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Bullpen meltdown sends Spokane Indians to 11-5 loss to Vancouver

UPDATED: Wed., Sept. 8, 2021

Zac Cook’s single in the eighth inning broke a late tie and opened the floodgates as the Vancouver Canadians beat the visiting Spokane Indians 11-5 in the second of a six-game High-A West series in Hillsboro, Oregon.

[BOX SCORE courtesy]

The Indians (61-47) fell to second place in the league, one-half game behind Eugene (63-48), which topped Everett (60-50) 11-5.

Vancouver scored six in the bottom of the eighth against three releivers. Davis Schneider and Trevor Schwecke drew back-to-back walks off Jake Sommers, who was then lifted in favor of Fineas Del Bonta-Smith.

Cook greeted the new reliever with a single to right to plate Schneider, then Eric Rivera walked following an eight-pitch at-bat to load the bases. Tanner Morris followed with an RBI single to make it 7-5.

Consecutive hits by Spencer Horwitz and Rafael Lantigua made it 10-5.

Del Bonta-Smith faced seven batters and recorded one out, allowing four hits and two walks.

Horwitz went 3 for 5 with three RBIs. The 23-year-old infielder extended his hitting streak to 26 games, tying the Northwest League/High-A West record set by Gary Johnson of Tri-City in 1962 and Anthony Laurenzi of Medford in 1982.

The Indians took an early lead. Grant Lavigne led off the second inning with a walk off C’s starter Adam Kloffenstein. Lavigne stole second base then scored on a single by Aaron Schunk to make it 1-0.

But Indians starter Helcris Olivarez made trouble for himself in the third. 

He hit leadoff hitter Cook, then committed a throwing error on a comebacker by Rivera to put runners on the corners. Morris walked, then Horwitz blooped one down the right field line to plate a run.

Olivarez committed a balk to force in another run and two more scored on a groundout and sacrifice fly to put the C’s up 4-1.

Olivarez lasted just 3 1/3 innings. He allowed four runs, two earned, on three hits and two walks with two hit batters and a balk.

The Indians came back in the fifth.

Austin Bernard led off with a double and went to third on a bunt single by Jack Blomgren. Isaac Collins laced a triple to center to plate both, then scored on a double by Ezequiel Tovar.

Tover later scored on a wild pitch to make it 5-4.

Vancouver tied it in the bottom half as Lantigua doubled and scored on a single by Philip Clarke, who finished with three RBIs.

Around the league

Eugene 11, Everett 5: Brett Auerbach and Sean Roby homered and the Emeralds (63-48) beat the visiting AquaSox (60-50). It was Roby’s league-leading 19th home. Auerbach finished 2 for 5 with five RBIs.

Hillsboro at Tri-City: The game between the visiting Hops (48-59) and the Dust Devils (42-64) was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns for Tri-City. It was the Dust Devils fourth straight cancellation.

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