off with a double and scored on Kole Enright’s second triple of the season. Matt Whatley was hit by a pitch, then promptly stole second. Nick Kaye lofted a fly to right for the first out of the inning sand Enright tied the game on the sacrifice.

Miguel Aparicio followed with a single to center and Whatley plated the go-ahead run. Chad Smith continued the hit parade with a single to right to move Aparicio to third, and Hillsboro opted for a pitching change.

Luis Castillo entered to face Tyler Ratliff, and the third baseman lined a single to center which Holmes misplayed and both runners came around to score, with Ratliff ending up on second. A pair of groundouts ended the five-run inning.

Hillsboro got one back in the bottom half. Bryan Araiza led off with a walk, went to third on Eudy Ramos’ double and after a pitching change to Joseph Kuzia, scored on Smith’s groundout. Later in the frame, Ramos was thrown out trying to score on a comebacker to the mound.

The Indians loaded the bases in the sixth on a pair of walks and a single, but stranded all three.

The Hops bit into the deficit again in the seventh. With one down. Smith doubled to left. Ellis grounded to third, but Ratliff’s throwing error allowed Smith to score, though Ellis was tagged out trying to advance to second on the play.

The Indians face the Hops again on Friday in Hillsboro at 7:05 p.m.

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