SPOKANE — No Mike Zunino? No problem for the Everett AquaSox.
In the first day without their star catcher, the Sox cruised to a 5-1 victory over the Spokane Indians on Monday night in Northwest League play.
Zunino, the Seattle Mariners’ first-round pick in this year’s amateur draft, was promoted to Jackson of the Class AA Southern League prior to Monday’s game. Zunino, a catcher out of the University of Florida who was selected third overall, destroyed the league during his month with the Sox, batting .373 with 10 home runs and 35 RBI in 29 games.
But even without Zunino the Sox had little trouble Monday. Everett jumped out to a 5-0 lead after five innings, which was more than enough for the Sox pitching staff.
Rusty Shellhorn threw six scoreless innings for Everett (9-11 second half, 37-21 overall), which won its third straight. Marcus Littlewood and Mike Faulkner each had two hits to pace Everett’s offense.
Patrick Cantwell went 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles to lead Spokane (8-12, 20-38).
Shellhorn was excellent during his six innings. The left-hander, who as a native of Liberty Lake was having a homecoming, allowed five hits, walked none and struck out seven in improving his record to 3-2.
The game was scoreless until the Sox broke the game open in the top of the fourth inning. With one out Taylor Ard doubled to right, scoring Patrick Kivlehan from first to open the scoring. Littlewood followed by singling to center to plate Ard. Later in the inning Faulkner’s liner just eluded a diving center fielder Christopher Garia. Two runs scored on the play to give Everett a 4-0 lead.
The Sox tacked on another run in the fifth. Brock Hebert led off the inning with a single, advanced to third when pitcher Richard Alvarez threw away a pickoff attempt, then scored on Ard’s groundout to make it 5-0.
Spokane finally got on the board in the seventh courtesy of Saquan Johnson’s RBI infield single. However, the Indians were denied more runs thanks to a diving play by second baseman Jamodrick McGruder on Garia’s grounder, and the Indians never drew closer.