The Tri-City Dust Devils returned to the form that made them the Northwest League’s first-half North Division champions on Tuesday night at Gesa Stadium.
Thanks to a four-run explosion in the third inning, the Dust Devils (1-1) rolled to a 6-1 win over the Spokane Indians, who were gunning for a three-game road sweep.
The Tri-City pitching staff continued to excel, scattering seven hits while striking out 13 Spokane batters. Starter Brett Kennedy went three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit.
Trevor Megill, Jerry Keel and Phil Maton followed Kennedy with two innings apiece. Megill (2-0) earned the win with two scoreless frames, and Maton pitched two dominant innings (one hit, five strikeouts) for his second save.
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The Dust Devils knocked around Indians reliever Blake Bass (1-2), who took the loss after giving up four runs on three hits in 1 1/3 innings.
Spokane right-hander Dan Scheibe, a Hanford High School graduate, kept the Indians in the game with four scoreless innings. Scheibe blew off some nervous energy early on, allowing a single and two walks to his first three batters. But he finished strong by retiring 11 of the final 12 hitters he faced including eight strikouts.
Justin Pacchioli started off the third with a walk and stole second. He took third on an infield grounder by Jose Carlos Urena and scored on Belen’s double down the left field line. Urena rounded third on the play, despite getting the stop sign from manager Anthony Contreras, and scored when Dylan Moore hesitated on the relay. That made it 2-0 Tri-City.
Ty France and Nick Vilter followed with RBI singles to push the lead to 4-0.
Spokane got one back in the top of the sixth on Moore’s RBI single, but Keel and Maton kept the Indians under wraps over the final three innings.
Around the league
Everett (2-0) pulled out to a one-game lead in the North Division with an 8-5 win over visiting Vancouver (0-2). It’s all even at 1-1 in the South Division after Boise topped host Eugene 5-1 and Hillsboro stomped visiting Salem-Keizer 10-0.
Streaks & stats
Tri-City: Kodie Tidwell reached base for the eighth consecutive game. ... Peter Van Gansen is fourth in the NWL in batting (.317) and third in hits (44). ... Jose Carlos Urena is fourth in the league with 29 RBIs and first with 27 walks. ... Walker Lockett is fifth in the NWL in ERA (2.91), fourth in innings pitched (43 1/3) and eighth in strikeouts (35). ... Corey Kimber is tied for third with four saves. Spokane: LeDarious Clark, a 12th-round pick out of West Florida, has set the NWL on fire, leading in home runs (8), triples (5), runs scored (34), slugging percentage (.626) and total bases (92). He’s also third in batting (.347).
Did you know?
Before he became their manager, Anthony Contreras was a teammate of several current Dust Devils with the 2013 Arizona League Padres. Carlos Belen, Rod Boykin, Alex Constanza, Adrian DeHorta, Sam Holland, Elvin Liriano, Walker Lockett, Griffin Russell, Mason Smith and Jose Carlos Urena were all on the team when Contreras, then a Triple A infielder at Tucson, was there on a short rehabilitation stay. He managed several of them the next year with the AZL Padres.