The Emeralds dropped game 3 against the Hillsboro Hops by a final score of 5-1. The Emeralds still hold a 2-1 series lead over the hops.
Reggie Crawford got the start for the Emeralds in tonight’s ballgame. He pitched just the 1st inning and allowed 1 hit, 1 walk and struck out 2 batters in the 1st. The talented two-way player now has 2 starts under his belt with the Emeralds, and he looked even more comfortable tonight on the mound. His fastball continues to sit around 96-97 and he can hit triple digits at times as well. Tanner Kiest pitched the 2nd inning and allowed just 1 hit and struck out 2 batters.
The Emeralds scored their lone run of the ballgame in the 2nd inning. Sean Roby led the inning off with a standup double off of the wall that was just a couple feet short of being his 4th home run this week. After a couple of quick outs, Max Wright was able to drive a ball over the shortstops head and Roby was able to come home and score to make the lead 1-0. It looked like the Emeralds bats had picked up right where they left off after they scored 13 runs in the first two ball games in Hillsboro.
Things would get dicey for the Emeralds in the 3rd inning. Wilderd Patino started the inning off by reaching base via error. Manuel Pena followed it up with a single of his own. A couple of batters later Jesus Valdez was able to reach base on the 2nd error of the inning and both Patino and Pena were able to touch home and score. Kevin Graham singled to put runners on the corners with 2 outs for the Hops. Jack Choate attempted a pickoff move to first base but it got past Sean Roby and Valdez trotted home to score and to make the lead 3-1 in favor of the Hops.
In the 6th inning the Hops added one more run. Kevin Graham and Shane Muntz started the inning off with a pair of singles. After David Martin hit into a fielder’s choice, Aeverson Arteaga made a heads up defensive play and the Emeralds were able to get the runner out at home to prevent the run. It didn’t last long unfortunately for the Ems as Channy Ortiz hit into a groundout to score Muntz on the play and give the Hops the 4-1 lead. In the 8th inning the Hops would add on one more insurance run. Kevin Graham led the inning off with a walk and David Martin hit a single and was able to score Martin on the play to make the lead 5-1 for the Hops.
Jack Choate pitched 4.1 innings tonight and allowed 4 hits and 4 runs. However just one of those four runs were earned. He walked two batters and struck out five. Mat Olsen came in for relief of Choate in the 7th with 1-out and Olsen was able to strike out both Kristian Robinson and Jesus Valdez to escape the jam. Olsen has been as reliable as they come for Eugene as he strikes out batters at a very high clip. William Kempner pitched the 8th inning and allowed a run, however it wasn’t an earned run. He also struck out 1 batter in his relief appearance.
It was a weird game all-around as the Emeralds allowed just 1 earned run in total in tonight’s 5-1 loss. Some tough defensive plays allowed the Hops to take the lead and they never looked back. The Emeralds tallied just 5 base hits and the Hops recorded 7 total base knocks. Matt Higgins had a solid day at the plate as he was the lone Emerald to record a multi-hit performance.
The Emeralds now sit at 42-43 on the season and have a 9-12 record to start the 2nd half. They’ll be back in action tomorrow night at 7:05 P.M. With a win tomorrow night it would ensure the Emeralds will at least split this series in Hillsboro, and it would give them a chance to win the series during Saturday and Sunday’s ballgame.Daniel Blair will be on the bump for the Ems in his 2nd start with Eugene. He’ll look to bounce back after having a tough go-around in his debut in Vancouver. Dylan Ray will be on the bump for the Hops, and he’s been as reliable as they come all year as he’s posted a 4-4 record with a 4.27 ERA with the Hops. The Emeralds bats will look to get back to form tomorrow night.