The Northwest League is a short-season Single-A league with eight teams located in Idaho, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. The Orioles aren't represented in the league, so I'll just examine the championship and top players.

The Spokane Indians, an affiliate of the Texas Rangers, finished 51-25 and won the East Division by eight games over the Boise Hawks. The Hawks are an affiliate of the Chicago Cubs.


The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes and the Eugene Emeralds both ended the season at 40-36, but the Volcanoes earned the right to represent the West Division in the championship. Salem-Keizer is an affiliate of the San Francisco Giants and Eugene represents the San Diego Padres.

The Arizona Diamondbacks (Yakima Bears), Colorado Rockies (Tri-City Dust Devils), Oakland Athletics (Vancouver Canadians) and Seattle Mariners (Everett AquaSox) also have affiliates in the league.


Volcanoes starting pitcher Andy Reichard pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings in the first game and Salem-Keizer defeated Spokane, 5-3, to take a one-game lead in the best-of-five series. Designated hitter Jose Flores was 2-for-5 with two RBIs to lead the Volcanoes.

Catcher Doug Hogan hit a walk-off home run in the 10th inning of the second game and the Indians evened the series with an 11-10 victory. Designated hitter Eric Fry had a home run and three RBIs for Spokane.

Spokane defeated Salem-Keizer, 11-10, in the third game to take a 2-1 series lead. Spokane scored 11 runs on only five hits in the game, but 14 walks and four errors by the Volcanoes helped the Indians to come back from a 10-2 deficit. Fry had another home run and three RBIs in the game for the Indians.

In the fourth game, the Indians clinched the championship by collecting their third straight one-run victory, 6-5, over Salem-Keizer. The Volcanoes had won the title in the past two seasons, but they couldn't overcome Spokane's clutch performance in the playoffs. Hogan picked up his second game-winning hit of the championship when he hit a go-ahead RBI single in the top of the 10th inning.

Top players

Josh Vitters, Boise Hawks – Vitters, who was selected by the Cubs with the third overall pick in the 2007 draft, batted .328 with five home runs and 37 RBIs in 61 games for Boise. He led the league in doubles (25) and finished third in hits (85). The 19-year-old third baseman was 3-for-14 (.214) with three doubles in four games for the Single-A Peoria Chiefs of the Midwest League in April before being sidelined with tendinitis in his left hand.

Dan Robertson, Eugene Emeralds – Robertson dominated the league in most of the hitting categories. The 23-year-old center fielder led the league in batting average (.377), hits (114), total bases (150) and runs scored (59). Robertson also had 45 RBIs, which was second in the league, and he finished third in the league with 20 stolen bases and tied for third with 21 doubles.

Tyson Gillies, Everett AquaSox – Gillies batted .313 with six doubles, five triples and 22 RBIs in 61 games for Everett. The 19-year-old center fielder, who was selected by the Mariners in the 25th round of the 2006 draft, finished second in the league with 22 stolen bases.

Mike Loree, Salem-Keizer Volcanoes – Loree was the best pitcher for Salem-Keizer in their march to the championship series. The 22-year-old right-hander was only 4-3 in 15 starts, but he had a 2.44 ERA in 81 innings. Loree, who was drafted in the 50th round of the 2007 draft by the Giants, finished third in the league with 75 strikeouts and he only walked seven hitters.

Wilfredo Boscan, Spokane Indians – Boscan finished with a 9-1 record and 3.12 ERA in 15 games (12 starts) for Spokane. The 18-year-old right-hander finished fourth in the league with 70 strikeouts in 69 1/3 innings. Boscan was 2-1 with a 1.75 ERA in 13 games (eight starts) for the Rangers' affiliate in the Dominican Summer League in 2007.