VANCOUVER, B.C. – No. 9 hitter Obie Ricumstrict’s two-run home run capped a five-run sixth inning on Sunday as the Spokane Indians defeated the Vancouver Canadians 7-4 in the rubber game of a three-game Northwest League season-opening series at Nat Bailey Stadium.
Cristian Inoa singled to lead off the Indians’ big inning and moved to second on a groundout. Starling Joseph drew a walk and both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Luis Asuncion ripped a two-run double and Scott Kapers followed with an RBI double and set the stage for Ricumstrict’s first homer of the season.
Spokane (2-1) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning, rallying after the first two batters were retired. Asuncion started things with a double. Kapers was hit by a pitch and Jonah McReynolds followed with a run-scoring single. Ricumstrict singled in Kapers for the second run.
Indians starter Joshua Javier was stellar in his Spokane debut, although he didn’t qualify for the win. Javier, a left-hander, allowed just one hit – a two-out single by Yorman Rodriguez in the first inning – in four shutout innings of work. He struck out six of the 13 batters he faced and didn’t allow a walk in his 57-pitch outing.
Reliever Glen Richardson (1-0) followed and was credited with the win after allowing two unearned runs while pitching an inning.
After Spokane pushed the lead to 7-2, the Canadians (1-2) scored a run in the eighth and another in the ninth off Spokane reliever Juan Castillo before Sam Hellinger entered with a man on and struck out the final two batters, recording his first save of the season.
The Indians begin a four-game series against the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes on Monday in Keizer, Oregon.
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