BOISE — Whether the Everett AquaSox make the Northwest League playoffs remains to be seen in the season’s final few days.
But on Friday night the Sox did their part to stay alive, defeating the Boise Hawks 2-1 in thrilling fashion, scoring the eventual winning run in the top of the ninth inning on a squeeze bunt by center fielder Austin Cousino.
The bunt, which Cousino beat out for a base hit, scored Phillips Castillo, who had led off the inning with a single. Castillo moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, took third on an infield error and scored easily on Cousino’s bunt down the third-base line.
Everett relief pitcher Logan Seifrit got the final three outs, though the Hawks had the tying run at second base in the bottom of the ninth. Seifrit was helped by a terrific catch from Cousino, who made an over-the-shoulder grab near the center field warning track on a ball hit by Boise’s Justin Marra for the inning’s second out.
The winning pitcher was Everett reliever Leoncio Munoz, who pitched two scoreless, hitless innings.
Trailing North Division co-leaders Vancouver and Tri-Cities by two games at the start of the night, the Sox need some help to catch the Canadians. Vancouver was facing Eugene on Friday night and then wraps up its regular season with three home games against Spokane.
The Sox will travel to Tri-Cities for a three-game set against the Dust Devils Saturday through Monday.
Against Boise, Everett got an outstanding effort from starting pitcher Dan Altavilla. The right-hander checked the Hawks on five hits and a single run through six innings while striking out seven.
Trailing 1-0 in the sixth inning, the Sox tied the game on a home run to left-center field by designated hitter Corey Simpson. It was his ninth homer of the season.
Everett won despite having several runners retired on the base paths. The Sox hit into two double plays, had three runners picked off, and had two other runners caught stealing.