August 7, 2009 - Northwest League (NWL) - Everett AquaSox
EVERETT, Wash.- The Everett AquaSox (29-17) offense did not have to work very hard Thursday night as Andres Esquibel (W, 2-1) had one of the best outings of the year - a complete game, three-hit shutout. The AquaSox used the outstanding pitching performance to cruise to a 4-0 win over the Boise Hawks (18-28) in game four of the series.
Esquibel retired the first nine batters he faced while the AquaSox put together a small rally in the bottom of the second. With two outs, Brandon Bantz reached first after he was hit by a Chris Rusin (L, 0-1) pitch. Bantz then went to second on a wild pitch before Jose Rivero drove in the first run of the game - hitting a single to right field to score Bantz from second to give the AquaSox a 1-0 lead.
The one run lead was all the help Andres Esquibel would need as he continued to cruise before finally giving up a hit in the top of the fifth. The hit would not rattle the right-hander as he settled in to retire the Hawks and keep his shutout intact.
Esquibel did not need any insurance, but the Frogs provided some anyway in the bottom of the seventh. Mario Martinez led off with a single - extending his hitting streak to 21 games. James Jones followed with a single, before Juan Fuentes laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move both runners up 90 feet. Ben Billingsley received a free pass to first to load the bases for Rivero, who singled up the middle to bring in Martinez and Jones. Billingsley then came in to score on an Anthony Phillips single to put the AquaSox on top 4-0.
With two outs in the top of the eighth Esquibel allowed back-to-back singles, but in what was a theme all night, he used his defense to his advantage to get out of the jam and keep his shutout alive.
With a four run lead in the top of the ninth, Esquibel allowed a lead off walk to Jose Valdez. Hak-Ju Lee followed by lining a ball right at the first baseman Blake Trinkler. Valdez was caught too far off the base as Trinkler tagged it for the unassisted double play. Esquibel then capped his outstanding night by getting George Matheus to strike out swinging - securing the shutout and the complete game victory.
The AquaSox are now 5-0 in the month of August and will go for the series sweep of the Hawks tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. Ryan Moorer (0-0, 6.00) will get the start for the AquaSox. Moorer will be opposed by Boise\'s Robert Hernandez (1-3, 3.51).
Friday night will feature a scratch ticket giveaway for the first 1,000 fans 18 years and older, presented by Washington\'s Lottery. Friday night\'s game will also feature a spectacular postgame fireworks show.