Bears Win 8-6 In 11 Innings
The Yakima Bears outlasted the Spokane Indians in an 8-6 victory that took 11 innings at Avista Stadium in Spokane Friday night. The game featured six lead changes and four ties.
There wasn’t much scoring early. Bears starting pitcher Derrick Stultz allowed only one run in three innings of work. The Bears tied the game in the fifth inning after Michael Lang hit a double and eventually scored from third on a groundout by Danny Poma; that was the only run allowed by the Indians starter in five innings of work.
The bullpens struggled a bit more than that. Kyle Owings came in first out of the pen and tossed four and a third innings, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks. The first run came in the sixth, but the Bears scored two runs on a two-out single by Wagner Mateo in the top of the seventh inning to take a lead for the first time on the night. After the Indians evened the score in the home half of the seventh, the Bears got back-to-back two-out doubles from Lang and Josh Parr to move in front 4-3. Owings left in the eighth inning with one on and one out, but he was charged with a third run, as the game was tied while Jose Jose retired two batters in his only time on the mound.
Even at four runs apiece, the Bears moved back in front in the ninth. Kevin Medrano led off with a double. Then Shaun Cooper reached on a fielder’s choice in which Medrano beat the throw at second. Wagner Mateo also reached on a fielder’s choice in which all runners were safe as his grounder to second was thrown away, allowing Medrano to score and Cooper to get to third base. Jimmy Comerota hit in to a double play that brought Cooper home and the score was 6-4 Bears.
In his fifth save opportunity of the season, RJ Hively came up short for the first time. The reliever gave up one earned run and one unearned run in the ninth and the game went to extra innings tied at 6-6.
Both teams came up empty in the tenth, but the Indians did it with flair against Victor Acosta, loading the bases, but failing to score. In the top of the eleventh inning the first two batters were retired, but the Mateo and Comerota reached on walks. Steven Rodriguez then lifted a ball over the left fielder’s head to plate both runners and give the Bears an 8-6 advantage. Acosta would hold the lead on the way to earning his second win of the season after two scoreless innings of work.
The Bears had five doubles among nine hits in the victory. Lang went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three runs scored. Medrano finished 2-for-5 with a double and two runs scored. Mateo’s only hit in five at-bats was a single, but he finished with three RBIs. The offense also combined for nine walks, two by Cooper and three by Comerota.
At 4-1 the Bears are now in sole possession of first place in the Northwest League’s East Division in the second half of the season. Coming off the three-straight wins on the road trip, the Bears take on the Indians in game two of the three-game series at Avista Stadium Saturday. Game time is scheduled for 6:35. Lefty Alex Carreras of the Bears and right-handed pitcher Jose Valdespina of the Indians are the probable pitchers.