Everett Aquasox Obliterate Hillsboro Hops, 14-6
The Everett Aquasox hit hard, hit fast and hit heavy, building an insurmountable lead to beat the Hillsboro Hops 14-6. As a team, the Aquasox batted 11 for 35 with five walks and hit two doubles. Four Aquasox batters were hit by a pitch.
For the Aquasox, Luis Gohara (2-2) pitched through the 95 degree heat for six innings to earn the win. Gohara allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits and struck out three. Taylor Byrd (S-1) finished the last three innings for the save, allowing three runs on six hits.
For the Hops, Jeferson Mejia (2-3) had a difficult start lasting only 1.1 innings before being pulled for Troy Marks. Mejia allowed seven runs on five hits with two walks for the loss.
Drew Jackson started the action in the first inning when he walked. With Jordan Cowan at the plate, Jackson stole second. Cowan then walked on four straight pitches. Logan Taylor was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Corey Simpson slapped a hard to handle grounder to short scoring Jackson. Johan Quevedo sacrificed to center to score Cowan for a 2-0 lead after the top of the first. It was just a portent of more to come.
The second inning for the Aquasox started with Ryan Uhl lining a one bouncer over the left field fence for a stand up double. Erick Mejia bunted back to the pitcher Jeferson Mejia, who decided to throw to third for the lead runner, but couldn’t get a grip on the ball. The throw to third was late. Arturo Nieto poked a grounder through the right side scoring Uhl. Drew Jackson looped a single into right field scoring Mejia. Jordan Cowen was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Logan Taylor grounded into a fielder’s choice. Nieto scored on the throw to first. Corey Simpson came to the plate and the double steal was attempted successfully. Taylor stole second and Jackson stole home. Corey Simpson singled to left and Taylor came home. That was enough for pitcher Jeferson Mejia.
The Hops managed to get on the scoreboard in the third with a triple by Fernery Ozuna to the left field corner. With Mike Freeman batting, a passed ball allowed Ozuna home for the score.
Any hope for the Hops was almost completely erased in the sixth inning when the Aquasox scored seven runs. Erick Mejia walked. Arturo Nieta smacked a hard grounder off shortstop Sergio Alcantara’s glove and into left field. Mejias moved to third. Drew Jackson hit hard to deep short and beat out the throw for an infield hit. Mejias scored and Nieto moved to second.
Ariel Hernandez came to the mound to relieve Troy Marks. Jordan Cowen sliced a hard grounder through the right side hole to load the bases. Logan Taylor was hit by a pitch to force home Arturo Nieto. Corey Simpson walked to force home Drew Jackson. Luis Liberato singled to right to score Cowen. The final blow came when Johan Quevedo lined down the third base line to clear the bases with a stand up double. The damage for the sixth inning: seven runs on five hits.
The Hops answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Zach Nehrir was hit by a pitch. Trevor Mitsui lined hard to center field for a single. Nehrir to second. Luis Veras grounded to short for a fielder’s choice forcing Mitsui out at second. With runners at the corners, Nate Irving grounded out with a high chopper to short scoring Nehrir while Veras moved to second. Jeff Smith sent a shot down the third base line to score Veras.
The final scoring came in the bottom of the ninth. The Hops sent Nate Robertson in to pinch hit for Jose Queliz. Robertson singled to shallow right center field. Sergio Alcantara singled through the left side hole. Josh Anderson grounded hard to short stop who couldn’t keep a glove on it for an infield single, and the bases were loaded. Stephen Dezzi grounded into a fielder’s choice scoring Robertson while leaving runners at the corners. Zach Nehrir doubled to left field scoring Alcantara and Dezzi.
There was plenty of offense to go around for the Aquasox. Drew Jackson, Jordan Cowen, Corey Simpson and Arturo Nieto all had two hit games. Jackson led the team with three runs scored. Johan Quevedo led with four RBI.
For the Hops, Jeff Smith went 2 for 4 with an RBI. Zach Nehrir led with two RBI.
Both the Hillsboro Hops (18-13) and Everett Aquasox (18-13) maintained their one game division leads and are tied for the best record in the Northwest League. They meet again Monday night for the third game in the five game series which is tied 1-1.
by Greg Stoker
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