The Eugene Emeralds dropped the series opener to the Hillsboro Hops by a final score of 9-3. The Emeralds record moves to 58-57 on the season and 24-25 in the 2nd half.
The Emeralds jumped out to the early 1-0 lead in tonight’s ballgame. Matt Higgins drew a one out walk to give Eugene a base runner, and Zach Morgan ripped an opposite field double to score Higgins on the play. Damon Dues also drew a walk and stole second but the Emeralds weren’t able to cash in on the runners in scoring position. It didn’t take long for the Hops to even up the score. In the bottom of the 2nd inning Junior Franco led the inning off with a double and Manuel Pena followed it up with a double of his own to trade places with Franco and even up the game at 1-1/
In the bottom of the 3rd inning is when the game got away from the Emeralds. Tommy Troy reached base via error and Gino Groover slapped a single to put runners on the corner. Christian Cerda drove in the first run of the inning with a single out to left field. Junior Franco then reached base on a fielder’s choice for the 2nd out of the inning. Manuel Pena ripped a single up the middle to plate a pair of runs. Juan Corniel hit a single of his own to put a pair of runners on for David Martin. Martin ripped a single out to left field to score a run and the Hops had jumped out to an early 5-1 lead.
In the 5th inning the Emeralds were able to cut into the deficit. Carter Howell was the leadoff man in the inning and after battling at the plate he was able to crush a no-doubt home run out to left field. It was Howell’s 1st home run on the road this season and his 4th overall. In the bottom of the 5th inning the Hops were able to answer back with a run of their own. Christian Cerda started off the inning with a walk and Junior Franco got hit by a pitch to put a pair of runners on to start the inning. Matt Mikulski was able to retire the next two batters before David Martin hit another RBI-Single to give the Hops the 6-2 lead.
In the top of the 6th the Emeralds scored their 3rd and final run of the night. Zach Morgan led the inning off with a single. Damon Dues drew a walk two batters later to give Eugene a couple of base runners. After a passed ball allowed Morgan to reach third base, he came home to score on a wild pitch that got behind the Hops catcher Christian Cerda. The next couple of innings were scoreless before the Hops added 3 runs of insurance in the bottom of the 8th inning. David Martin led the inning off with a double and Jack Hurley hit a 1-out single to put runners on the corner. Tommy Troy drew a walk after a wild pitch scored Martin on the play. Gino Groover hit a sac-fly RBI to score Hurley on the play and Troy also scored on a wild pitch a few pitches later.
Hayden Wynja was the starter for the Emeralds and he pitched 3.2 innings. He allowed 8 hits and 5 runs, however just 1 of those runs was earned. He gave up 1 walk and struck out 1 batter. Matt Mikulski came in for relief and pitched 3.1 innings while allowing just 1 hit and 1 walk. Eric Silva pitched the 8th inning and gave up 2 hits and 3 runs while walking 2 and striking out 1 batter It was a tough night for the Emeralds as they had chances throughout the game. They ended the night going 0-11 with runners in scoring position. They’ll look to cash in on opportunities tomorrow night. Brett Standlee will be on the mound for the Emeralds tomorrow night. First pitch is set for 7:05 P.M