Everett, WA - The Everett AquaSox lose Game One of the Northwest League North Divisional Series against the Spokane Indians Wednesday night, 7-3. Everett never found their groove in the loss, as they trailed from the start.
Former Seattle Mariners RHP, Hisashi Iwakuma got off to a rocky start Wednesday. The 2013 Major League All-Star struggled to find the strike zone in the early going. Julio Pablo Martinez doubled to right field and then stole third base. A sacrifice fly two batters later would bring Martinez home, 1-0 Indians. Spokane wouldn't relinquish the lead for the rest of the game.
The Indians would continue to get after Iwakuma in the top of the second inning, plating two base runners. After Jax Biggers walked, Martinez logged a single, advancing Biggers to second base. NWL MVP, Curtis Terry then knocked a double to deep center field, scoring a pair of Indian runs. That would be all for Iwakuma, who never looked like himself. The right-hander would finish with 2.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 1 SO.
The AquaSox did manage to get back into the contest in the bottom of the second inning. After Ryan Garcia doubled, Connor Kopach hit a home run over the right field wall putting the AquaSox down only one run, 3-2.
Normally an AquaSox ace, Michael Plassmeyer entered the game in the top of the third inning and had his worst performance to date. With a man on base, Spokane's Francisco Ventura hit a devastating home run inches over the left field wall, 5-2. Spokane than continued to load the bases with only one out on the scoreboard. Plassmeyer managed to retire the next batter, but Everett's Manager, Jose Moreno didn't like what he saw and opted for a pitching change. Plassmeyer never found his form Wednesday night. The home run was the first run Plassmeyer since July 21 against the Boise Hawks.
Noah Zavolas replaced Plassmeyer with the bases loaded and Terry at-bat. The first pitch Zavolas threw resulted in a low fly ball over Garcia's head. Two runs would score, 7-2. Zavolas remained composed, though, and struck out the next batter.
Matt Sanders ran out a double to begin the bottom of the third inning and Cal Raleigh followed with a walk. Ryne Ogren's soft fly ball safely dropped into the left field gap, loading the bases. The four pitches Kopach saw on his at-bat were all balls, and Everett would cut into the Spokane lead, 7-3. That was the only run Everett could score, however, and the AquaSox couldn't take advantage of a crucial bases-loaded opportunity.
Zavolas had a great game on the mound for the AquaSox. The Harvard University product struck out seven Indians and pitched 3.2 innings of scoreless relief. Zavolas finished with 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, and 7 SO. Benjamin Onyshko took over on the mound with two outs gone in the top of the seventh inning.
As it turned out, neither team would log runs after the third inning, and the Game One of the Divisional Series would end, 7-3 Spokane.
The Divisional Series will continue in Spokane on Thursday at 6:30 PM. If necessary, the Game Three of the series will take place at 1:00 PM in Spokane on Friday. If the AquaSox win the Divisional Series, Everett will advance to the Championship Series and play at home Saturday, September 8 and Sunday, September 9. They will face the winner of the NWL South Divisional Series, which slates the Hillsboro Hops against the Eugene Emeralds. The Emeralds took Game One against the Hops, 3-2.
W: Y. Rodriguez (4-0)
L: H. Iwakuma (0-1)
About the Everett AquaSox
The Everett AquaSox, Seattle Mariners affiliate since 1995, continue to offer the most affordable family entertainment in the Pacific Northwest. Tickets for the potential Championship Series starting Saturday, September 8 will be available online after Friday's game in Spokane at www.AquaSox.com or by calling our front office (425) 258-3673. To stay up to date on your Everett AquaSox, follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/EverettAquaSox or visit www.AquaSox.com
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.