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Spokane Indians

Spokane Indians clinch first-half title, playoff spot with 5-4 win in extras over Vancouver

From staff reports

VANCOUVER, B.C. – The Spokane Indians are heading to the Northwest League playoffs.

The Indians scored on a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning to edge the Vancouver Canadians 5-4 on Sunday in the finale of a seven-game series at Nat Bailey Stadium to claim the league’s first-half title and clinch home field in the postseason series.

The first-place Indians (36-24) are 41/2 games ahead of Hillsboro (32-29) and Eugene (31-29) with four games to play in the first half. Spokane is 16-3 against Vancouver (27-32) this season.

With automatic runner Dyan Jorge at second base in the 10th, Kyle Karros was hit by a pitch and both runners moved up on a wild pitch. Juan Guerrero lined out to medium deep left, but Jorge beat the throw home to put the Indians up 5-4.

Carson Skipper (5-1) tossed a 1-2-3 bottom half for the win.

Vancouver forced extra innings with a solo homer off Skipper in the ninth. Dylan Rock lined a shot to the short fence in left where Guerrero jumped for the catch. But when he crashed into the fence the ball popped out of his glove and over the fence.

Lefty Ryan Rolison got the start for Spokane on a rehab assignment from Triple-A Albuquerque. Vancouver designated hitter Jackson Hornung hit a two-run homer in the first inning, but Rolison settled down and got through three innings without allowing another run. He gave up four hits and no walks with one strikeout.

The Indians tied it in the third. Cole Carrigg singled, went to second on a wild pitch, stole third and scored on a throwing error by the catcher. With two down, Karros singled, stole second and came home on a single by Jake Snider.

Vancouver took the lead in the fourth on a solo home run by Peyton Williams – his first of the year – off normal Sunday starter Connor Staine, who piggybacked on the rehab start by Rolison.

That lead didn’t last long as the Indians tied it again in the fifth. Jesus Bugarin led off with a double and went to third on a single by Carrigg. Jorge hit into a double play, but Bugarin came home to make it 3-3.

Spokane broke the tie in the eighth inning. With two down Jack Blomgren singled and stole second, then Jose Cordova lined a double into the right field corner for an RBI double.

Staine went five innings and gave up one run on five hits and one walk with five strikeouts. He threw 81 pitches, 47 for strikes.