Spokane, WASH. - With one swing of the bat a sold out crowd of 7,044 Spokane Indians fans saw why Tyler Ratliff was selected to be a Northwest League All-Star. Ratliff's three-run home run in the fourth inning gave Spokane its first lead of the game, and propelled the Indians to a 6-4 victory over the Everett AquaSox on Yoke's $1 Family Feast Night presented by Yoke's Fresh Market, KAYU FOX 28, and The Big 99.9 Coyote Country.
The Indians found themselves trailing 1-0 just a half inning into the game, but the Everett lead didn't last long. With the bases loaded, Austin O'Banion tied the game with a sacrifice fly that scored Miguel Aparicio. O'Banion went 2-3 on the night with a double and an RBI. The leftfielder has reached base in 17 straight games now, and has combined for 12 RBI in his last six games.
The game remained tied at one until the fourth inning, when Tyler Ratliff crushed his second home run of the season. The three-run bomb gave Spokane a 4-1 lead after four innings. Coincidentally, both of Ratliff's home runs this season have come on nights when the Indians have worn their Redband Trout Jerseys.
Everett scored two runs in the fifth to make it a 4-3 game, but Spokane had an answer once again in the sixth. With two on, Ratliff smacked a single to center to bring home Nick Kaye. Ratliff's fourth RBI of the game gave Spokane a two run lead. The 2017 17th round pick finished the night going 3-5, with a home run, four RBI, and two runs.
The next batter, Melvin Novoa, kept the offense going in the sixth. His lone hit of the night was a timely one, as the two out single to left brought Ratliff home from second. Novoa's hitting streak is now 16 games and remains the longest active streak in the NWL. The longest hitting streak in the league this season was an 18-game streak by Kevin Rivera of Salem-Keizer.
Tai Tiedemann and Luis Lopez have pitched together all season long, and tonight was their best combined outing. The two righties combined to allow just three earned runs, while striking out five batters over seven innings. Lopez gave up just three hits with no earned runs to pick up his first win of the season. Josh Advocate entered in the 9th to earn his third save of the season.
With the win, the Indians have won five of their last six games, and have taken four of their last five series. At 3-1, Spokane remains tied for first place in the NWL North Division with the Tri-City Dust Devils.
Next up, the Spokane Indians will travel to Everett for three more game with the AquaSox. That series will be followed up by three days off for the Northwest League vs. Pioneer League All-Star Game in Hillsboro, Oregon. Left handed pitcher Cole Ragans and third baseman Tyler Ratliff will represent Spokane on the NWL All-Star Team.
Spokane's next home series will be a five-game set against the Eugene Emeralds. Game one of the series is on August 3rd and will be Dollars in Your Dog Night presented by Mirabeau Park Hotel and KISS 96.1. The game starts at 6:30 PM with gates opening at 5:30 PM. Tickets for all Spokane Indians home games 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.