SPOKANE — Down to the final inning in Game 3 of the Northwest League Divisional Series, the Everett AquaSox did not give up. But late-inning heroics from Cal Raleigh and Jansiel Rivera were not enough as the AquaSox’s season came to an end with a 5-4 loss to the Spokane Indians on Friday afternoon.
AquaSox starter Jheyson Caraballo gave up a first-inning home run to Julio Pablo Martinez to give Spokane the early 1-0 lead. Caraballo, a NWL All-Star, gave up two runs on four hits with three walks in three innings pitched.
Rivera and Josh Stowers both made unbelievable plays in the outfield at Avista Stadium. Rivera robbed Diosbel Arias of a home run in the first inning as the short porch benefited the Sox. With two outs in the bottom of the third inning, Stowers turned in a gem of his own. Tanner Gardner hit a line drive to deep center field, but Stowers was able to make a sliding catch to end the inning and keep Spokane’s lead at 2-0.
The AquaSox bullpen was able to keep the Indians off the scoreboard until the seventh inning. Grant Spranger walked Jax Biggers and hit Martinez, before being relieved by Jamal Wade. Wade gave up run-scoring singles to Curtis Terry and Sherten Apostel as Spokane pushed the lead to 4-0.
Everett finally got on the board in the top of the eighth inning. Charlie McConnell led off with a double. After a Matt Sanders groundout and a Stowers fly out, AquaSox catcher Raleigh lined a home run to right field to cut the Indians’ lead to 5-2.
The AquaSox made things even more interesting in the ninth. After a one-out single by Connor Kopach, Rivera collected his fifth hit in eight at-bats in the series with a two-run home run to left-center field to pull Everett within one at 5-4. Then after McConnell grounded out, Matt Sanders singled and advanced to second on an error by Biggers. With the tying run on second base, Stowers flew out to right field to end the game and Everett’s season.
Spokane advanced to face the Eugene Emeralds in the NWL Championship Series, starting Sunday.