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.