EVERETT, Wash. – A ninth inning rally by the Everett AquaSox came up one run short as the Eugene Emeralds held on for a 5-4 win before 2,867 fans at Everett Memorial Stadium Monday. Malquiel Brito’s RBI double in the seventh proved to be the difference in the ballgame.
Entering the game with a 5-3 lead, Emeralds’ closer Adam Cimber retired the first two batters in the ninth before running into trouble. Kyle Petty singled to right and moved to second on a wild pitch. Christian Carmichael then hit a single under the glove of diving Eugene first baseman Marcus Davis to score Petty and make it a one-run game at 5-4. Michael Faulkner entered the game as a pinch-runner representing the tying run at first base, but Austin Wilson grounded into a game-ending fielder’s choice as Cimber picked up his eighth save.
The AquaSox scored first and last in this one as the Frogs opened the scoring against Emeralds’ starter Coby Cowgill in the second. With Carmichael on second base, Reggie Lawson laced an RBI single just inside the first base line to put the ‘Sox up 1-0.
Eugene briefly grabbed the lead in the top of the fourth against Everett starter Tommy Burns. Donovan Tate drew a walk to lead off the inning and Ryan Miller followed with a double off the wall in center field to put runners at second and third with no body out. Two batters later, Edwin Moreno lined the first pitch from Burns into left center for a two-RBI double that put Eugene ahead 2-1. The Emeralds again had runners at second and third after Davis singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch, but Burns reached back for a little extra and struck out Felipe Blanco and Anthony Torres to end the inning with the ‘Sox down just one run.
But the ‘Sox surged back to grab the lead in the home half of the inning on a two-run homer by Wilson. After Carmichael drew a walk, Wilson crushed a fastball from Cowgill onto the homer porch in right field for his third homer of the season.
The Emeralds tied the game at 3-3 against AquaSox reliever Cameron Copping in the sixth. Miller led off with a triple that hit off the wall where the fence juts in sharply toward right center field. Chase Jensen then followed with a soft single to left that plated Miller with the tying run.
Eugene then retook the lead with two runs in the seventh. Blanco led off with a double over the head of Frogs’ center fielder Ian Miller and Torres followed with a bunt single to put runners at the corners. Wynton Bernard then scored Blanco with a sacrifice fly to center, with Torres moving to second as Miller’s throw sailed to the backstop. Brito then doubled off the hand-operated scoreboard in right center to push the Eugene lead to 5-3 and chase Copping. Richard White entered the game and gave up a single, but was able to strike out the next two hitters to escape without further damage. Copping (0-2) took the loss after allowing three runs in 1.1 innings
Neither starter factored into the decision Monday. Burns, who entered the game with an 8.10 ERA, pitched well, working five innings and surrendering just two runs on four hits, but was the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead to give him a win. He struck out six and walked three. Cowgill also pitched five innings, allowing three runs on three hits while striking out five and walking one. After being released by the Texas Rangers organization earlier this season, Cowgill has a 2.68 ERA in 43.2 innings for Eugene. The Emeralds Tyler Hale (2-1) earned the win after throwing two scoreless innings of relief.
Eugene, the worst hitting team in the NWL, had ten hits Monday as every starter for the Emeralds had at least one. Everett was held to just six hits in the loss. With a third win in four games, Eugene earned a win of the five-game series. The Emeralds are also guaranteed a season-series victory with their sixth win against the AquaSox this season. On the flip side, it’s the first time this season that the ‘Sox have lost a series at Everett Memorial Stadium. Carmichael was 2-3 with an RBI and two runs scored. The teams combined for 20 strikeouts in the game.
Everett fell to 11-14 in the second half and 34-29 overall while Eugene improved to 12-13 and 25-38. The AquaSox and Emeralds conclude their season series tomorrow at Everett Memorial Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM. Nate Koneski (0-1, 8.40) will get the start for the ‘Sox against Eugene’s Vladimir De La Cruz (0-1, 6.75). The Frogs then begin a three-game series with the Vancouver Canadians on Wednesday. AquaSox 2013 season and individual game tickets are available now online at www.aquasox.com and by phone at 425-258-3673.