Matt Whatley homered in the 11th inning to lift the Spokane Indians to a 3-2 win over the Vancouver Canadians in the third of a four-game Northwest League series on Friday.
Whatley roped the second pitch of the inning from Canadians relief pitcher Brayden Bouchey (0-1) over the left field fence for his fifth homer of the year and the Indians’ second consecutive walk-off win.
“It was definitely a good feeling,” Whatley said of his first career home run walk off. “Especially to get another win and get us back in first place.”
The Indians (12-10, 29-32) brought hope to Avista Stadium in the bottom of the ninth when Curtis Terry homered to left field – his ninth of the season – with two down to tie the score at 2.
Kole Enright followed with a single to center, but Cristian Inoa grounded out and the game went to extra innings.
The Canadians (13-9, 34-27) initially jumped ahead in the third inning on a home run by Brock Lundquist that cleared the center field wall. It was the first hit of the game.
Spokane answered in the sixth inning with a home run by Inoa, his fourth, equalizing the score at 1.
The Indians allowed the Canadians to take back the lead in a sloppy eighth inning that included two errors.
Against reliever Noah Bremer, Vancouver’s Matt Morgan reached and went to second on a throwing error by third baseman Enright. Morgan moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Deiferson Barreto, then Reggie Pruitt was hit by a pitch.
Terry committed Spokane’s second error of the night when he bobbled Brandon Polizzi’s bunt. Terry looked up to throw out Morgan at home, but the first baseman pulled up on the ball. Morgan’s run gave Vancouver a 2-1 lead.
Enright’s error was his 11th – the most on the Indians this season. Terry is close behind with 10.
Vancouver’s pitchers worked a perfect game into the fourth inning until Tyler Ratliff singled to center field with two outs. Left-hander Brody Rodning struck out Melvin Novoa to end the inning.
Cole Ragans, the Rangers’ top pick in the 2016 amateur draft, stayed on the hill for six innings. He allowed one run on three hits with three walks and fanned a career-high 10, improving his league-leading strikeout count to 76.
Indians relief pitcher Joe Kuzia (1-1) earned the win with an inning of shutout relief. The righty allowed only one hit and fanned two batters to end the 11th inning.
Whatley and Terry led the Indians’ nine-hit night with a pair of hits apiece. Lundquist went 2 for 5 to lead the Canadians.
The teams conclude the series on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
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