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Spokane Indians Rally, But Comeback Fails; Eugene wins 12-8

May 4 – The Spokane Indians are off to a great start this season in the Northwest League. They didn’t get the “W” at Avista Stadium on Saturday night, but they showed resilience when it would have been easy to crater.

The Indians fell behind 8-0 early, but made it a one-point game late before falling 12-8 to the Eugene Emeralds. The Indians (15-7) and Emeralds (18-8) have traded wins and first place in the league all week, with the Ems on top for now.

“Definitely not the end result of the game that we wanted,” Spokane outfielder Robby Martin Jr. said. “But it was definitely good that we went down so early, to not sit still and just close it out. We kept fighting and doing what we could do. We didn’t get the result, but it was a good fight. “

Spokane will try to earn a share of the series on Sunday.

“It’s definitely a big series for us. Both teams are really good,” Martin said. “Really good teams throughout the lineup, the pitching staff is good, so it’s definitely been a battle. But it’s a good matchup.”

Trailing 8-0 in the bottom of the seventh, Spokane staged a big rally.

Juan Guerrero led off with a single and advanced to third base on consecutive walks. Trevor Boone singled to right to score the Indians’ first run of the game.

Parker Kelly and Braiden Ward struck out, but Dyan Jorge walked to force a run and Eugene changed pitchers.

It didn’t help. Julio Rodriguez walked Kyle Karros for another run, then Martin singled deep into the gap at second to score two runs. Martin advanced to second base on a throwing error.

“Big inning with a big rally,” Martin said. “I was just trying to keep going and keep the momentum on our side. He walked the two guys in front of me, so I was just trying to get them in the right position, get a good pitch to hit. Not the best swing.” it, but it got the job done.”

Guerrero singled and scored two more runs to complete the seven-run inning.

Unfortunately, the momentum didn’t carry over to relief pitcher Brayan Castillo, who walked three before allowing Turner Hill’s second home run of the day, a grand slam that took the wind out of the Indians’ sails.

Spokane’s Conner Staine made his third start of the season and was ineffective.

The 23-year-old played just 2 2/3 innings and allowed seven earned runs on five hits, including four walks. He struck out two, allowed three home runs and threw 66 pitches, including 38 for strikes.

Staine was greeted rudely in the first inning when No. 2 hitter Quinn McDaniel crushed a fastball from the caboose for his second home run of the season.

The Ems blew the game open in the third. Hill led off the inning with a solo homer. Staine issued back-to-back walks and on a groundout, he hit Tanner O’Tremba to force a run. That brought up Scott Bandura, who homered over the scoreboard in right-center for a grand slam and a 7-0 lead.

Staine then walked Hill – the 10th batter he faced in the inning – and manager Robinson Cancel called on Anderson Bido, who caused McDaniel to fly out to end the inning.

Staine threw 35 pitches in the inning.

Despite the loss, the Indians compete every game and are ready to compete against Eugene all summer long.

“It’s been a lot of fun so far,” says Martin. “The clubhouse, the great team, everyone comes together. Everyone gets along, on and off the field.”