EUGENE, Ore. - One inning can make all the difference, and unfortunately for the Spokane Indians, the first inning made the difference in game two of the NWL Championship Series. The Eugene Emeralds plated three runs in the first on the way to a 4-0 victory over Spokane. Eugene now takes a 2-0 series lead.
Sunday night's hero Levi Jordan got things going for the Emeralds in the first inning. He whacked a two-run double off of Yerry Rodriguez, scoring Nelson Velazquez and Luke Reynolds. Two batters later, Grant Fennell brought Jordan home to put the Ems up 3-0 after the top half.
Rodriguez responded nicely after the rough first inning. He struck out six of his last seven batters he faced, the three runs allowed in the first were the only ones he'd allow in 4.2 innings of work. Tai Tiedemann and Wes Robertson were strong out of the bullpen. If you exclude the first inning, the Indians' staff allowed just one earned run while striking out a dozen Emeralds.
The Indians offense had opportunities but failed to bring any runs home. Spokane loaded the bases in the fourth inning and got two aboard in the fifth, but both innings ended with strikeouts. In total, eight baserunners were left on base, as Spokane went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position.
The Indians were shutout for the first time since August 19, when they suffered a 4-0 loss at Vancouver.
The NWL Championship Series continues on Tuesday, with the Indians on the brink of elimination. Spokane will need to win the remaining three games in Eugene to take home the championship. Tuesday's first pitch is at 7:05 PM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.