PASCO — Victor Sanchez may be a mere 17 years old, but just one day into the Northwest League season he’s already announced himself as one to watch for the future.
The Venezuelan phenom, making his professional debut, threw six sterling innings as the Everett AquaSox opened the season with a 2-1 victory over the Tri-City Dust Devils.
Sanchez allowed just one run on two hits and two walks, striking out four in his six innings. The portly right-hander’s efforts allowed the Sox to prevail despite managing just two hits in the game.
Brandon Plotz and Oliver Garcia combined for three scoreless innings of relief, stranding runners in scoring position in all three innings, to close out the victory. Garcia was credited with the save.
Tri-City starter Roberto Padilla was nearly Sanchez’s match. The lefty allowed just one hit in 52/3 innings, walking two and striking out six. However, he allowed two runs, just one of which was earned, and was saddled with the loss.
Snohomish High School graduate Derek Jones, selected by Colorado in the eighth round of this year’s draft and assigned to Tri-City, made his professional debut when he pinch hit in the sixth. He was hit by a pitch and struck out.
The Dust Devils got the game’s first run in the bottom of the second inning. Dillon Thomas led off by doubling to left-center. He advanced to third on one groundout and scored on another, giving Tri-City a 1-0 lead.
Everett scored its first run of the season in the fourth, without the benefit of a hit. Michael Faulkner led off with a walk, took second on a wild pitch, stole third and scored on Taylor Ard’s groundout to second, knotting it at 1-1.
The Sox were then gifted a run to take the lead in the sixth. With two out Dust Devils shortstop Zach Osborne booted what should have been the inning-ending grounder. Chris Taylor scored from third on the play to make it 2-1.
Everett just maintained its lead in the seventh when left fielder Janelfry Zorilla threw out Zach Osborne at the plate. Garcia then stranded a runner at third in the eighth and a runner at second in the ninth to preserve the victory.