SPOKANE—The Salem Senators snapped back from a sixth-inning 11-4 deficit Saturday night to score three times in the eighth inning and five times in the ninth and a 12-11 Western International League playoff decision over Spokane.
The triumph gave the Senators a 2-1 edge over the Indians in their best-of-seven series for the league pennant. They move to Salem Sunday to finish out the series there.
The Senators scored their winning run on a Spokane error. After four runs had already gone across in the ninth, Gene Tanselli hit a bounding ball down to second base where Jimmy Brown bobbled it, permitting Dick Sabatini to run in for the win.
Hits Come Early
The game was all Spokane's during the early innings as Jim Command hit a pair of homers for four runs and Bill Sheets hit another one over the fence in helping to build up the seemingly lead of 11-4 at the end of the sixth frame.
Then the parade of the pitchers began. The two teams used a total of six pitchers, Spokane changing three times in the last two innings.
Doubles Boost Salem
Although Larry Borst, who went to the mound in the eighth for Salem got credit for the win, first baseman Jerry Ballard, who relieved Borst in the ninth, was the one who stopped the Spokane hitting powers. He struck out Stan Palys and forced both Will Hafey and Carl Bush to ground out after one was out in the ninth.
Ballard and Chuck Essegian got two doubles in a row to start the Salem comeback in the eighth. Pitchhitter Les Witherspoon singled and Spokane reliefer George New walked two men, loading the bases. Ralph Romero took over from there to force in the third run with another walk.
Essegian homered over the centre field wall for the eighth and ninth runs after Connie Perez opened with a walk. Don Masterson, Bob Nelson and Sabatini all singled
to load the bases and Manager Hugh Luby hit another single to bring in the tying run. Then came Brown's fatal error at second base.
Virgil Giovannoni, the first of three Spokane pitchers in the ninth, was charged with the loss.
A season record crowd of 3,601 watched the final home game for the Indians.
Salem ............. 200 202 033—12 13 1
Spokane .......... 023 321 000—11 12 4
Roenspie, Hemphill (4), Borst (8), Ballard (9) and Masterson; Spring, New (4), Romero (5), Giovanonni (9), Nemes (9), Worth (9) and Sheets.