By David Krueger Herald Writer
EVERETT — The Everett AquaSox have struggled at times to score runs at home this season.
Sunday evening, that was not the case.
Led by four RBI by designated hitter Kyle Petty, the Frogs matched their season-high for runs in an 11-5 victory over Tri-City in the final game of a three-game series at Everett Memorial Stadium.
“It’s good to see the guys swing the bat, be aggressive and really come through with runners in scoring position,” said Everett manager Dave Valle. “That’s something that we’ve been struggling with, so it was good to see them make the adjustment and get it done today.”
The total matched the 11 runs Everett put up on June 20 — also against the Dust Devils. It also snapped a nine-game home losing streak for the AquaSox, who got their second victory of the season at Everett Memorial in the final game of a three-game series with Tri-City.
To get their sixth win of the season the Frogs (6-18) had to battle back from the start. Tri-City got on the board first with two runs in the top of the first inning. A wild pitch by AquaSox starter Lukas Schiraldi and a sacrifice fly by Ryan Garvey gave the Dust Devils a 2-0 lead before the Sox got to the plate.
But Austin Cousino got one run back quickly with a solo homer, his second of the season, and Petty hit a two-out, two-run double to put Everett up 3-2.
Tri-City scored two runs in the top of the fourth to tie the game at 4-4, but the AquaSox again showed their resiliency, matching those in the bottom half of the inning when Jordan Cowan scored from third on a throwing error and Corey Simpson hit an RBI single.
“It’s a nine-inning game and I keep trying to drill this into these guys that this baseball game does not play to one inning,” Valle said. “You’ve got to play nine innings and you’ve got to continue to score and continue to add on and we did that today.”
Petty, who batted 2-for-4, belted a home run in the fifth inning and the Sox added one on another Tri-City error in the seventh before breaking the game open with three more runs in the eighth. Petty hit a sacrifice fly — his fourth RBI of the game — to score Adam Martin before Taylor Smart hit a two-run single to left field to give the game its final total.
“I think it’s just trusting in the program,” Petty said. “I don’t think it’s doing anything different. I think we’re finally starting to click. … I was struggling a little bit early but the guys stayed behind me, kept pushing me forward (saying), ‘Don’t give up. Just keep going. Things tonight finally started to fall. It does feel good to really contribute to an 11-run game but all the guys played a huge role in it tonight.”
The AquaSox also got big contributions by the middle of their order. Martin, the Frogs’ No. 3-hitter batted 2-for-3 with three runs scored and Simpson — batting right behind Martin — finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI.
“Kyle, he’s one of our older guys. He played here last year and it’s good to see that bat going (and) the middle part of our order driving in runs like we did today,” Valle said. “That’s something we expect from them.”
Francisco Sosa and Cesar Galvez each had three hits apiece for the Dust Devils (10-14), who threatened in the top of the ninth inning. A pair of errors by Everett shortstop Chris Mariscal and a walk loaded the bases with one out but reliever Hawtin Buchanan got a pop fly to left field and a strikeout to end the game and send the AquaSox into an off day on a victory.
The Frogs got some momentum going into an off day before hosting defending Northwest League champion Vancouver for three-games. It’s the first meeting of the year between the Frogs and Canadiens, who knocked Everett out of the playoffs last season en route to their third-consecutive NWL championship.
However, after a big victory many of the Sox would rather get back to action today.
“Unfortunately, as weird as that sounds, we have an off day (Monday),” Petty said. “After an 11-run game you want to get back out on the field the next day and try to keep those bats hot. Hopefully, the bodies will get rested but we don’t lose that fire and we can roll off this 11-run game.”