EVERETT – The Spokane Indians clinched the Northwest League North Division first-half championship Sunday when Jonah McReynolds drilled a two-out, two-run single in the top of the eighth inning, capping two late rallies for a 5-4 victory over the Everett AquaSox.
With the victory the Indians (21-16) increased their lead over the second-place AquaSox (18-19) to three games with one game remaining in the first half.
Things were not looking good for the Indians through the first six innings. Trailing 3-0, Spokane had managed just two baserunners against Everett starter Tim Elliott and reliever Jorge Benitez – a single by Kellen Strahm to lead off the game and a sixth-inning walk to Cristian Inoa. But the Indians’ fortunes changed in the seventh as Benitez worked his fourth inning.
David Garcia walked to lead off the inning. Luis Asuncion worked a one-out walk and Scott Kapers loaded the bases when he was hit by a pitch. McReynolds singled to left to drive in Spokane’s first run, keeping the bases loaded. Obie Ricumstrict followed with a two-run single, knotting the score at 3. Benitez ended the inning by retiring Inoa on a lineout to left field and striking out Stanley Martinez.
The AquaSox answered in the bottom of the seventh against Spokane reliever Triston Polley (2-0). Trent Tingelstad drew a one-out walk, stole second with two outs and scored on Cesar Izturis Jr.’s double for a 4-3 lead.
But the Indians put together the game’s final rally in the eighth. Strahm singled off Everett reliever Brock Minich (0-3) leading off the inning. Blaine Crim singled to right with one out, sending Strahm to third. Asuncion was hit by a pitch, loading the bases. Starling Joseph popped out to short for the second out, but McReynolds followed with his go-ahead hit and Daniel Robert closed out the game with two scoreless innings, recording his second save.
Spokane closes out the first half at Everett tonight at 7:05.
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