AquaSox Open Season in Winning Fashion!

Photo Credit: Jason Grohoske

The Everett AquaSox have opened play this summer!  Their schedule is a grinder as they play 76 games in 81 days.  After a week of getting to know each other (some only a few days), the team hit the road for the Tri-Cities to open their season.

Friday night RHP Juan Mercedes got the call to start opening day against the Dust Devils.  Juan would be dominant from the get-go as the 19-year old from the Dominican Republic went a solid five innings, shutting the Dust Devils out and allowing only three hits.  As for the offense, they would start out dormant as they failed to score until inning three.  Starting CF Miguel Perez, who is from the Dominican Republic, would score on a wild pitch to make the score 1-0 AquaSox!

In the fifth inning the Frogs would plate 2 more runs.  2B Cesar Izturis JR, who is from Venezuela, would score on a sacrifice fly by Miguel Perez.  Later that inning LF DeAires Moses, a 19th round pick in the 2016 draft from Volunteer State C.C., would score on a base-hit by 3B Austin Shenton (2019 5th round pick out Florida International).  Look for Shenton to be a fan favorite as he’s from Spokane and has played for our beloved Bellingham Bells, a college summer ball team.  Everett would plate two more runs in the 9th inning on a base hit by DeAires Moses to score Cesar Izturis JR, and later DeAires would score on a wild pitch to make it 5-0.

The AquaSox trio of Nate Fisher, Kipp Rollings and Reid Morgan would pitch the final 4 innings shutting out the Dust Devils on 4 hits as the Frogs took game one 5-0.  Stars of the game on offense were Cesar Izturis Jr who would go 1-3 with a double and a walk and DeAires Moses who would steal a whopping 4 bases!

Saturday night the AquaSox sent 4th round pick Tim Elliott to the mound for game two.  The 19-year old from the University of Georgia didn’t disappoint tossing 2-innings of shutout baseball.  The Frogs took an early 4-0 lead and didn’t look back.  Returning AquaSox and fan favorite Juan Camacho would plate the first run of the ball game singling in SS Patrick Frick (14th round, 2019 Wake Forest).  The 22-year old Frick had earlier singled.  Two batters later, RF Cade Marlowe (20th round, 2019 West Georgia) would belt the Frog’s 1st homerun of the season, a three-run shot to put them up 4-0.  LHP Jorge Benitez, highly touted out of Puerto Rico, would pitch the next 3 1/3 innings of shut out ball.

Both teams would go silent until inning five and six when the Frogs would score a run in each frame, with 2b Cesar Izturis Jr singling in Catcher Carter Bins (11th round, 2019 Fresno State).  The 21-year old Bins had earlier got a base-hit (one of two on the evening).  Brock Minich (27th round, 2019 Nova Southeastern, FL) and 20-year old Ivan Fortunato from the Dominican Republic would pitch the final 3 2/3 innings.  In the 9th inning the Frogs would go up 7-0 when Frick would score on a wild pitch.  In the 9th inning, the Dust Devils would finally score in 2019, plating three runs off Fortunato but it wouldn’t be enough as the Frogs would go 2-0 on the young season with the 7-3 win.  Benitez would be credited with the win.  The star of the evening on offense was RF Marlowe who would go 2-3 with 3 RBIs.

Sunday was the getaway game against the Dust Devils before the Frogs headed south to Boise.  RHP Damon Casetta-Stubbs (11th round, 2018 Kings Way, Vancouver, WA) made his starting debut for the AquaSox and talking about making an impact right away.  Casetta-Stubbs would go five innings.  He would give up 1 run on 3 hits.  He would also strike out 6 Dust Devils while walking 2.  Great job for his first outing.  The Frogs would plate one in the first on a lead-off homerun by CF Miguel Perez.  Casetta-Stubbs would give up his only run in inning 3 as the Dust Devils would tie it up.

In the fifth inning, the Frogs would score their second run on a RBI groundout by Miguel Perez scoring SS Cesar Izturis Jr.  In inning six, the bullpen would take over and not be able to hold the lead.  Pitchers Travis Kuhn (19th round, 2019 University of San Diego) and Reeves Martin (21st round, 2019 New Orleans) would combine to give up 5 runs.

The Frogs would lose the ballgame 6-2.  One interesting note from this series is the final 2 ball games both teams combined to leave 60 base runners on base, just think of the potential of this ball club if things click together.

The AquaSox now head to Boise for a 4-game series before they return home Friday June 21st for opening night at the new Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium.  The 2019 Frogs had an impressive opening weekend.  The pitching was amazing.  The hitting potential is there but they scored the runs when they needed to in games one and two.  It is going to be fun to watch these kids learn to work together and play their hearts out 76 nights of this long summer.  There will be bumps and bruises, there will be players shipped out and others shipped into Everett.  The one thing that got going for them is Manager Jose Moreno.  He knows how to motivate these young kids and get the players to play to the best of their abilities.

Hope to see you all at the ballpark this Friday night June 21st for opening night part deux!  Let’s fill those seats and support our AquaSox!

Go Frogs!

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News Reporter
Brian joined the SSU in 2017 and covers the Everett AquaSox. I'm a graduate of Washington State University and I'm a die-hard baseball fan.