Everett Aquasox Evens Series with Hillsboro Hops, 6-3
The Everett Aquasox pounded the Hillsboro Hops 6-3 to take the fourth game of the series and even it up at 2-2. So far, in every game of the series, the winning team has sprinted out to a lead they would not relinquish. In this case, it was a three run second inning for Everett.
Joe Venturino started the inning off with a walk and sprinted home on Greifer Andrade’s double to draw first blood. That was followed by Jonas Lantigua double bringing Andrade home. Osmy Gregorio wrapped the inning up with an RBI single scoring Lantigua.
Before the Hops started to chomp away at the lead, the Aquasox scored three more runs in the third. Joseph Rosa started the inning off with his second homer of the season, a solo shot over the right-centerfield fence. Eugene Helder doubled and moved to third on Joe Venturino’s infield single. Helder came home on Greifer Andrade’s sacrifice fly to left. Venturino then came home on a double by Jonas Lantigua. The Aquasox would score no more for the game but their six runs would hold up for the win.
The Hops managed to get on the score board in the fourth with a three-run barrage of their own. With Yan Sanchez, Paxton De La Garza and Stephen Smith loading the bases, Cole Thompson smacked a three-run double to right, clearing the base paths. The final five innings were locked down by commanding pitching on both sides allowing the 6-3 lead hold up for the final score.
All nine runs for the game came off the starting pitchers. Andres Torres (W, 1-0) started for Everett allowing three runs on six hits for the win. His relief was sharp. Paul Covelle, Tyler Watson, Adonis De La Cruz and David Ellingson pitched four innings on scoreless, one-hit ball to shut down the Hops. In the ninth, Ellingson retired the side in order and earned the save.
Connor Grey (L, 0-1) fell just short of three innings but allowed all six runs on seven hits for the loss. Grey also had sharp relief in Rafael Pujols, Junior Garcia and Erbert Gonzale. All three relievers combined for five and a third innings of scoreless, four-hit ball while striking out nine.
The Everett bats went 11 for 33 tonight including four doubles and a home run. Seven of the nine starters hit safely in the game. Greifer Andrade continued his torrid pace with a 2 for 3 night and a double. His .462 batting average currently ranks third in the Northwest League. Joey Rosa’s second homer of the young season tied him for the league lead.
Eudy Ramos continued to lead the Hops with a .353 average after going 2 for 4 tonight. Domingo Leyba and Cole Thompson doubled for the Hops only extra base hits for the game.
With the series tied at 2-2, Monday night becomes the rubber match for the two teams in the five-game series at Everett Memorial Stadium. Starting pitchers are expected to be RHP Riley Smith for the Hops and RHP Anjul Hernandez for the Aquasox. Both are making their first start of the 2017 season.
The Hillsboro Hops (2-2) fell into a three-way tie atop the Southern Division with the Boise Hawks and Eugene Emeralds. The Everett Aquasox (2-2) stayed a game behind Northern Division leader Tri-City Dust Devils.
The Hops will return after Monday’s game for their home opener at Ron Tonkin Field Tuesday night. Starting for the Hops will be newly arrived Matt Koch. Matt made his MLB debut in 2016 and will be the first ever player for the Hops with previous major league experience. Matt is here for a short time on an injury rehab assignment.
Featured Image by: Craig Mitchelldyer-Hillsboro Hops
By Greg Stoker