By Nick Patterson Herald Writer
Opponent: Vancouver Canadians
When: 7:05 p.m.
Where: Everett Memorial Stadium
Radio: KRKO (1380 AM)
Probable starters: Everett right-hander Victor Sanchez (5-1, 3.70 ERA) vs. Vancouver right-hander Roberto Osuna (no record)
Spyder Webb has been in the Northwest League for 34 seasons, so one might think he’s seen it all. However, there was a play during Thursday night’s game between Everett and Salem-Keizer that even he’d never witnessed.
In the bottom of the eighth inning with Everett leading 3-1, the Sox had Mike Faulkner on second base with one out when Ketel Marte lined a ball toward first base. Volcanoes first baseman Joe Rapp appeared to catch the ball at his shoe tops, then thew to second to try to double off Faulkner. Faulkner beat the throw back to the bag, and the play appeared over. Mike Zunino was even announced as the next batter.
Not so fast.
Unbeknownst to most of those watching, including Marte who had headed back to the dugout, the home-plate umpire ruled Rapp had short-hopped the ball. The only ones who seemed to notice were those in the Salem-Keizer dugout, who started yelling at shortstop Matt Duffy to throw the ball to first.
Then chaos broke out.
As the ball was thrown to pitcher Randy Zeigler covering first, Marte dashed back toward first and Faulkner lit out for third. Zeigler saw Faulkner take off and immediately fired toward third before touching first. Unfortunately for Zeigler, third baseman Mitchell Delfino wasn’t at the bag. Delfino raced to try to get to third before the ball, and Delfino, Faulkner and the ball arrived simultaneously. The ball skipped past everyone and into the outfield. When the play was finally dead, Faulkner had come home, Marte was standing on first and no one was sure exactly what happened.
It turns out Marte had been ruled out for heading toward the dugout instead of first, and Faulkner’s run counted. Both managers came out to get an explanation, and both returned to their dugout without argument.
That’s short-season single-A baseball.
DeCecco staking his claim
Everett pitcher Scott DeCecco is determined to take advantage of his opportunity.
DeCecco threw 52/3 stellar innings Thursday night, and the recent addition to Everett’s starting rotation wants to stay there.
DeCecco, a left-hander, was a three-year starter at the University of South Carolina-Upstate before being selected by the Seattle Mariners in the 21st round of this year’s draft. He began the season with the Sox in the bullpen, made one spot start when Seon Gi Kim was promoted, then returned to the bullpen. He got another shot at starting last Saturday and so far he’s staked his claim.
“That’s what I’ve always wanted to do, which is to start professionally,” DeCecco said. “When they told me I was going to get in the rotation, I was really happy. But I knew I had to keep working hard and take advantage of it.”
Tonight’s game features a pair of 17-year-old pitchers facing off against one another.
Everett’s Venezuelan right-hander Victor Sanchez has been a staple of Everett’s rotation all season and went into Friday leading the Northwest League in innings pitched. Osuna, a righty from Mexico who is younger than Sanchez by a mere eight days, is making his Northwest League debut after performing well for Bluefield of the rookie Appalachian League.