EVERETT, Wash – Coming into Saturday riding a four-game losing streak, the Everett AquaSox overcame a five-run deficit and rode a couple of big innings and four home runs to a 14-8 win over the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes before 2,710 fans at Everett Memorial Stadium. The AquaSox exploded for six runs in the fourth to take the lead, keyed by Bryan Brito’s bases-clearing triple. Jacob Zokan picked up his first win with the AquaSox and DJ Peterson hit a pair of solo home runs.
Down 5-1, the ‘Sox sent 11 men to the plate and notched six hits in the fourth inning to come back to take the lead. Justin Seager led off the inning with his first professional home run, a solo shot to straightaway left off Volcanoes’ starter Lorenzo Mendoza. DJ Peterson followed Seager’s dinger by legging out an infield single and James Zamarripa ripped a ground ball to right to put two men aboard for Austin Wilson. After Zamarripa was picked off, Wilson, who was hitting .163 coming into play Saturday, lined a single to left to score Peterson and make it 5-3. Mendoza’s day ended after giving up a single to Christian Carmichael and hitting Phillips Castillo with a pitch to load the bases with one out. Arturo Maltos-Garcia came on to face Bryan Brito, who greeted him with a bases-clearing, go-ahead triple that landed beyond the reach of the diving left fielder McCall as the Frogs seized a 6-5 lead. The ‘Sox added another run when a wild pitch on ball four to Jack Reinheimer scored Brito to make it 7-5 and never looked back.
The game got off to a rough start, as it appeared that the Frogs were on their way to a fifth straight loss. AquaSox’ starter Steven Ewing got two quick outs in the first before struggling, allowing six straight batters to reach base. Ewing walked Elliott Blair and gave up singles to Sam Eberle and Jeremy Sy to load the bases. Ewing then walked Shilo McCall and Gabriel Cornier to force in Blair and Eberle. With the bases still loaded, Cristian Otero hit a fly to left. Phillips Castillo laid out for a diving grab, but came up short, allowing two runs to score to make it 4-0.
Salem-Keizer added a run off Ewing in the second, but it could have been more.
Ortiz laid down a drag bunt single to lead off, but was called out on runner’s interference when the next batter, Tyler Hollick, hit a ground ball to second. Hollick was then caught stealing before Brandon Bednar went deep off the video scoreboard in center for his first long ball of the season to push the lead to 5-0.
The AquaSox chipped away at the lead before getting the big hit they had been missing so far in the series. The Frogs ended a nine-inning scoreless streak when DJ Peterson hit his fourth home run of the year, a solo shot to center in the second off Volcanoes’ starter Lorenzo Mendoza. Seager then began the big fourth inning, with his homer cutting the lead to 5-2.
The Frogs added to their lead with four runs in the sixth, two in the seventh, and one in the eighth. Phillips Castillo and Brito led off with singles against reliever Chris Fern in the sixth and advanced to second and third on a bunt. Reinheimer pushed his hitting streak to 11 games with a two-run base hit to center and Seager followed with an RBI double into the right field corner that scored Reinheimer from first. Seager then came around to score on Zamarripa’s single up the middle to make it 11-5 ‘Sox.
In the seventh, Christian Carmichael hit a solo home run, his first of 2013, to push the lead to 12-5. Brito and McGruder singled to put runners at the corners, and an RBI groundout by Reinheimer added another run.
After Salem-Keizer got a run in the top half of the eighth, Peterson hit his league leading fifth home run to make it 14-6.
The Volcanoes plated a couple runs off Richard White in the ninth to record the final margin of 14-8.
Zokan (1-0), the Mariners’ ninth round pick in this year’s draft out of the College of Charleston, made his Everett debut when he relieved Ewing to start the third inning and was the unsung hero of the game. Zokan showcased an effective changeup, working three scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and striking out six while giving the ‘Sox a chance to come back.
Neither starter lasted long in the game. Ewing took a no decision after throwing just two innings and allowing five runs on five hits and walking four. Mendoza (2-1) took the loss for Salem-Keizer. He went 3.1 innings, surrendering six runs on seven hits. He struck out three and walked none. The loss ended the Volcanoes’ franchise-record eight-game road winning streak.
Everett had a season high 17 hits, as every starter checked in with at least one knock Saturday. Brito, Peterson, and Carmichael had three apiece and Seager and Zamarripa each had two. Brito’s three RBIs more than doubled his total for the year. Peterson recorded his first multi-homer game of his pro career.
Otero was 3-4 with three RBIs for the Volcanoes.
The AquaSox improved to 16-7 and retied Salem-Keizer for the best record in the NWL. The teams continue their five-game series tomorrow at 4:05 PM. AquaSox ace Rigoberto Garcia (3-0, 2.35) will toe the rubber for the AquaSox against Joe Kurrasch (1-1, 3.60) as the Frogs attempt to win back-to-back games. July 7th is a Military Appreciation Sunday. The AquaSox will be wearing their Aquaflage jerseys. AquaSox 2013 season and individual game tickets are available now online at www.aquasox.com and by phone at 425-258-3673.