By Nick Patterson Herald Writer
EVERETT — The Everett AquaSox got the second half to the Northwest League season off to a winning start.
Jack Reinheimer drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth inning, giving Everett a 3-2 victory over the Tri-City Dust Devils on Tuesday night at Everett Memorial Stadium.
The score was tied 2-2 going into the bottom of the ninth when the Dust Devils broke down. Lonnie Kaupilla lined a one-out single to left to get things started, then Tri-City second baseman Alec Mehrten booted Chantz Mack’s grounder, giving the Sox runners at first and second.
Dust Devils pitcher Marc Magliaro threw a wild pitch to allow the runners to advance, and Christian Carmichael was walked to load the bases. That brought Reinheimer to the plate. Reinheimer worked the count to 3-1, then strolled to first with the walk-off walk.
Justin Seager went 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBI to lead Everett offensively. The Sox also received a strong outing from starting pitcher Steven Ewing, who struck out seven in six innings. Reliever Jose Valdivia picked up the win with two scoreless innings.
Ashley Graeter slugged a two-run homer to provide all the scoring for Tri-City), which committed three errors, leading to two unearned runs.
The Sox had their top offensive weapon back in the lineup Tuesday.
Third baseman D.J. Peterson returned to action after missing most of the previous two games because of a thumb injury. He was back at third base and batting in the cleanup spot.
The Sox and Peterson suffered a scare Sunday at Boise when, in the bottom of the first inning, Peterson took Rony Rodriguez’s grounder off his left thumb and had to be removed from the game. Peterson underwent x-rays, which fortunately for Everett came out negative. He ended missing just one full game.
Peterson, the Seattle Mariners’ first-round pick in this year’s draft, leads the Sox in most offensive categories. Going into Tuesday’s game, he was batting .314 with six home runs and 28 RBI, all of which lead the team among players currently on the roster.
Everett finished tied with South Division champ Salem-Keizer for the league’s best record in the first half, but statistically the Sox weren’t quite as strong. Everett was outscored by 37 runs (195-158) in its 38 games, yet still managed to finish eight games above .500. The Sox finished fourth out of eight teams in the league in team batting (.245), slugging percentage (.338) and on-base percentage (.338). Everett was dead last in team ERA (4.37).
Individually, Everett had two players who finished the first half atop the league’s statistical categories. Peterson was first in homers (six), RBI (28) and slugging percentage (.543), while pitcher Lars Huijer was tied with Vancouver’s Eric Brown in wins with five.