Everett, WA - Down to the final inning in Game Three of the Northwest League Divisional Series, the Everett AquaSox did not give up. Late inning heroics by the way of Cal Raleigh and Jansiel Rivera's bats proved not to be enough as the AquaSox fall to the Spokane Indians, 5-4.
AquaSox starter, Jheyson Caraballo gave up a first-inning home run to Julio Pablo Martinez who hit 8 in the regular season giving Spokane the early 1-0 lead. Caraballo was not in his NWL All-Star form as he finished with 3.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB and 1 SO.
Rivera and Josh Stowers both made unbelievable plays in the outfield at Avista Stadium. Rivera robbed Diosbel Arias of a home run in the first inning as the short porch benefited the Sox. With two outs in the bottom of the third inning, Stowers would make another highlight catch on back-to-back nights. Tanner Gardner hit a line drive to deep center field but Stowers was able to make a sliding catch to finish the inning, 2-0 Spokane.
The AquaSox bullpen was able to keep the Indians off the scoreboard until the seventh inning. After Grant Spranger walked Jax Biggers and hit Martinez, Jamal Wade's number was called upon. Wade lasted 0.2 innings allowing Spokane to score two more runs, 4-0. Benjamin Onyshko relieved Wade and Hasuan Viera grounds out to finish the seventh inning.
In the top of the eighth inning, the Indians went to their bullpen, Wes Robertson. Charlie McConnell starts off the inning with a lead-off double. After a Matt Sanders ground out and Stowers fly out, AquaSox catcher Raleigh steps up to the plate and hits a line drive home run to right field putting the Sox on the board, 5-2. The inning ends after Spokane's closer Emmanuel Clase forces Ryne Ogren to ground out.
The ninth inning would bring the crowd on its feet with Spokane up, 5-2. After a single by Connor Kopach, Rivera collected his fifth hit in eight at-bats in the North Divisional Series by the way of a two-run home run to left center field, 5-4 Spokane. A hush went over the crowd as McConnell steps up to the plate. McConnell grounds out to first baseman Viera putting the Indians one out away from the NWL Championship Series. Designated hitter Sanders hits a ball to Biggers who overthrows the Viera allowing Sanders to reach second base on the play. The crowd noise would increase with Stowers on the plate. Frog Nation at Avista Stadium and those listening to Pat Dillon were glued to the game in hopes of a Stowers home run, however, he would fly out to Starling Joseph to conclude the game. The Frogs did not give up and fought a tough battle until the very last out.
Spokane will take on the Eugene Emeralds starting Sunday, September 9. PK Park in Eugene will host the entire NWL Championship Series due to the Spokane County's Interstate Fair.
W: C. Gonzalez (1-0)
L: J. Caraballo (0-1)
SV: E. Clase (1)
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.