EVERETT — It was more interesting than it needed to be, but the Everett AquaSox collected their first victory of the young Northwest League season Friday night with a 5-3 win over the Hillsboro Hops before 3,589 fans at Everett Memorial Stadium.
The Sox entered the ninth with a 5-1 lead, but the Hops loaded the bases with three straight singles to open the inning. One run scored on a wild pitch and another came home on a groundout. But reliever David Ellingson induced a game-ending foul out down the right-field line hauled in by Austin Grebeck as Everett improved to 1-1. Hillsboro is also 1-1.
Grebeck’s catch made a winner of Everett starter Michael Suarez (1-0) who allowed just a first-inning single as he struck out eight in five innings of work before yielding to Carlos Hernandez.
The AquaSox roughed up Hillsboro starter Mitchell Aker (0-1) for three runs in the first inning. Joseph Rosa ripped a one-out triple into the right-field corner and scored on an error. Then with two outs Onil Pena singled in Eugene Helder and Jonas Lantigua to a 3-0 lead.
Aker settled in nicely after the first and allowed just a solo home run to Greifer Andrade in the sixth before he was lifted for reliever Anfernee Benitez. Andrade finished with two hits.
The AquaSox pushed across another run in the seventh when Grebeck walked, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Rosa double off the left-field wall.
Hillsboro broke up the shutout in the eighth. Stephen Smith reached on an infield single and scored on an RBI double by Domingo Leyba.
The series resumes tonight at 7:05 p.m. at Everett Memorial Stadium.