Aaron Schunk, Spokane Indians Run Past Hops, 8-7
Aaron Schunk scored the winning run on a throwing error by second baseman Cam Coursey. That small difference epitomizes the game itself where a single ruled more than the extra bases that preceded it. Singling in the bottom of the tenth, Aaron worked his way around the bases one base at a time. Advanced by a single, fielder’s choice and finally a throwing error, Aaron Schunk led the Spokane Indians over the Hillsboro Hops 8-7.
Aaron Schunk and Four Others Belt Home Runs
That is not to say there wasn’t any power in the game. In fact, it was a case of one extreme over another. A hit was either a single or a home run. There were no doubles or triples in this game. Aaron Schunk himself hit one of his team’s home runs. Teammate Jack Blomgren hit the other.
The Hillsboro Hops had three home runs of their own. Tristin English had a two-run homer in the fourth. Blaze Alexander belted a three-run homer in the sixth. And Cam Coursey hit a solo shot in the ninth. All five home runs either tied the game or gave their team the lead.
The game itself was a game of the lead bouncing back and forth. Eight lead changes or ties made the lead constantly in doubt. The first five from a home run and the last three from a grouping of singles.
Pitching Knocked Around
The game also took its toll on the pitching staffs of both teams. Eight pitchers total took to the mound and only two walked away unscathed. Both of the Hops’ Wesley Rodriguez and the Indians’ Stephen Jones pitched two shutout innings. Coincidentally, both pitched the seventh and eighth innings.
The starters lasted either halfway or all the way through the fifth inning. Of the two, Ryan Rolison had the easiest path. Giving up only two runs, he faced 18 batters. The fourth inning was the only time he did not face the minimum three batters. That is also where English hit his two-run homer. He left the game tied at two.
Hillsboro’s Shumpei Yoshikawa sailed smoothly along, also allowing two runs in the early run. Until he hit the fifth inning. That was where he was chased after three batters safely reached base to lead off the inning. Shumpei handed the ball over with a 3-2 deficit and a runner on base.
Again on parallel paths, both relievers, Hops’ Austin Pope and the Indians’ Brailing Eusibio took their teams through the sixth inning. When they handed the ball over, the game was tied for the second time. Then the two previously mentioned innings of peace and nonscoring happened.
The game entered the ninth with the score still tied at five. Closers Denson Hull for the Hops and Dugan Darnell for the Indians stood tall on the mound. At least when the inning started. Darnell allowed Coursey’s solo shot for the Hops to take the lead again. Hull allowed three consecutive Indians’ singles and one run scored. The game was tied once more for the third time at six.
On to extra innings. Same closers remained on the mound. Darnell managed to retire the Hops in four batters. But, not before the Hops took the lead again on Axel Andueza’s dash around from first on English’s RBI single.
Denson Hull took the mound with a one run lead hoping to avert another tie. But, the game was tied with the first batter, Daniel Montano, hitting a sac fly to score Brenton Doyle from third. Per league rules, all extra innings start with a runner on second base. Doyle had moved to third on a Hull wild pitch. The game was tied for the fourth time.
Stage Set For Aaron Schunk
That set the stage for Aaron Schunk to single and eventually score on the Hops’ error. The close game was in stark contrast to last night’s 11-3 blowout.
The win allowed the Spokane Indians to gain a game on second place Eugene. Everett and Eugene split a double header tonight. The Indians are now six and a half games behind the top and seven games ahead of the Hops. Spokane is on a seven game winning streak.
The loss dropped the Hillsboro Hops a half game farther down allowing Vancouver to jump over them for fourth place. Their six game losing streak has now sunk them into fifth place. The Hops still remain seven games ahead of Tri City.
Both teams meet again on Sunday for a double header. The first game starts at 1:05 PM. The second game generally starts around 30 minutes after the end of the first game. Spokane currently leads the series 4-0. You can listen to both games on 620 AM radio.