Eugene Emeralds Baseball

Eugene Emeralds On Brink Of Title

The Emeralds move one game away from winning the High-A West title

SPOKANE – One. Win. Away. After an offensive explosion in Game One of the High-A West Championship Series, the Eugene Emeralds (2-0) leaned on power pitching in Game Two to take a 2-0 series advantage over Spokane (0-2) and move one win away from winning the High-A West title.

Twenty-four hours removed from a game that saw more than twenty runs scored – fifteen by the Emeralds – Eugene and Spokane traded blows via each side’s starting pitcher.

Eugene’s Conner Nurse was dealing from the moment he took the mound, holding the Spokane offense scoreless over seven frames of work while allowing just five hits and one walk with eight strikeouts.

Spokane’s Chris McMahon was strong on the other side, though, lodging 6.1 scoreless innings with just four hits and two walks allowed with seven strikeouts.

The game came down to the ninth, and Eugene – one of the best late/close performing teams in all of High-A – once again got timely hitting when it needed it the most.

In late/close situations this season, the Emerald offense ranked 2nd in High-A in batting average (.275), 2nd in on-base percentage (.393), 1st in slugging (.497), and 1st in OPS (.890). And so, it was no surprise when the Emeralds kicked into gear in the top of the ninth inning in Game Two, starting with a one out single by Tyler Fitzgerald.

Marco Luciano followed by falling behind in the count, 0-2, but Luciano battled back to push the count full before fouling off a 3-2 pitch and then working a walk.

After a Ricardo Genovés groundout, Franklin Labour followed with a single to left that scored Fitzgerald from second for what was the first run of the night to put the Emeralds up by one.

Eugene’s offense wasn’t done, though, as Ismael Munguia followed with a line drive double on a 3-0 count to bring both Luciano and Labour around to score and give the Ems a 3-0 lead with three outs to go.

In the home half of the ninth, Eugene closer Chris Wright worked around a Grant Lavigne single and a Niko Decolati walk, both of which came with two outs, to seal his eighteenth save in nineteen opportunities this season and cap a 3-0 win that put the Emeralds one game away from the High-A West title.

Game Three of the High-A West Championship Series will be played on Thursday at Avista Stadium. First pitch on Thursday is slated for 6:30 p.m.

RHP Ka-Wei Teng is slated to start for the Emeralds against RHP Mitchell Kilnenny for Spokane.


  • Winning Pitcher: Taylor Rashi (1.0, 0.00 ERA): 1.0 IP | 0 H | 0 R | 0 BB | 0 K
  • Losing Pitcher: Dugan Darnell (0-1, 27.00 ERA): 1.0 IP | 3 H | 3 R | 3 ER | | 1 BB | 2 K
  • Save: Chris Wright (1)
  • HR(s): Eugene: N/A | Spokane: N/A

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  • Conner Nurse – RHP: What more is there to say? Nurse was exceptional when the Emerald needed it the most, firing 7.0 scoreless innings with eight strikeouts. Since the start of September, Nurse has fired 22.0 innings with just two runs allowed, six walks and twenty-seven strikeouts.