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Spokane Indians pregame: Opening day rematch as Helcris Olivarez faces Eugene in series finale

UPDATED: Sun., May 9, 2021

Happy Mother’s Day!

The Spokane Indians (1-4) host the Eugene Emeralds (4-1) in the finale of a six-game High-A West League series at Avista Stadium on Sunday at 5:09 p.m.

Starters

Indians: LHP Helcris Olivarez (0-1, 6.75 ERA). It’s an Opening Night rematch on the mound. On Tuesday, Olivarez threw two scoreless innings before allowing three home runs in the next two. In four total innings, the Rockies No. 7 prospect allowed three earned runs while striking out three.

Emeralds: RHP Caleb Kilian (0-0, 0.00 ERA). Kilian impressed Tuesday night. The Texas Tech alum struck out nine Spokane batters over four scoreless innings. The right-hander has yet to allow an earned run in his professional career (8 games).

Lineup

1) Diaz-SS

2) Stovall-LF

3) MacIver-C

4) Toglia-DH

5) Datres-3B

6) Cresto-1B

7) Decolati-CF

8) Harris-RF

9) Blomgren-2B

Weather

First pitch – Partly sunny, calm, 63. Final out – clear, 52.

Player to watch

1B Michael Toglia. Toglia has been catching eyes for the long ball, but his patience at the plate is equally impressive. The Rockies No. 3 prospect leads the High-A West with eight walks, three of which came last night. His OPS is a ridiculous 1.688.

Last game

Starter Karl Kauffmann – pitching for the first time in a game since the 2019 College World Series with University of Michigan – was dominant, while Michael Toglia and Cade Harris supplied the power and the Indians slugged their way to their first win, a 10-6 decision over the Emeralds.

Toglia hit a two-run homer, his fourth of the season, in the fourth inning and Harris clubbed a three-run shot in a six-run fifth.

Spokane build leads of 8-0 and 10-2 before Eugene chipped away against the bullpen in the latter innings.

“Finally,” Indians manager Scott Little said of the first win. “I mean, it wasn’t like it was easy. It felt like pins and needles there at the end.”

Kauffmann didn’t look rusty at all after a layoff of two years. He faced the minimum over five innings, allowing no hits and two walks, with both free passes wiped out on double plays. He threw 69 pitches, 37 for strikes, with six groundouts and two fly outs.

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