The Everett AquaSox came out of the All-Star break with one goal on their minds, to acquire the 2nd half division title. They went into Salem for a five-game series and came out of it with an respectable 3-2 record. The Frogs fought and battled their way through Salem and won an impressive series, mostly with their offense. With comeback after comeback, they were quickly establishing themselves as the newest “cardiac kids”. They hoped they would continue their ways as they headed home for a short 3-game series with Spokane. Two weeks ago, Spokane came into their house and swept the Frogs right into the division cellar and embarrassed them. Everett wasn’t about to let that happen again.
Game one was under the hot sun as the Frogs needed to score early and often if they were going to prevent the division leading Spokane from extending their lead in the division. Starting pitcher Randy Bell was on the mound and from the first pitch we could tell he brought his A-game. Over the first two innings he shut down the high-powered offense of Spokane, giving up only 1 hit.
The Frogs couldn’t get anything going as well, as they failed to produce a hit the first couple of innings. In the top of the third, Spokane threatened with 2 more hits, but Randy Bell shut them down. In the bottom half the inning, the Frogs caught fire. RF Ronald Rosario lead off with a solo home-run, his 6th hr in 15 games. He added another base hit later in the game as his average soared to nearly .400 in his short time with the Frogs.
The Frogs added another run in the 3rd and third baseman Eugene Helder hit into a fielder’s choice as he plated Austin Grebeck with the 2nd run of the evening. Pitcher Bell tossed one more scoreless inning as the score remained 2- 0 through 4 innings. Michael Suarez came into pitch in the fifth inning and pitched the next 4 innings of work, giving up a measly 3 hits and 0 runs. The Frogs on the other hand continued to put runs on the scoreboard. In the bottom of the 6th inning, they sent 10 batters to plate and scored 6 runs on 3 hits. The highlight of the inning was SS Chris Torres, who belted a base clearing 3-run double. As they went into the ninth inning, the only question on our minds was would the Frogs hold on and secure the 8-0 shut-out against this high-octane offense of Spokane? New AquaSox and Puyallup high school graduate Scott Kuzminsky came into the game to close it out. He quickly put us all at ease as he retired 3 straight batters to end the ballgame. Frogs win as they gain one game on Spokane in the division.
Game two was the same, could they pull off a sweep? The game turned into a slop fest as the two teams combined for a whopping 10 errors in the ballgame. Spokane took an early 3-0 lead because of the sloppiness of the game as they went into the bottom of the 2nd. Greifer Andrade belted a solo home run to cut the lead to 3-1. The Frogs, aka “the Cardiac Kids”, somehow pieced together another 3 runs as they took the lead on Spokane. Over the next three innings the bats fell silent for the Frogs, but for Spokane, it was a different story. Star Catcher Matt Whatley belted in 3 runs with an RBI double and a 2-run home run. In the 7th inning they scored another, as the lead soared to 7-4. “The Cardiac Kids” didn’t give up.
Spokane had their sloppy inning as the Frogs put 3 across the plate to tie up the ballgame at 7, the highlight of the inning was second baseman Johnny “Awesome” Adams who knocked in two with a double. In the 8th inning, Spokane almost scored a run but their base runner was thrown out at the plate by SS Chris Torres on a relay throw from Greifer Andrade. C David Banuelos made a great tag as the score remained tied.
In the bottom of the inning, the Frogs finished off another comeback. Juan Camacho lead off with a double. Joe Venturino pinch ran as C David Banuelos laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt as Venturino made it to 3b with less than two outs. He preceded to score on the next play as Spokane made another error. Closer Matt Clancy came in and shut Spokane down in the 9th as the Frogs crept to 2 games with-in the division leaders as they won game two 8-7, one game from hopefully “payback”!!
Game 3 was an early morning game as Frogs Ace Andres Torres took the mound, looking for his 6th victory of the season. As usual, he didn’t disappoint. Pitching dominated the first 4 innings as both teams failed to produce a run and barely manufactured any hits. In the fifth inning, Torres gave up a solo home-run as Spokane went up 1-0. The Frogs bats continued to be dormant as they failed to score in the fifth. In the six, Torres’s final inning, he got into a little trouble, but like the warrior he is, he battled back and never gave up. He finished the inning without giving up a run because of his fierce competitive nature. Torres final stats were once again lights out as he went 6 innings and had 5 K’s, 1 walk and 4 hits on only 82 pitches. In the bottom half, the “comeback kids” were at it again.
They scored 2 runs on a 2 run base hit by CF Austin Grebeck. They headed to the seventh in line for a possible sweep of Spokane and another victory for Andres Torres. “Can they hold on?” was in their minds as the bullpen shut down Spokane in the 7th. In the bottom half, the Frogs plated another run as Eugene Helder got a single, stole second base and went to third as Whatley threw the ball away. Greifer Andrade drove in Helder with a single as the Frogs took a 3-1 lead as they went to the 8th inning. The pitching started to crumble as Spokane quickly scored a run to cut the deficit to 3-2. Newly acquired pitcher Scott Kuzminsky came in relief and shut them down. In the 9th he gave up a couple of hits, but he quickly got the final outs. The Frogs had done it, they got their revenge of Spokane, with a sweep as their record now stands at 8-7, only one game behind for the division lead.
SSU Stars of the series
It was a team sweep of the Spokane Indians with everyone pulling together. When they needed timely hits they got them. When they needed the pitching to come through, they did. This is the result of Manager Jose Moreno and his coaching staff efforts. They get the most out of each player. The Frogs go on the road for 5 games before coming home August 16th for “Bark in the Park”. Please come out and see some real baseball as a great group of amazing young men battle it out in their quest of the Northwest League Title. You won’t regret it.