Everett, Wash. – Before a crowd of 3,029, the Everett AquaSox (7-2) fell to the Hillsboro Hops (3-6) 7-1 in seven innings in the nightcap of Friday’s doubleheader at Everett Memorial Stadium, wasting a strong pitching performance by Tyler Olson who carried a no-hitter through five innings. Hillsboro scored five runs off Frogs’ reliever Richard White, who took the loss. Karl Triana earned the win for the Hops, tossing six innings of one-run ball.
The ‘Sox scored their only run without the benefit of a hit in the bottom of the first inning. Michael Faulkner lined a single to center field to lead off, and then Hillsboro’s starter, Triana, did the rest. With Jack Reinheimer at the plate, Triana balked Faulkner to second, and then threw two wild pitches to bring the Frogs’ centerfielder home and give Everett the early 1-0 lead.
The ‘Sox missed opportunities to extend their lead early, struggling to convert with runners in scoring position. Bryan Brito laid down a beautiful drag bunt along the third baseline to get aboard with nobody out in the third inning, and advanced to third base with two outs, but was unable to score when Alfredo Morales grounded out.
The AquaSox held a one-run lead until White (0-1) came on in relief of Olson in the top of the sixth. The first batter he faced, Ryan Kinsella, took White deep on his second pitch, hitting the ball onto the berm beyond the right field fence to give Hillsboro their first hit and tie the game at 1-1. White then issued back-to-back walks to John Leonard and Taylor Ratliff following Kinsella’s homer before making an error on Ryan Gebhardt’s bunt attempt to load the bases with nobody out. Yogey Perez-Ramos drew a four-pitch walk to force in Leonard, ending White’s night and giving Hillsboro the lead 2-1. White failed to retire a hitter in the inning and was charged with five Hillsboro runs.
Min-Sih Chen relieved White, but couldn’t stop the bleeding. Chen threw a wild pitch with Zach Esquerra at the plate to score Ratliff. Esquerra then ripped a two-run base hit up the middle, plating Gebhardt and Perez-Ramos to make it 5-1 Hillsboro. With still no one out, an error by first baseman Justin Seager on a pickoff attempt sent Esquerra to second. Ty Linton walked before Chen struck out Grant Nelson, Randy McCurry and Ryan Kinsella to retire the side, but the ‘Sox trailed by four.
Hillsboro added some insurance runs in the seventh. The Hops loaded the bases against Chen with one out via a walk, an error, and a single. Esquerra then delivered another two-RBI single, this time into right-center, to score Ratliff and Gebhardt and extend the Hillsboro lead to 7-1.
The ‘Sox made it interesting in the bottom of the seventh. Chase Stevens came on to close it out for the Hops, but ran into trouble. Seager picked up his third hit of the night with one out. Reggie Lawson walked and Jamodrick McGruder walked to load the bases with two outs, but Brito popped out to end the game.
After some early struggles, Triana (1-1) settled down and pitched a good ballgame. The 6-foot righty from Cartagena, Colombia hurled six innings, allowing just the one earned run on six hits and striking out two while walking one. Esquerra was 2-4 for Hillsboro, driving in four runs.
Olson took a hard-luck no decision, as he threw five hitless innings, striking out three and walking one. Seager was 3-3 and Faulkner was 2-2 for the ‘Sox.
The AquaSox and the Hops continue their series tomorrow at 4:05 PM at Everett Memorial Stadium. The first 1,000 fans will receive a free Felix Hernandez AquaSox T-shirt. AquaSox 2013 season and individual game tickets are available now online at www.aquasox.com and by phone at 425-258-3673.