There’s an old baseball adage that says there are two types of pitchers: ones who are hurt and ones who don’t know they’re hurt.
David Hill knows it all too well.
The Colorado Rockies’ fourth-round pick in 2015 out of University of San Diego has had his troubles staying in the lineup as a pro. He pitched in eight games for short-season Boise the year he was drafted and 14 starts for Low-A Asheville in 2016 before missing the rest of that season with an injury.
He missed all of 2017 and made seven starts for High-A Lancaster in 2018 before being shut down again. He did not pitch in 2019 – and nobody pitched in 2020.
Hill didn’t go long at Avista Stadium on Thursday night, but taking the hill at all was a personal victory.
More than 3½ hours after Hill threw his last pitch, the Eugene Emeralds rallied for four runs in the top of the 10th inning, sending the Indians to their third straight loss to start the season, an 8-4 decision.
Leading off the 10th, Logan Wyatt ripped a single to right off reliever Moises Ceja to plate free runner Hunter Bishop from second. Diego Rincones crushed one high into the net in left-center for a three-run lead and Ismael Mungia followed with a high fly that the breeze helped over the wall.
Hill’s first inning couldn’t have gone any more smoothly, with a strikeout and a pair of soft-contact groundouts.
Spokane got on the board in the bottom half. Eddy Diaz walked and stole second, then scored on a one-out single by Aaron Schunk. With two down, Brenton Doyle singled and Michael Toglia walked. Both moved up on a wild pitch but were stranded when Johnny Cresto struck out.
The second did not go as well for Hill, the 26-year old righty. Wyatt led off with a single, took second and third on wild pitches and scored on Rincones’ RBI double.
After a single by Mungia, manager Scott Little lifted Hill. His comeback lasted four outs and 32 pitches, 22 for strikes.
Lefty Nick Bush entered and picked off Mungia to end the inning with no more damage.
The Indians rallied in the second. With one down, Kyle Datres singled through the right side and stole second. Daniel Cope walked and Diaz followed with an RBI single. Hunter Stovall came up with the infield drawn in and bounced one over short to plate two more runs for a 4-1 lead.
There was more traffic on the bases in the third, as the Indians had first and third with one down, but Kyle Datres bounced into a 6-4-3 double play to quash the rally.
With two down in the sixth, the Ems’ Sean Roby tried to stretch a line-drive single in to a double, but Nico Decolati kept it from going to the wall and fired a strike to cut-off man Aaron Schunk, who flipped it to second to nail Roby and end the inning.
It stayed that way until the eighth. Bishop came through for the Ems with a two-run double, then Eugene scratched one out in the ninth to tie it.
Spokane reliever Nick Bush went 3⅔ scoreless on two hits and a walk with one strikeout.
Riley Pint, the Rockies’ first-round pick in 2016 who has battled arm injuries, got two called strikeouts on sliders in a perfect inning of relief in the seventh.