EUGENE — After being blown out 8-0 in two straight games, the Everett AquaSox got back to doing what they do best: Winning close games.
Everett improved to 10-1 in one-run games as the Sox took advantage of a critical Eugene error in the ninth inning to take the final game of the five-game series 5-4 on Sunday.
Christian Carmichael’s RBI single off Eugene reliever Adam Cimber (0-1) drove in Jack Reinheimer for the go-ahead, winning run. Reinheimer reached safely when Emeralds shortstop Anthony Torres committed a two-base throwing error to start the ninth. The lead was Everett’s first of the game as the Sox (20-10) rallied from deficits of 3-0 and 4-1.
Michael Faulkner, Bryan Brito and James Zamarripa each had two hits and an RBI for the Sox and Zamarripa also stole two bases.
Everett starting pitcher Andrew Carraway allowed four runs with six strikeouts in six innings. Reliever Tyler Wright pitched a scoreless seventh and Lars Huijer (4-1), normally a starting pitcher, followed with two shutout innings to earn the win.
Michael Bass led the Emeralds (11-19), going 3-for-4 with two RBI, and Malquiel Brito added two hits and scored two runs.
Bass drove in Brito with a single in the second to open the scoring and Marcus Davis added a sacrifice fly later in the inning for a 2-0 lead.
Bass’ second RBI single of the game extended the Emeralds’ advantage to 3-0 in the fourth.
Eugene starter Bryan Verbitsky was dominant through the first four innings with seven strikeouts and held the Sox scoreless.
Everett finally made headway against the right-hander in the fifth. Reggie Lawson led off with a double and James Zamarripa followed with a bloop single to shallow left field to drive in Lawson with Everett’s first run in 24 innings.
The Emeralds restored their three-run cushion on Carraway’s wild pitch in the sixth which allowed Torres to score, but Everett responded with three runs in the seventh to tie the game.
Emeralds reliever Michael Kelly started the inning with two walks and a hit batter to load the bases. Right-hander Coby Cowgill replaced Kelly and gave up three straight RBI singles to Faulkner, Brito and Reinheimer to even the score. Everett had a chance to inflict further damage, but Cowgill retired the final three batters to leave the bases loaded and keep the game tied.
The win, which snapped a three-game losing streak, could not have come at a better time for Everett. The Sox have seen their lead for the Northwest League’s North Division first-half title dwindle to two games over the Vancouver Canadians with eight games to play until the second half of the season. Vancouver and Everett start a three-game series tonight at Everett Memorial Stadium.