EVERETT — David Bote’s RBI double in the top of the sixth inning proved to be the difference as the Boise Hawks defeated the Everett AquaSox 7-6 Saturday night in an ugly contest at Everett Memorial Stadium.
Saturday’s game featured two pitching staffs that struggled mightily. The teams combined to walk 15 batters, hit another four and uncork five wild pitches. After an inning-and-a-half the score was tied 4-4, despite each team having just one hit. Everett was forced to resort to using catcher Luke Guarnaccia on the mound in the ninth, his third pitching appearance of the season.
Boise fought itself out of a 4-0 hole to take a 6-4 lead in the fourth. Everett came back and tied it, but in the sixth Bote ripped a double off the center-field wall, scoring Mark Zagunis from second with what proved to be the winning run.
Everett put the tying and winning runs on base in the bottom of the ninth, but Adam Martin’s liner went straight at Bote at second to end the game.
Bote finished 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBI to lead Boise (2-3 second half, 24-19 overall).
Taylor Smart went 2-for-3 with two walks and Adam Martin homered to lead Everett (3-2, 14-29).
Everett starting pitcher Luiz Gohara, the highest-profile prospect on Everett’s roster, had a rough outing. The 17-year-old left-hander from Brazil was unable to record an out in the second inning. He ended up walking four and hitting another batter in his one-plus inning of work.
Everett exorcized a lot of demons with its doubleheader sweep of Boise on Friday.
Going into Friday the Sox were a league-worst 12-28, hadn’t won back-to-back games all season, and were winless in 10 straight series. Everett ended all that in one day, getting the back-to-back victories and clinching its first series win with a game to spare in the five-game set.
The timing of the turnaround was also ideal as it came just as the second half of the Northwest League season began. Going into Saturday’s game the Sox found themselves atop the North Division standings at 3-1. Is it possible the Sox, who struggled so badly during the first half, could leap into contention?
“We’re definitely excited about that,” said pitcher Dan Altavilla, who won Friday’s first game. “The first half everyone was new and just getting to know everybody, trying to get comfortable in their positions. I think now we’re comfortable where we’re at and excited to play.
“We’re going to be on track here to hopefully win the second half.”