(Avista Stadium - Spokane, WA) - Spokane simply answered the bell as LHP Jake Latz struck out eleven Canadians hitters and outdueled the reigning Northwest League Pitcher of the Year Josh Winckowski to help the Indians leap over Vancouver and into sole possession of first place in the North Division with just two games remaining in the regular season. The loss means Vancouver (20-16) has to beat Spokane (21-15) on both Sunday and Monday to advance to the 2018 Northwest League Playoffs.
Both Latz and Winckowski came out firing as the Indians starter took a no-hitter into the 6th inning before 3B Otto Lopez doubled for one of Vancouver's two hits on the night. CF Tanner Kirwer had the Canadians only other hit on Saturday as he led off the 9th inning with a single and was stranded at second base - one of seven left on-base by the C's offense.
Spokane scored four runs off Winckowski who allowed a solo home run to CF J.P. Martinez in the bottom of the 3rd, and a two-run double to SS Jax Biggers in the bottom of the 5th that was part of a three-run inning that put the game out of reach. Spokane got a two-run home run from RF Starling Joseph in the bottom of the 6th to seal the lopsided victory off LHP Marcus Reyes.
Spokane welcomes Vancouver to Avista Stadium on Sunday for a 3:30pm matinee with the Canadians sending LHP Elio Silva (3-3) to the mound in hopes of extending this pennant race to the 76th and final regular season game of the season. The Indians will counter with MLB rehabber Alex "Chi Chi" Gonzalez. The game can be heard live and in its entirety on TSN1040 Sports Radio.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.