EVERETT — The 2018 Everett AquaSox’s season-opening homestand got off to a difficult start.
But it ended with back-to-back wins as the Frogs defeated the visiting Hillsboro Hops 7-5 Tuesday before 1,803 fans at Everett Memorial Stadium.
Everett (2-3) also won 7-1 on Monday after dropping the first three contests of the five-game series to the Hops (2-3).
The Frogs now take their first road trip of the season with three games at Vancouver, British Columbia. Everett returns home Saturday for a three-game set against the Tri-City Dust Devils.
Several of the Seattle Mariners’ highly regarded 2018 draftees stood out Tuesday.
Josh Stowers, Seattle’s second-round pick out of Louisville, made his professional debut as designated hitter after missing the first four games with hamstring issues.
Stowers lined out to left field in his first at-bat, but hit a towering two-run home run to left field in the fourth to give Everett a 6-5 lead it never relinquished.
Starting pitcher Michael Plassmeyer, Seattle’s fourth-round pick from Missouri, struck out two in a perfect first inning of work before he was relieved by Ivan Fortunato (1-0).
Reliever Joey Gerber, Seattle’s eighth-round pick from Illinois, struck out two hitters to earn his first professional save.
Everett infielder Connor Kopach continued his torrid start to his professional career. The Southern Illinois product was 3-for-3 with a double, scored twice and drove in two runs while reaching base in all four plate appearances.
Rainis Silva and Jansiel Rivera each had two hits for Everett with Rivera blasting his second home run of the season.
Silva doubled to lead off the fifth and scored on an error to make it 7-5. That was how the game ended.
Jamal Wade and Dayeison Arias combined to strike out seven in four perfect innings to set up Gerber’s save.
Everett struck first when Kopach singled to lead off the bottom of the first inning and scored on an RBI groundout by Keegan McGovern to give Everett a 1-0 lead after one inning.
But Ryan Tufts launched a long three-run home run — the first of his career — over the wall in left field to give Hillsboro a 3-1 lead in the top of the second.
Everett regained the lead in the bottom of the inning. Rivera led off with a home run into the grassy berm beyond the right-field fence, and Kopach had a two-run single as the AquaSox led 4-3 through two innings.
Hillsboro’s Jose Caballero hit a solo home run that cleared the netting in left field and tied the game 4-4 in the top of the third.
Jorge Perez singled and later scored on a wild pitch to regain the 5-4 lead for Hillsboro in the fourth.
That set up Stowers’ go-ahead home run.