AquaSox blow lead in 9th, lose to Yakima 4-3

EVERETT — Yakima Bears center fielder Mike Lang hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the ninth inning as the Everett AquaSox squandered a three-run lead to fall to the Bears 4-3 on Friday night.

Everett led 3-0 after five innings, but Yakima scored an unearned run in both the sixth and seventh to make it a one-run game.

In the ninth, Sox reliever Brandon Plotz (2-2) struck out Wagner Mateo to begin the inning, but walked Mark Ginther on a full count. On a 2-2 pitch, Lang, the No. 9 hitter, drove the ball over the left-field fence to give the Bears (14-17, 35-34) their first lead of the game.

Patrick Kivlehan went 2-for-4, with a double, a solo home run and two RBI for the AquaSox. Alfredo Morales and Jamodrock McGruder added two hits apiece for Everett (14-17, 42-27).

The Bears’ comeback cost Sox starter Victor Sanchez a chance for his seventh win of the season. Sanchez pitched 5 1/3 innings, and allowed only an unearned run on five hits while striking out seven.

Coming into the game, Everett had taken seven of eight from the Bears and that trend appeared to continue when the Sox immediately put a run on the board in the first off Yakima starter Daniel Watts. With two outs, Kivlehan roped a double down the left-field line to score Brock Hebert, who was on first after a walk.

The Sox added to their lead in the fourth when Morales and McGruder hit back-to-back singles with one out. After Watts struck out Christian Carmichael, Michael Faulkner hit a groundball up the middle that appeared to be catchable. However, neither shortstop Josh Parr nor second baseman Kevin Medrano made a move towards it and the ball snuck through to score Morales.

An inning later, Kivlehan launched Watts’ 1-2 pitch out to left for his 11th home run of the season, but only his second homer at Everett Memorial Stadium.

But that would be all the Sox offense could muster. Relievers Cody Wheeler and Enrique Burgos (2-3) limited Everett to just two singles over the final three innings.

The Sox defense committed three errors to gift Yakima two runs. After being shutout by Sanchez through the first five innings, the Bears broke through in the sixth. With runners on first and second with one out and Oliver Garcia in relief, Jacob House hit a groundball to first baseman Taylor Ard. Ard elected to go to Garcia covering first, but the throw deflected off Garcia’s glove to allow Medrano to score from second. Ard was officially charged with the error.

In the seventh, third baseman Kivlehan made a bare-handed play on a grounder by Parr, but the throw got by Ard at first to put runners on second and third. Medrano followed with an infield single, his third hit of the night, to score Ginther and make it at 3-2 game.

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