EVERETT, Wash. – The Everett AquaSox took the finale of their five-game series with the Eugene Emeralds by a score of 7-2 before 1,528 fans at Everett Memorial Stadium Tuesday. Austin Wilson lead the way for the Frogs offense with a three-hit night, including a two-run home run, and Nate Koneski gave the AquaSox five innings of one-hit ball in a spot start.
The ‘Sox broke a scoreless tie in a big way with four runs in the fifth inning. Michael Faulkner lined a double in the right center gap to lead off the inning. With one out, Justin Seager doubled off the batter’s eye in center field to drive in Faulkner with the first run of the ballgame and give the Frogs a 1-0 lead. Tayron Gurrero then entered the game in relief of Eugene starter Vladimir De La Cruz. After moving to third on a fielder’s choice, Seager scored on a passed ball by Emeralds’ catcher Ryan Miller to push the lead to two runs. Carlton Tanabe then drew a walk before Wilson crushed a 95-mile per hour fastball from Gurrero well over the manual scoreboard in right for his second home run in as many nights to put the Frogs up 4-0.
The offensive outburst was needed after the AquaSox failed to capitalize on a couple of scoring chances early. The ‘Sox loaded the bases with one out against De La Cruz in the third, but the right hander struck out Seager and Kyle Petty to end the inning. The Frogs were also unable to score in the fourth, despite back-to-back doubles by Wilson and Reggie Lawson. Wilson was on second when Lawson hit a deep fly ball to center. Eugene center fielder Ronnie Richardson attempted to make a leaping grab against the wall, forcing Wilson to hold half way between second and third, and Richardson corralled the ball after failing to make the grab to keep Wilson at third as Lawson went to second. De La Cruz then got a strikeout and a pop-up to keep the score tied.
Michael Miller led off the seventh inning with a double to left center off Frogs’ reliever Ricardo Pereira and scored on a sacrifice fly by Fernando Perez to put Eugene on the board, but the Emeralds still trailed Everett 4-1.
The AquaSox quickly erased any thoughts of a Eugene comeback, however, scoring three runs in the home half of the inning thanks to a couple of errors by the Eugene third baseman Perez. Wilson singled before Bryan Brito laid down a perfect drag bunt with two outs. Perez attempted to let the ball go foul, but then failed to prevent it from rolling into shallow left, allowing Wilson and Brito to advance an extra base. Perez then threw away Lonnie Kauppila’s grounder, allowing both runners to score before Faulkner lined an RBI single to right center to bring home Kauppila for a 7-1 lead.
Koneski (1-1) shone in a spot start for the Frogs following the departure of Steven Ewing to Clinton. The lefthander from Holy Cross hurled five scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and striking out nine. After giving up a double to Perez in the second, Koneski retired 10 of the next 11 batters he faced, yielding only a walk. Pereira and Tyler Olson combined to pitch the final four frames for the Frogs. De La Cruz (0-2) took the loss after surrendering two runs in 4.1 innings.
Wilson, who entered the game batting just .213, is 9-22 (.409) with three homers and seven RBI since August 11th. He was 5-11 in the series with Eugene with two homers, a double and four RBI. His home run Tuesday was his fourth of 2013. The ‘Sox had 13 hits in the game as, in addition to Wilson, Faulkner, Seager, Lawson, and Brito each had two knocks.
With the win, Everett moved to 12-14 in the second half and 35-29 overall while Eugene fell to 12-14 and 25-39. Despite the loss, the Emeralds took the season series from the ‘Sox, six games to four. Everett finishes the 2013 season with an 18-22 record against the NWL South Division. The Frogs open a three-game series with the Vancouver Canadians tomorrow at 7:05 PM at Everett Memorial Stadium. Thyago Vieira (3-5, 4.75) will go for his first win since July 16th against the Canadians’ Justin James (1-4, 3.11). AquaSox 2013 season and individual game tickets are available now online at www.aquasox.com and by phone at 425-258-3673.