EVERETT — The Everett AquaSox are heading into the playoffs on a winning note.
Everett completed the Northwest League’s regular season Monday afternoon by defeating the Spokane Indians 9-3 at Everett Memorial Stadium.
Phillips Castillo went 2-for-3 with a homer and three runs to lead Everett (21-17 second half, 44-32 overall), which won both the North Division’s first- and second-half titles. The Sox face the Vancouver Canadians in the best-of-three divisional series beginning tonight in Vancouver.
Ian Miller also went 2-for-3 for Everett, and Jefferson Medina pitched 51/3 innings to pick up the win.
Jordan Akins went 2-for-3 to lead Spokane (18-20, 38-38), which had its hopes of reaching the postseason dashed Sunday and thus had nothing to play for.
Everett jumped out to a 4-0 lead through five innings. The Sox opened the scoring in the third on Lonnie Kauppila’s sacrifice fly to left. They added three more in the fifth on Castillo’s two-run bomb to left and Kauppila’s RBI groundout.
Vancouver crept within one with two runs in the sixth and another in the seventh. But the Sox put the game away in the bottom of the seventh. Leading 4-3, Everett took full advantage of the Indians having one foot already on the plane for home, as Spokane put together two errors, a wild pitch and a hit batter among the inning’s first four batters to spark a five-run Sox rally. Justin Seager contributed an RBI double off the right-center wall and Bryan Brito added a run-scoring single as Everett surged ahead by six.
Austin Wilson had a slow start to his professional baseball career, but the five-tool outfielder has come around late in the season.
Wilson, the Seattle Mariners’ second-round pick in this year’s draft out of Stanford University, struggled to adjust to professional ball. For much of the season his average hovered around .200, and his 6-foot-5 and 245-pound frame was producing little power.
However, since Aug. 20 Wilson has been on fire. In his final 10 games he batted .382 with three home runs and 10 RBI, compiling an eye-popping OPS of 1.285.
As a result, Wilson improved his season totals to .241 with six home runs and 27 RBI. The 27 RBI were just three fewer than Seager for the team lead.
Everett was able to give its pitching staff a bit of a rest as Medina was promoted from Peoria of the rookie Arizona League to start Monday’s game.
Medina, a 19-year-old right-hander from Venezuela, was the top starting pitcher for Peoria. In 11 games (eight starts) he went 4-3 with a 2.58 ERA and one save. In 521/3 innings he allowed 44 hits and 14 walks while striking out 34.
On Monday Medina allowed baserunners, but limited the damage. In 51/3 innings he allowed one run on three hits and four walks, striking out two.