AquaSox’s season ends with 4-2 loss to Spokane

  • Herald staff
  • Saturday, September 3, 2011 12:01am
  • Sports

SPOKANE — When the Everett AquaSox needed it most, their bats simply ran out of steam in their final at bat in the final game of the Northwest League season.

Needing a win against the Spokane Indians and a Eugene loss to advance to the NWL playoffs, the AquaSox loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the ninth trailing 4-2. But three consecutive strikeouts ended the game and Everett’s season Saturday night at Avista Stadium in Spokane.

The ninth inning for Everett (21-17, 37-39 overall) began with consecutive walks by James Wood and Ramon Morla. A bunt single by Larry Gonzalez loaded the bases, but Indians reliever Gregory Williams struck out Jarrett Burgess for the first out. Williams was relieved by right-hander Jerad Eickhoff, who subsequently struck out Marcus Littlewood and Jorge Agudelo to end the game.

The Aquasox began the final day of the regular season trailing first-place Eugene by one game in the NWL’s West Division. An Everett victory combined with a Eugene loss would have allowed the Frogs to tie the Ems for first place in the West Division in the second half of the season. Eugene won the first-half title, and the Frogs would have earned a playoff berth by finishing in a tie for first place.

Eugene lost 5-4 loss to Yakima, but with Everett’s loss, Vancouver was awarded the West Division’s second playoff berth because the Canadians had the best overall record in the league, except for Eugene and Tri-City, both of which had already qualified for the playoffs.

AquaSox starter Joseph DiRocco (1-3) pitched five innings, allowing three runs on four hits and took the loss.

Everett immediately got on the board in the top of the first inning. Littlewood struck out, but was safe at first on a passed ball by Spokane catcher Yefry Castillo. After an Agudelo single and a Jabari Blash walk, Littlewood scored on a sacrifice fly to right field by Jharmidy De Jesus. Wood then doubled to bring home Agudelo, and the AquaSox took a 2-0 lead.

Spokane (15-23, 35-41) took the lead, and the playoffs, away in the sixth. Consecutive hits by Edwin Garcia, Drew Robinson and Nick Vickerson plated one run and chased DiRocco. After a strikeout, reliever Kyle Hunter hit Nick Urbanus with a pitch to load the bases, and Castillo followed with a two-run double to give the Indians a 3-2 lead.

Spokane added a run in the bottom of the eighth on a Ruben Sierra single. Sierra is the son of the former major-leaguer, and Seattle Mariner, who goes by the same name.

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