EVERETT — This time, it was the Everett AquaSox who jumped in front with an early offensive barrage.
After surrendering eight first-inning runs in Saturday’s blowout loss, the AquaSox rode a pair of three-run innings Sunday to a 6-3 bounce-back win over the Hillsboro Hops in front of 3,509 fans at Everett Memorial Stadium.
“We bounced back after a rough game yesterday,” AquaSox manager Jose Moreno said. “The kids came aggressive, we had a better plan at the plate, the pitchers tried to attack the hitters and we saw the result.”
Everett slugger Jonas Lantigua had a pair of run-scoring doubles and Eugene Helder, Greifer Andrade and Osmy Gregorio added two hits apiece for the AquaSox (2-2).
Everett pounded out five extra-base hits combined in the second and third innings while building an early 6-0 lead.
“We were just trying to get good at-bats, put the ball in play and battle with two strikes,” AquaSox second baseman Joseph Rosa said. “That’s everything we’re working on right now.”
Andrade drove in the game’s first run on a second-inning double over the left fielder’s head that scored Joe Venturino, who was stealing on the pitch.
Later in the inning, Lantigua lined an RBI double into left-center field. The 6-foot-5 first baseman scored two batters later on Gregorio’s two-out single into left field, giving the Frogs a 3-0 lead.
“We put pressure (on Hillsboro),” Moreno said. “A couple of hit-and-runs, we took extra bases, and after that we were able to put something together.”
In the third inning, Rosa continued his early-season tear with a solo homer over the high right-center-field fence that extended the lead to 4-0. It was Rosa’s second homer in as many days and fifth extra-base hit of the young season.
“We’ve been working on the fastball since spring training,” Rosa said. “So I’m always waiting for the fastball and just trying to get good contact.”
Helder, the ensuing batter, continued the early offensive outburst with a double off the left-field fence. Venturino followed with a bloop single and Andrade lofted a sacrifice fly to left field that pushed the Frogs’ lead to 5-0.
Two batters later, the left-handed hitting Lantigua roped a run-scoring double — his second in as many innings — down the left-field line to make it 6-0.
“As a hitter, you just try to control your pitch — something that you can drive and do damage,” Moreno said. “And that’s what we’ve been doing for the last two or three games.”
Hillsboro catcher Cole Thompson cut into Everett’s lead in the fourth, smacking a three-run double off the right-center-field fence to trim the deficit to 6-3.
AquaSox starter Andres Torres (1-0) pitched five innings, allowing three runs and six hits. Everett relievers Paul Covelle, Tyler Watson, Adonis De la Cruz and David Ellingson tossed a scoreless final four innings, yielding only one hit combined.
Hillsboro starter Connor Grey lasted just 2 2/3 innings, yielding all six runs and seven of the Frogs’ 11 hits.
Everett and Hillsboro (2-2) conclude their season-opening five-game series at 11:05 a.m. Monday.