Sean Sullivan sparkles on the mound, Spokane Indians top Vancouver 3-1 for second win in as many games

Apr. 6—The 2024 edition of the Spokane Indians may not be quite as stacked with prospects as last year's version, but one place they do stand out is in the rotation.

The one-two punch is led, of course, by the Colorado Rockies' top pitching prospect and first -round pick Chase Dollander, who tossed five hitless, shutout innings in Friday's opening night win. The No. 2 is 6-foot-4 lefty Sean Sullivan, the Rockies' second -round pick in the same draft out of Wake Forest, who ranks as the big league team's No. 14 prospect , according to

Although he gave up some contact in his last inning, Sullivan's effort was no less impressive than his teammate's first appearance.

Sullivan struck out 13 over six innings and the Indians got just enough offense to knock off the Vancouver Canadians 3-1 for the second time in as many games in the Northwest League's opening series at Avista Stadium on Saturday.

Sullivan allowed one run on five hits without allowing a walk, throwing 62 of his 85 pitches for strikes. He used his exploding fastball to constantly get ahead of hitters and his collection of off-speed throws to keep them off-balance.

"I think having my speed in the zone tonight was good," Sullivan said. "Showing the other looks, just kind of making them not just sit on heaters the whole time. So, I think mixing that up and then sticking to my pitch plan and just kind of not trying to do too much out there."

"Great job tonight," pitching coach Blaine Beatty said. "Spring training was a little rocky where he struggled with getting to the top of the zone and really expanding the zone and tonight, he showed up. I mean, he really established his fastball."

The Rockies hope Sullivan and Dollander can push and feed off each other for many years to come. The Indians just hope they get to keep the youngsters in Spokane for a little while.

"We live together. We're great friends," Sullivan said. "But at the same time, we want the best for each other.

"I think it's a great kind of combination."

"They are one and two," Beatty said. "I hope we hang on to him them, at least to the half, but for them — what a great job. It's good to see the maturity in those two kids and the routines that they put together.

"They come to the park and execute and they're leaders on the team."

Sullivan, with his Colorado Rockies purple mitt, cruised through a 13-pitch 1-2-3 first inning with a pair of strikeouts.

"I had a couple gloves coming in this offseason and I figured why not mix it up?" Sullivan said of his bright purple glove.

"As a lefty, you know, in college you only got two options so I was like, 'You know what? I might as well go crazy, and I went purple for the Rockies and I love it.' "

He collected two more Ks in the second but ran into his first jam in the third, allowing a pair of one-out singles. He bounced back to strike out leadoff hitter Dasan Brown and ended the inning with a popup.

Sullivan racked up two more strikeouts in the fourth, giving him seven to that point. He was the beneficiary of a called strike three off the outside edge to Brennan Orf to start the fifth then blew away Jaden Rudd and Jommer Hernandez with high heat to end the inning.

The 21-year-old lefty got two more strikeouts to start the sixth, then gave up Jace Bohrofen's line -drive single and an errant pickoff throw moved the runner over to third.

Nick Goodwin followed with a liner to the left-field corner to score the game's first run, before Sullivan bounced back to strike out Dylan Rock to end the inning and his appearance at 85 pitches.

"I didn't want to come out of that game, especially with runners on that were still mine," Sullivan said. "I obviously made a mistake — kind of left the pitch over the plate (to Goodwin). But you know, I didn't let the emotions get the best of me and walked it back in and kind of finished the inning."

The Indians tied it in the seventh. Robby Martin Jr. singled, moved up on a sacrifice bunt and scored from second on Jesus Bugarin's infield single. Trevor Boone singled to send Bugarin to third and Braden Ward was hit on a full count to load the bases.

Vancouver brought in reliever Conor Larkin, who unleashed a wild pitch to put Spokane up 2-1. Cole Carrigg walked to load the bases again, and Larkin walked Dyan Jorge to force in the third run of the inning.