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AquaSox Shut Down Rooster Tails’ Engines

August 27, 2023

For a second straight night a large Gesa Stadium crowd saw a tightly played ballgame between the Tri-City Dust Devils (18-33 2H, 52-65) and the Everett AquaSox (31-22 2H, 65-54) and, for a second straight night, Everett eeked out a 2-1 win over Tri-City. The home side, playing as the

For a second straight night a large Gesa Stadium crowd saw a tightly played ballgame between the Tri-City Dust Devils (18-33 2H, 52-65) and the Everett AquaSox (31-22 2H, 65-54) and, for a second straight night, Everett eeked out a 2-1 win over Tri-City.

The home side, playing as the Columbia River Rooster Tails, received a lightning bolt of a home run inside the right field foul pole in the bottom of the 4th inning by DH Werner Blakely, giving them a 1-0 lead to try and protect. Rooster Tails starting pitcher Sammy Natera, Jr., was up to the challenge, striking out eight batters in five scoreless innings of four-hit ball and leaving with the lead.

Two runs for the AquaSox pushed them in front in the 6th inning. Both Everett C Harry Ford and RF Gabriel Gonzalez received walks from Columbia River reliever Andrew Peters (0-1), putting two on with no one out. 1B Hogan Windish came up and offered an “excuse me” check swing in self-defense on a fastball riding inside. The ball had eyes, landing fair inside the right field line for an RBI single that both scored Ford from second to tie the game at 1-1 and moved Gonzalez to third.

AquaSox 2B Josh Hood then came up with runners on the corners and grounded into a 4-6-3 double play, getting no RBI but bringing Gonzalez home to give Everett a 2-1 lead that would hold for the remainder. The visitors used six pitchers to nail down the win, with lefty Brandon Schaeffer (6-4) pitching five innings after opener Jordan Jackson and winning his second game at Gesa Stadium this season.

The Rooster Tails mounted one more charge in the 9th inning, with Blakely legging out an infield single and 2B Will McGillis lining a two-out single to right off a pitch from AquaSox reliever Leon Hunter, Jr., for his first hit at the High-A level. The hits put both the potential tying and winning runs aboard, causing Everett manager Ryan Scott to go to his bullpen and get righty slider specialist Jarod Bayless to face Columbia River C Myles Emmerson. Bayless got Emmerson to hit a grounder to third, bobbled initially by 3B Ben Ramirez but gathered and thrown to first in time to end the game and give Bayless his fourth save.

Both teams had six hits, including Blakely’s 2 for 4 night that extended his on-base streak to 15 games. The Rooster Tails also got three innings of scoreless relief from relievers Glenn Albanese, Jr. (2 IP), and C.J. Mayhue (1 IP) to keep the game close to the final out.

Though the outcome did not go the home nine’s way, 2,717 fans enjoyed not only the great game but booming postgame fireworks as well, presented by McEachen Electric.

The loss for Columbia River was the team’s fourth straight, giving the AquaSox a series win and continuing them at the top of the playoff race standings in the Northwest League with 13 games remaining in the second half before the Northwest League Championship Series begins in mid-September.

Tuesday night’s starters will face off in a series finale rematch at 7:05 p.m. Sunday night at Gesa Stadium to close out both the six-game set and the season series between Tri-City and Everett.

It’s Team Photo Giveaway Night at the ballpark, presented by AutoZone, with the first 500 fans through the gates receiving a 2023 Dust Devils team photo.

Tri-City will send right-hander Bryce Osmond (4-7, 3.64 ERA) to the hill to try to win his second start of the week, and the AquaSox will counter with lefty Reid VanScoter (9-6, 3.31 ERA). Broadcast coverage begins with the pregame show at 6:45 p.m., both here and at the MiLB First Pitch app.

Tickets for Sunday's series finale are on sale now with special ticket rates available for groups of 20 or more. For more information on Dust Devils single game, season, mini-plan (11, 22, 33) and group tickets, visit dustdevilsbaseball.com, call the team office at (509) 544-8789, or visit the team office (10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on game nights, or Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. otherwise).