Eugene Emeralds Baseball

Emeralds Can’t Complete Comeback, Fall To Hillsboro In Extra Innings

By: Joe Krasnowski

EUGENE, OR— This time, it was Eugene’s turn to blow it late, but it wasn’t all the Ems fault.

Hillsboro’s automatic-runner advanced and came around to score in the top of the eighth while Eugene had nothing doing. The one-run was the difference in the Hops 3-2 victory. 

After the hysteria of the past week of wins, a string of W’s that included a no-hitter, a go-ahead bomb, and seven walks in one inning. The performance of both teams felt much more like a routine, weekday work shift.

For a bit there, it was a very Wednesday type of game. 

Neither team wanted to take the lead in a game that needed a victor. But closing time was clutch time for the Hops (13-4) while Eugene’s bullpen allowed the inherited extra-innings run to score. 

There was little flash. Not much pizzazz. But, behind a scoreless six-inning start from Spencer Giesting and back-breaking RBI single from Jean Walters in the tenth inning, there was plenty of substance in an 8-3 Hillsboro (7-10) win over the Emeralds at PK Park. 

Wynja was Eugene’s catalyst in his fourth start of the year, working in and out of trouble to help the Emeralds keep it tied before their offense kicked into gear.

Looking to build off a tough start to his year which has emanated to the form of a 6.55 ERA,  Wynja battled through his outing, the 6 ‘9 southpaw put five runners on base in his five-inning 64-pitch outing (two hits, two walks, one error). He retired the side in order only twice, letting runners reach scoring position a pair of times. 

However, the young left-hander never cracked. He struck out four and only allowed the two hits in his best outing of the year. 

Instead, Wynja stranded four runners while holding the Hops hitless in five at-bats with runners in scoring position. He racked up his four strikeouts with a heavy dose of off-speed.

Giesting equaled Wynja’s success keeping Eugene’s offense — which went nearly 17 innings without scoring an earned run — at bay. 

Eugene’s first hit came in the third, its second in the seventh. 

Daniel Blair continued the string of dominance, and like Wynja, bounced back from his rough start to the year. One of his more successful outings of the year kept Eugene in the game. He allowed two runs in the eighth but was overall dominant in his four innings of work. 

Eugene’s offense came to life late and — for a moment — It looked like a repeat of the night prior. A triple, pair of singles and a walk knotted it at two with Thomas Gavello up with the bases loaded. Eugene’s storybook ending wasn’t meant to be. He grounded out to first. 

Tanner O’Tremba singled in the ninth but nothing else was doing, sending the Ems to their first extra-innings contest of the season. 

Walter’s single came after automatic runner Kevin Sim reached third. His knock chopped through the middle of Eugene’s infield, bringing in Sim and giving Hillsboro all it would need. The unearned run was charged to Cam Cotter who’s ERA still rests at zero.

Listher Sosa got the save, evading trouble a pair of times as he entered in relief in the ninth and closed the door on an Ems comeback.

Eugene wouldn’t go down without a fight, the Ems loaded the bases for Gavello again, he chopped it to first again for a game-ending unassisted put-out. 

Game three is set for 7:05 Thursday evening. Manuel Mercedes will toe the rubber for Eugene taking on Southpaw Avery Short. 

The Eugene Emeralds are the High-A affiliate of Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants. The Eugene Emeralds are dedicated to providing the best in family entertainment and creating a fun, safe environment for everyone to enjoy watching a baseball game. For more information, please visit our website at or call the Emeralds front office at 541-342-5367. • • •