Spokane, WASH. - There hasn't been any quit in the Spokane Indians all season long, and the boys of summer proved it once again in the regular season finale on Sunday to earn a Northwest League playoff berth. 6,307 fans were on hand to see Melvin Novoa tie the game in the 9th inning and Austin O'Banion win the game with the Indians' eighth walk-off of the season. Spokane defeated the Everett AquaSox 3-2 in 10 innings to win the Second Half North Division Championship on Season Finale Fireworks presented by AAA, KREM 2-TV, and 98.9 KKZX.
The game got off to a rocky start after the AquaSox hit a pair of solo home runs off Tyree Thomspon in the first inning. Spokane quickly found itself with a 2-0 hole.
The Indians were held scoreless until the sixth inning. With Tyler Ratliff on second, Matt Whatley hit a dribbler to the left side of the infield. A throwing error by third baseman Manny Pazos not only allowed Whatley to reach base, but gave Ratliff enough time to score from second.
The score remained 2-1 until the bottom of the ninth inning. With two quick outs things weren't looking good for Spokane. The third batter of the inning, Kole Enright, reached base on a walk. Manager Matt Hagen elected to pinch-run for Enright with Jonah McReynolds, and pinch-hit with Melvin Novoa. That move looked brilliant just one pitch later. Novoa lined the first pitch he saw into left-center field. McReynolds took off on contact and just managed to beat the throw home to tie the game, 2-2.
The game proceeded into extra innings, and remained tied in the bottom half of the tenth. Two men were on with one out when Austin O'Banion went the opposite way to right field. Miguel Aparicio raced home from second to win it for the Indians. It was Spokane's eighth walk-off of the season, and their 11th one-run victory in the last 13 one-run games.
While the walk-off was outstanding, Spokane's pitching shouldn't be overshadowed. After giving up two home runs in the first inning, Tyree Thompson responded with four shutout innings. Relievers Joe Barlow and Noah Bremer kept Everett off the scoreboard with eight strikeouts over the remaining five innings.
Next up, the Spokane Indians will face the Vancouver Canadians in the first round of the Northwest League playoffs. The Indians finished 3-9 against the Canadians this season. Game one of the three game series will be Tuesday in Spokane. Game two and game three (if necessary) will be in Vancouver.
Tuesday's game one at Avista Stadium starts at 6:30 PM with gates opening at 5:30 PM. Playoff tickets for the Spokane Indians are available to purchase at the Avista Stadium Ticket Office or at spokaneindians.com. Reserve your seats today by calling (509) 343-OTTO (6886) or TicketsWest at 1-800-325-SEAT.
The Spokane Indians are the Short Season Class 'A' Affiliate of the Texas Rangers. Ticket Packages and Hospitality Areas for the 2017 Spokane Indians are available now. Click here to view the 2017 schedule. For more information, please visit SpokaneIndians.com or call (509) 343-OTTO (6886). Parking at all Spokane Indians games is FREE!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.