Emeralds Move Into Tie For First Following Win Over Volcanoes

Chase Strumpf’s go-ahead RBI single in the seventh is the difference as the Ems now sit tied atop the NWL’s South Division

EUGENE, OR – The Eugene Emeralds (11-9, 27-31) moved into a tie for first place on Wednesday evening behind a 4-2 win over the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (9-10, 32-26) at PK Park.

Salem-Keizer wasted little time taking the game’s first lead, jumping out to a 1-0 advantage in the top of the first after Ryan Jensen issued three consecutive walks before later surrendering an RBI single to his former high school foe, Carter Aldrete. However, Emeralds right fielder Edmond Americaan limited the damage as his throw home on Aldrete’s single nabbed Salem-Keizer’s Marco Luciano at home to end the inning and limit the damage.

In the home half of the inning, Fernando Kelli almost single-handedly tied the game on his own, leading off with a walk, then stealing second, advancing to third on an Edmond Americaan sac bunt, and then scoring on a wild pitch from Volcanoes pitcher Prelander Berroa to tie the game at 1-1.

In the fifth, the Volcanoes retook the lead only to once again see the Ems immediately respond.

Yorlis Rodriguez led off the inning with a double to the corner in left field, and two batters later, after a Jonathan Soto passed ball allowed Rodriguez to advance to third, Jack Reindl struck out Alex Canario to seemingly end the inning, but the third strike also proved to be a wild pitch that found its way to the backstop, allowing Canario to reach first safely and Rodriquez to score from third.

In the bottom half of the inning, Kelli turned from run scorer to run producer. With Pedro Martinez sitting on third base after a leadoff single, wild pitch, and a Jonathan Soto groundout, Fernando Kelli slapped a single to center field on an 0-2 count to bring home Martinez and level the score at 2-2.

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Two innings later, the Emeralds took their first lead of the game and did not look back, all thanks to a two-out rally. After a Fernando Kelli stolen base – his second of the night – and an Edmond Americaan walk, Chase Strumpf came through with a line drive single to center field to score Kelli and give Eugene their first lead of the game. One batter later, the Ems added some insurance in improbable fashion as Edmond Americaan caught Volcanoes pitcher Israel Cruz napping and stole home to make it 4-2.

Chris Kachmar and Joe Nahas combined to shut the door the rest of the way with Kachmar tossing a 1-2-3 eighth inning followed by Nahas doing the same in the ninth to seal a 4-2 win.

Chicago Cubs 2019 1st rounder Ryan Jensen battled through 3.0 up-and-down innings on the mound, allowing five walks but limiting the Volcanoes to just one hit and one run while striking out three batters. Jake Reindl, Yunior Perez, Kachmar and Nahas combined over the ensuing six innings to limit Salem-Keizer to just one hit and one run while striking out ten batters.

With the win, the Emeralds move into a tie for first place atop the South Division with the Hillsboro Hops who lost to the Boise Hawks, 2-1, on Wednesday evening.

With a Hillsboro loss on Thursday, the Emeralds will have a chance to move into first place outright with a win against the Volcanoes. Eugene will send RHP Yovanny Cruz to the mound on Thursday, the nineteenth ranked prospect in the Chicago Cubs system according to MLB.com. He’ll be making his first start with the Ems this season after joining the team on August 10.

Thursday is Old School Hip Hop Night as well as $3 Thursday, highlighted by $3 box seats, $3 parking, $3 32 ounce fountain Pepsi drinks and discounted Hamm’s Tall Boys.