Frogs close out regular season with walk-off win
Everett outfielder Eric Filia is named the Northwest League’s MVP.
EVERETT — The biggest news from Monday’s Everett AquaSox regular-season finale came before the game even started.
Outfielder Eric Filia — who earlier in the day was named the Northwest League’s Most Valuable Player — was called up to Class AAA Tacoma for the Rainiers’ regular-season finale and possibly their first-round playoff series against El Paso.
Meanwhile on the field, Bryson Brigman’s walkoff RBI single gave the Frogs a dramatic end to the regular season as Everett defeated Spokane 6-5 before 2,497 fans at Everett Memorial Stadium.
The AquaSox (27-11 second half, 45-31 overall) loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth. Brigman fell behind 0-2 before belting a curveball over the head of drawn-in centerfielder Darius Day to score Yojhan Quevedo with the gamewinning run.
“I knew that he was probably going to go to a curveball on that last pitch … because I swung at the first two,” Brigman said. “So I was kind of sitting on that and luckily I found one that was up in the zone and was able to hit it pretty well.”
The walkoff victory was Everett’s second in its regularseason-ending three-game homestand. The Frogs took a 5-4 lead into the top of the ninth, but back-to-back singles and a twoout wild pitch scored Spokane’s Luis Terrero to tie the game in the top of the ninth.
“That’s not how we script it out before the game, but the guys have done a really good job of just battling to the very end,” Everett manager Rob Mummau said. “I think our team just doesn’t quit no matter what the situation.”
The AquaSox scored their first four runs off rehabbing majorleaguer Colby Lewis. The Texas Rangers right-hander threw 48 of his 66 pitches for strikes. He struck out three and allowed eight hits in his five-inning stint.
The Indians took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second. Chad Smith’s RBI single scored Seth Spivey, and Charles LeBlanc came home when Carlos Garay grounded into a double play.
The AquaSox drew even in the bottom of the inning when Quevedo drove in David Greer with a groundout and Dimas Ojeda singled in Nick Thurman.
Quevedo also drove in the goahead run with a two-out single in the fourth, and Brigman’s infield single plated Austin Grebeck in the fifth as Everett forged ahead 4-2.
The Indians drew even in the top of the seventh against reliever Elliot Surrey as Garay singled in Terrero and LeBlanc with two outs.
Nick Zammarelli’s RBI single scored Brigman to give Everett a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the eighth.
The AquaSox square off against the first-half champion Indians in a first-round North Division series. The best-of-three set starts Wednesday night at Everett Memorial Stadium. The series shifts to Spokane for games Thursday and Friday. The NWL championship series begins Sunday at the home of the North Division series winner.
Filia was one of three AquaSox players to make the NWL postseason All-Star team after a season in which he won the batting title with a .362 average and put together a .362/.450/.496 slash line with four homers and 46 RBI. … First baseman Kristian Brito and third baseman Nick Zammarelli also were named to the squad. Filia was also a midseason All-Star and participated in the home run derby and NWL-Pioneer League All-Star Game on Ogden, Utah. … Filia is the second AquaSox player to win the MVP award in as many seasons. Shortstop Drew Jackson earned the nod last season after leading the league in hitting with a .358 average.