Everett, Wash. – The Everett AquaSox came back from five runs down to beat the Hillsboro Hops 6-5 Sunday afternoon at Everett Memorial Stadium. DJ Peterson hit a grand slam and Phillips Castillo launched his first home run of the year to tie the game before Justin Seager delivered a two-out, bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth to give the ‘Sox a walk off win. Aaron Brooks got his first win of the season and Yoimer Camacho took the loss. Zachary Esquerra hit his second home run of 2013 for Hillsboro.
For just the second time this season, the AquaSox’ opponents struck first as the Hops pushed a run across in the first inning off Horstman. Ryan Gebhardt hit what looked to be a lazy fly ball to right, but the ball tailed toward the line and bounced off the glove of diving right fielder Reggie Lawson, allowing Gebhardt to motor into third with a standup triple. Yogey Perez-Ramos then scored Gebhardt with sac fly to left to give Hillsboro the 1-0 lead.
The Hops picked up another run in the third inning. Ryan Kinsella led off with a single to center and a throwing error by first baseman Justin Seager on William Castillo’s sacrifice bunt put runners on the corners with nobody out. A wild pitch by Frogs’ starter Ryan Horstman with Taylor Ratliff at the plate brought home Kinsella to extend the lead to 2-0. Ratliff then singled, bringing an end to Horstman’s first professional start. Ricardo Pereira came on with runners on first and second and nobody out, but wriggled out of trouble when Gebhardt grounded into a double play and Perez-Ramos flew out.
The Hops scored again off Pereira in the fourth. Zachary Esquerra continued his hot streak when he blasted a home run to dead center field to lead off the inning. It was Esquerra’s sixth RBI of the series and his tenth of 2013, second in the Northwest League. Jordan Parr followed Esquerra by lining a double into the left field corner and Yosbel Gutierrez and McCurry walked to load the bases with nobody out. Kinsella then hit a sacrifice fly to deep left to bring home Parr and Castillo ripped the ball up the middle to score Gutierrez. Pereira got Ratliff to ground out and Gebhardt to fly out to the track to end the inning, but Hillsboro led 5-0 after four.
After managing just one hit off Hops’ starter Jose Martinez for the first four innings, the AquaSox rallied back with four runs on one swing of the bat in the fifth. McGruder and Bryan Brito walked and Michael Faulkner hit into a fielder’s choice to put runners on first and third with one out. Martinez hit Reinheimer to load the bases for DJ Peterson. Peterson delivered, crushing the first pitch over the wall in left-center for a grand slam to bring the Frogs within one run at 5-4. It was Peterson’s second home run in as many days and ran his RBI total to eight in just five games with the ‘Sox.
The AquaSox had a chance to tie the game in the sixth when Brito lined a two-out single to center of Alexander Carreras, but Jamodrick McGruder was thrown out at the plate attempting to score on the play. The benches cleared briefly as McGruder and Hops’ catcher Yosbel Gutierrez exchanged words, but there were no ejections.
In the eighth inning, the ‘Sox completed their second comeback against the Hops in the series when Phillips Castillo, who was 0-3 with three strikeouts up to that point, homered to straightaway left to knot the score at 5-5.
The ‘Sox earned their second walk-off win of the weekend in the ninth on Justin Seager’s infield single. Yoimer Camacho (0-1) came on to pitch for Hillsboro. With one out, Faulkner dumped a single into shallow left-center and stole second to put the winning run in scoring position. After a passed ball on ball four to Reinheimer sent Faulkner to third, the Hops intentionally walked Peterson to bring up Seager with a chance to win the ballgame with the bases loaded. On an 0-2 pitch, Seager chopped the ball over the mound and Hillsboro second baseman William Castillo had no play, giving the Frogs a 6-5 win.
Both starters took no decisions Sunday. Horstman, making his professional debut, threw two innings, allowing two runs, both earned, on three hits. He displayed some of the stuff that led the Mariners to draft him in the fourth round, mixing up his fastball and changeup while striking out three and walking none. Martinez went five innings for Hillsboro, allowing four earned runs on two hits. He struck out six and walked four.
Tyler Wright, the Mariners 26th round pick out of Arkansas, also made his AquaSox debut Sunday. Wright relieved Pereira in the fifth and worked three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and striking out two. Mountlake Terrace, WA native Aaron Brooks (1-0) worked the eighth and ninth and didn’t allow a hit while striking out three.
The game was delayed for a few minutes in the bottom of the third as Hillsboro players tried to chase down a cat that had made its way into the outfield.
The AquaSox (8-2) and the Hops (3-7) conclude their series tomorrow at 7:05 PM at Everett Memorial Stadium. The AquaSox then hit the road for a three game series with the Tri-City Dust Devils at Gesa Stadium in Pasco before returning home Friday, June 28th to take on the Spokane Indians. AquaSox 2013 season and individual game tickets are available now online at www.aquasox.com and by phone at 425-258-3673.