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T'jacks move into tie for first with win

SPOKANE ­ Mike Koerner got the Southern Oregon Timberjacks off toa fast start Tuesday in Northwest League baseball.

But the Timberjacks ended up escaping with a 10-7 victory against theSpokane Indians at Seafirst Stadium.

The victory gave Southern Oregon the rubber game in the five-game seriesand moved the Timberjacks into a first-place tie with Portland at 19-15in the Northwest League's South Division.

Southern Oregon cruised into the bottom of the ninth inning with a six-runlead, but after Timberjacks pitcher Oscar Abreu got the first two outs,the the free-agent right-hander from the Dominican Republic ran into trouble.

Abreu walked Joe Caruso on four pitches and Doug Blosser followed withan RBI double. Juan LeBron singled, went to second on a wild pitch and scoredon Dave Willis' two-run double. Abreu got out of the jam by enticing MikeBrambilla to ground out to Adam Piatt at third to end the game.

The victory gave Southern Oregon a 5-3 record on the eight-game roadtrip and evened its season series with the Indians at 5-5.

Koerner, an 11th-round draft pick from LSU, opened the game with a tripleand scored one out later on Eddie Lara's RBI single. The hit ended an 0-for-9streak for Lara.

Koerner's RBI double in the second inning provided Southern Oregon witha 2-0 lead.

The Timberjacks increased the margin to 3-0 in the fifth when catcherJavier Flores doubled and Roberto Vaz knocked him in with a single.

Spokane countered for two runs in the bottom of the fifth, but SouthernOregon added a pair of its own in the next inning on a Nicolas Sosa triple,a Victor Hernandez RBI single and a sacrifice fly by Hipolito Martinez.

The Timberjacks took advantage of control problems by Indians pitcherJason Gilfillan in the seventh to increase their lead to 7-3. Piatt walked,stole second and third and scored on a wild pitch. Then Ron Tegland, Vazand Martinez walked to load the bases and Sosa provided a sacrifice fly.

In Monday's game, Southern Oregon pushed across an unearned run in the11th inning for a 3-2 victory.

Ed Farris got the winning rally started with a two-out single and Piattcame in as a pinch runner. Piatt stole second and Flores followed with awalk. Piatt scored on right fielder LeBron's error on a ball hit by Vaz.

Rico Lagattuta recorded his second save of the season with one scorelessinning, preserving the victory for Denny Wagner (1-0).

Southern Oregon does not play today, but returns to Miles Field for afive-game series against Yakima beginning Thursday.