EVERETT, Wash. – The Spokane Indians (7-10) overcame a six-run deficit and won a back-and-forth game 10-9 in the series finale against the Everett AquaSox (14-3) at Everett Memorial Stadium Sunday afternoon. The ‘Sox jumped out to a six-run lead, but the Indians sent twelve men to the plate in the fifth against Everett starter Steven Ewing, capped by Janluis Castro’s go-ahead two-RBI single, to take the lead. Everett came back to tie the game at nine, but Ryan Cordell’s solo homer off Richard White in the ninth won it for the Indians. Josh McElwee earned the win for Spokane.
The AquaSox appeared to be cruising early, as they continued their early season trend of jumping out to an early lead, scoring three times in the bottom of the first against Indians’ starter Alex Gonzalez. Jamodrick McGruder led off with a walk and Michael Faulkner lined a single into right field. Gonzalez hit Justin Seager with a pitch to load the bases with nobody out for Phillips Castillo. Castillo delivered a line drive single down the right field line to score McGruder and Faulkner and send Seager to third. After Austin Wilson lined out and Castillo was caught stealing, a passed ball by Indians’ catcher Kevin Torres with James Zamarripa at the plate scored Seager to make the Frogs’ lead 3-0.
The AquaSox added on to the lead in the third and fourth. Gonzalez, the Rangers’ first round pick in this year’s draft, is on an innings limit for the year and tossed just two innings before leaving the ballgame. He allowed three runs, two earned, on two hits. He struck out one and walked one. Kyle Castro came on in relief and gave up a triple to Michael Faulkner with one out. Spokane right fielder Marcus Greene was tracking the ball when he appeared to lose it in the sun, allowing the ball to drop while Faulkner motored into third. Seager made the Indians pay, continuing his hot streak by lining a 3-2 pitch from Kyle Castro into the left field corner for an RBI double. Seager was stranded at second, but the AquaSox led 4-0 after three. In the fourth, Zamarripa drew a leadoff walk and stole second before coming around to score on Reggie Lawson’s double to the 380-foot sign in center field. Another passed ball by Torres moved Lawson to third, allowing him to score on Christian Carmichael’s chopper to short for an RBI fielder’s choice, pushing the Frogs’ lead to six.
The Indian bats, after being silenced for most of the series, erupted in the fifth inning. Ewing hit Gabriel Roa with a pitch and Greene and Torres hit a pair of singles to load the bases with nobody out in the top of the fifth. Spokane got its first run when Seager, getting his first start at third base for the ‘Sox, hesitated on Roberto Duran’s groundball, first looking towards home before firing to first too late to get Duran. Christopher Garia then dumped an RBI single into left to bring home Greene and make it 6-2. With the bases still loaded, Everett left fielder Phillips Castillo misplayed Castro’s single, clearing the bases and bringing the Indians back within one at 6-5. An infield hit by Cordell, the Indians’ third of the inning, put runners at the corners with one out. Ewing got Barret Serrato to pop out before Tyler Wright came on in relief. Cordell stole second and Roa hit a blooper to right that fell in front of Wilson for a two-run single and gave the Indians the lead at 7-6. Wright struck out Torres, the Indians’ 12th batter of the inning, to finally retire the side.
Wright struck out five hitters in a row before the Indians touched him for two insurance runs in the seventh. Cordell hit a ball to the wall for a double with one out before Serrato tattooed one just right of the hand-operated scoreboard in right field for his first home run of the season to give the Indians a three-run lead at 9-6.
The AquaSox refused to hang their heads, storming back with three runs in the seventh and eighth to tie the game at nine-all. Everett got a run back when Castillo hit a solo homer, his second of the season, to dead center of Eric Brooks in the seventh. In the eighth, Carmichael hit a leadoff single and McGruder drew a walk to put a couple men on for Seager with two outs. Seager hit a soft liner to right for a base hit, his third of the day, that scored Carmichael to make it 9-8. Castillo then roped his third hit into left to tie the game at 9-9.
Spokane quickly untied the game in the ninth. With one out, Cordell crushed his first career home run to straightaway left off Richard White (1-2) to give the Indians the lead once again at 10-9.
McElwee (1-0) worked the ninth for the Indians. The Frogs got the tying run aboard when Lawson drew a one-out walk, but McElwee struck out Carmichael and Brito to end the game.
Ewing took a no decision after throwing 4.2 innings and surrendering seven runs, six earned, on seven hits. He struck out five and walked one. Castillo led the way on offense for the ‘Sox, going 3-5 with four RBIs, while Seager was 3-4 with two RBIs. The AquaSox had four players record at least two hits Sunday: Faulkner, Seager, Castillo, and Lawson.
After mustering just three hits on Saturday, the Indians pounded out 11 Sunday afternoon. Every Indian starter except Saquan Johnson had a hit. Cordell was 3-5 with the game-winning home run. The win was the Indians first in six tries against the AquaSox in 2013 and brought an end to Everett’s seven-game winning streak.
The ‘Sox are in Vancouver tomorrow to begin a three-game series with the Canadians. First pitch is at 7:05. Pat Dillon will call the game on 1380 AM KRKO. The Frogs return to Everett Memorial Stadium to take on the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes in a five-game series beginning on the 4th. There will be an Independence Day Celebration, presented by NECA and IBEW Local 191, and postgame fireworks following the game on the 4th. AquaSox 2013 season and individual game tickets are available now online at www.aquasox.com and by phone at 425-258-3673.