Eugene Emeralds Baseball

Emeralds Fall to Hillsboro In Unreal, Chaotic, Topsy-Turvy Game

By: Joe Krasnowski

EUGENE, OR –  Hillsboro’s bullpen had been tried all series and with the Hops looking to knot the series at two they turned to… position player Jean Walters for the save. 

He worked a 1-2-3 inning to cap off an absolutely chaotic game. Hillsboro evened the series at two with the 5-4 victory. 

In what has been a bit of postseason drama in the opening Month of the season, the fourth-straight game between Hillsboro (8-11) and Eugene came down to the final innings of play.

Emeralds right-hander Ben Madison tight-roped out of danger multiple times Wednesday night. Inducing multiple clutch strikeouts over histwo-innings of work, he kept the Emeralds (14-5) in striking distance on a chilly Friday at P.K Park.

But Eugene never struck.

The Ems’ offense was just 2-12 with runners in scoring position and had just five knocks on the night. 

Seth Corry entered after Madison and let up the go-ahead run. He walked Gavin Conticello — his seventh free-pass in 7.1 innings — who came around to score via a Jose Fernandez single. The knock came with two-outs and was a back-breaker in another tight game. 

A pair of runners reached base in the eighth for the Ems but a Turner Hill pop-out ended the threat. Walters retired the Ems in order for what has to be his first-career save. 

Short Hops 

As the days of the MiLB season blend together, most recaps will include a section of “short hops” or fun facts from each home game. This writer would be remiss to not write about the obscurities of this game. Friday’s contest will no-doubt be a game that happened within the lengthy schedule.

Ricardo Yan — who notably entered allowing nearly a walk per inning pitched — continued that same trend of inconsistency. Through three innings he had walked five, struck out one and was performing as advertised. 

Eugene couldn’t make him pay.

Other than significant command issues, Yan was terrific as Eugene’s first knock came once his day was over and in a big way. Quinn McDaniel tripled and switched places with Turner Hill — who reached on what else but a walk — and put Eugene on the board in the fifth. 

It was an unbelievably strange game, though Yan recorded 13 outs he let seven batters reach base via free passes. Eugene didn’t have a knock in that span. 

Through the first four and a half innings, both teams combined for three hits, ten walks and three runs, all unearned. Minor League baseball is strange like that. 

On the other hand it was an odd yet significantly more efficient outing for Seth Lonsway, he ultimately deserved better luck than he received. He allowed three runs — one earned — over his five innings of work. 

His outing wasn’t aided by his defense, a Matt Higgins two-out error extended a three-run second inning — all coming in with two outs.  He allowed runners to reach base in all but one inning but threw an impressive 67% strikes although walking three. 

Ben Madison entered in relief of Lonsway, all six of his outs were strikeouts. 

Eugene allowed four unearned runs, the Ems had just five hits.

Eugene also had three errors, nine runners left on base and have gone five games or nearly 120 outs without a homerun. 

Walters, Hillsboro’s second-baseman to begin the game, earned the save, working a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth.

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. • • •