SPOKANE -- After falling behind Everett 3-0 in the first inning, the Indians had their work cut out for them.
Unfortunately, despite a valiant effort from their bullpen and offense, the early hole proved too much on the season’s penultimate night. Spokane twice rallied to within one run, but fell short in a 7-5 loss to the AquaSox in front of 4,922 fans at Avista Stadium.
Carlos Melo (1-1) struggled to find the strike zone in his first start of the season, allowing three runs in the first inning on two walks, a hit batter, and a base hit from Everett third baseman Ramon Morla. Lefty Juan Grullon kept Spokane in the game with 3.1 strong innings of relief spanning from the second to the fifth, allowing just one unearned run and striking out five.
The Indians answered the Aquasox early scoring with single runs in the second and the fourth on sacrifice flies from Jimmy Swift and Zach Cone. Everett scored twice more in the sixth against Phil Klein to extend their lead to 6-3, and Spokane squandered an opportunity in the bottom of the inning, as the Indians plated just one run after putting runners at first and third with no one out.
Brett Nicholas’ ringing double to left-center in the seventh scored Hanser Alberto and Rougned Odor to bring the Indians within one run at 6-5, but Aquasox reliever Tim Griffin held Spokane scoreless over the eighth and ninth to preserve Everett’s win.
Despite the setback, the Indians can still clinch a trip to the TicketsWest NWL Playoffs with a win tomorrow coupled with a Boise loss. The Hawks host Vancouver tomorrow in Boise at 10:35 a.m.
Tomorrow’s game is the last of the regular season and is Season Finale Fireworks partially presented by KREM 2.