Merchants sweep twin bill

EVERETT — The Everett Merchants baseball team swept the Coquitlam Angels Sunday in a Pacific International League doubleheader, winning the first game 2-1 and the nightcap by the same score.

In the opener, Everett starting pitcher Chris Kerwood allowed one unearned run in five innings to earn the victory. He struck out six. Jake Reppert tossed two scoreless innings for the save, striking out three. Catcher Ethan Yeo and second baseman Ryan Sells sparked the offense with back-to-back RBI singles in the fifth to give the Merchants a lead they never relinquished.

In the second game, Merchants starter Gunnar Swanson struggled early — allowing back-to-back doubles to start the game — but then settled down and did not allow a run the rest of the way.

Reliever Jake Thomas collected the victory when the Merchants scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning. Second baseman Keegan Acker led off by lashing a single to the right-field gap. After a sacrifice bunt and intentional walk, the Merchants had runners on first and second with one out. Sells once again came up big, doubling off the right-field fence to score Acker with the game-winning run.

Merchants manager Harold Pyatte praised his team’s “solid pitching and generally steady defense in both games.”

“Our starters and relievers did their jobs and did them well, keeping the Angels within reach until we could finally get the bats going,” Pyatte said. “We had several guys step up for us at key times — Acker, Sells and Yeo among them.”

The Merchants return to PIL action tonight with a 7 p.m. game against the Seattle Studs at Everett Memorial Stadium.

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