AquaSox launch 2017 with a hop in their step against Hillsboro

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AquaSox First Baseman Jonas Lantigua Slugging a Double this past weekend (Photo Credit: Shari Sommerfeld Images)

The Everett AquaSox just finished off their opening home-stand with the Hillsboro Hops. The veteran manager Jose Moreno promised the fans that his ball club would play hard from start to finish and judging by how the home stand went, he was true to his word, despite the 2-3 start.

Opening night was under the lights, with a steady light drizzle during the ballgame. Starting pitcher Ryne Inman took the opening day nod from his manager Moreno. Early on, he gave up two early wind-aided home runs. After a visit to the mound from his manager, he settled down for the next few innings before Hillsboro caught fire in the fifth. Left-hander Tyler Watson came in and shut down the Hops over the next 3 innings, striking out seven, looking in midseason form. Unfortunately, the rest of the bullpen gave up 4 runs over the last two innings resulting in a 10-3 victory for the Hops. The star of the game was pitcher Tyler Watson. As for the bats, the Sox didn’t give the pitchers much help as they only had 6 hits.

Friday night, the Frogs bounced back with a 5-3 win as pitching dominated this win. Starting pitcher Michael Suarez threw 5 innings of shutout ball and he totaled 8 strikeouts. Hitting stars of the game were shortstop Joseph Rosa and left fielder Greifer Andrade who had two hits a piece including Andrade’s first home run of the season. David Ellingson came in and shut the Hops down for his first save of the season.

Saturday night, the Frogs fell behind early and were never able to catch up. Hillsboro scored 8 runs in the top of the first and never looked back. The final score was 12-4 in favor of the Hops. The AquaSox bullpen came in and shut them down for 7 innings until they gave up 4 in the 8th. The stars for the night at the plate were once again SS Joseph Rosa who hit his first home run of the season and “Mr. Utility” Joe Venturino who also hit his first home run of the season.

On Father’s day, the 3,500 plus fans in attendance weren’t disappointed. The Frogs quickly scored 3 runs in the second and 3 in the third and the pitching staff did the rest. The team pounded out 11 hits as the Frogs won 6-3. Joseph Rosa, playing 2nd base, hit his second home run in consecutive days. Jonas Lantigua, the first baseman, slugged two RBI doubles and Greifer Andrade knocked in two runs. The pitching was once again in mid-season form. Starting pitcher Andres Torres got the victory and once again the bullpen shut them down. Tyler Watson was again effective in his role, and closer David Ellingson got his second save.
The fourth game of the series saw pitcher Andres Torres threw five innings of six hit ball. He did give up three runs in the fourth inning but its how he did it that was impressive. Torres saw himself in a jam with bases loaded, he threw a wild pitch and ran to cover the plate; making a tag that was Sportscenter worthy! He preceded to load the bases again and give up a bases clearing double but he got the next batter to get out of the inning. Torres faced 21 batters, threw 15 first pitch strikes and threw 72 pitches in five innings. He pitched like an ace in his first start of the season.

In the series finale, the AquaSox couldn’t keep up with Hillsboro, who were hopping out the gate. The final score was 9-2, in favor of the visitors to the south. The stars of the game were Jonas Lantigua who hit his third double in 2 games and catcher Juan Camacho, who hit his first home run of the season.

The AquaSox hit the road for six games with Vancouver and Tri-Cities before returning home Monday June 26 for a short 3 game home-stand with the Vancouver Canadians.

This was a positive home-stand for the AquaSox. Manager Jose Moreno has his work cut out for him, with pretty much an entirely new roster. After five games, we can see everyday positions being established, including important roles for the bullpen. One player who stood out was the catcher Juan Camacho. He is a true leader behind the plate. He’s called great games, played top notch defense and he made solid contact with the baseball which included hitting his first home run of the season. I am looking forward to watching this kid play in Everett this season.

Go Frogs!

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