EVERETT — The Everett AquaSox moved one step closer to securing the Northwest League’s North Division first- half championship on Wednesday with a 7-6 victory over the Vancouver Canadians.
Everett led 7-2 going into the ninth inning and held off a furious rally that saw the Canadians score four runs and bring the go-ahead run to the plate.
“Vancouver is a team that never goes away,” AquaSox manager Rob Mummau said. “All of their hitters give good at-bats. They showed that last inning that they never give up.”
After dropping the first game of the three-game series 13-1, Everett has won two straight over Vancouver. The Frogs lead the Canadians by three games with just five games left in the first half.
“We are feeling much better today than we were two days ago after the first loss of the series,” Mummau said. “The guys came out fighting the last two days, so tip (my) hat to our guys. It’s not over yet. We still have got to go Boise and take care of business, but we definitely feel a lot better today than we did two days ago.”
Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Erasmo Ramirez got the spot start for the AquaSox, throwing 51⁄3 innings while giving up two runs on six hits and striking out 10. He was optioned to Everett last week so he could get his scheduled start during Major League Baseball’s All-Star break. Ramirez has started one game for the Mariners, a loss to Boston last Thursday where he gave up seven runs in 42⁄3 innings to the Red Sox.
Mummau held true to his pre-game plan of Ramirez throwing around 90 pitches.
“I thought he was very good,” Mummau said. “He located his fastball well. He had a cutter, a curveball and his changeup working today and he got a lot of strikeouts. I think he did a great job.”
Vancouver scored first, getting a run in the top of the third inning on an RBI groundout by Monroe High School alum Ian Parmley.
Everett tied the score in the bottom of the fourth inning when Justin Seager hit his second home run of the season. The towering blast over the left-field wall broke up 31⁄3 innings of perfect ball thrown by Vancouver starting pitcher Kyle Anderson.
“He broke up the no-hitter and got us on the board there with one swing,” Mummau said. “He has been a guy that has done a great job for us all year.”
Seager finished the game 1-for-4 with three runs scored. He walked in the sixth inning and reached base on an error in the seventh.
Vancouver reclaimed the lead in the top of the sixth inning when Justin Atkinson scored on a passed ball. It didn’t last long as the AquaSox countered in the bottom of the sixth with two runs, the first on an RBI single by Reggie Lawson. D.J. Peterson scored the second run when Austin Wilson reached base on a fielder’s choice.
The Frogs padded their lead in the bottom of the seventh inning, adding four runs highlighted by back-to-back RBI doubles by Michael Faulkner and Jack Reinheimer.
Everett held a 7-2 lead until the top of the ninth inning when Vancouver made a run. Andy Fermin and Daniel Klein led off the inning with back-to-back home runs. Christian Vazquez later scored on Chaz Frank’s single and Frank scored on a groundout by L.B. Dantzler.
Fermin finished 4-for-4 for Vancouver with a double and a home run.
The game ended on a dangerous fly ball hit by Jordan Leyland that was caught on the warning track by Wilson.
Aaron Lommers covers sports for The Herald. Follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.