The Eugene Emeralds took down the Vancouver Canadians by a final score of 9-1. The Emeralds have now won 4 straight games and have taken the first 3 games of the series against the Canadians. The Emeralds record now sits at 58-53 on the season and 24-21 in the 2nd half.
The Emeralds offense has been on fire this series, and they picked up exactly where they left off. They scored 8 runs in the first game, 11 runs last night and they put up 9 runs in tonight’s ballgame. The Emeralds got the scoring started in the bottom of the 3rd inning. Thomas Gavello got a base hit and Grant McCray homered to right center field to give Eugene the 2-0 lead. McCray has been heating up at the plate and continued it tonight as it was his 12th home run of the season. It wasn’t the only runs of the inning as Carter Howell got a base hit and Luis Toribio doubled to right field to score Howell. After the first 3 innings Eugene held the 3-0 lead.
In the bottom of the 5th inning the Emeralds were able to add another pair of runs. Grant McCray got a basehit and was able to reach 3rd. With Aeverson Arteaga batting, the pitcher committed a balk and McCray came home to score on the play. Carter Howell also advanced to 3rd base on the balk. The next batter, Matt Higgins hit a deep fly ball to center field for the sacrifice fly and Howell came home to score on the play to give Eugene the 5-0 lead.
The scoring wouldn’t stop there as the Emeralds added on two more runs in the bottom of the 6th inning. Carter Williams reached base to start the inning and Thomas Gavello roped his first double of the year with the Emeralds out to center field to score Williams on the play. A couple of batters later, Aeverson Arteaga hit a hard ground ball to the shortstop Estiven Machado who couldn’t complete the throw to first for the error. Gavello came home to score on the play and the Emeralds held the 7-0 leaf after the first 6 innings.
The Canadians scored their lone run of the ballgame in the top of the 7th inning. Ryan McCarty hit a sacrifice fly to right field and Cade Doughty was able to score on the play. In the bottom of the 8th inning the Emeralds added a pair of insurance runs. Damon Dues and Grant McCray were on base when Carter Howell stepped into the box. He hit his 15th double of the season and both McCray and Dues came home to score on the play and give Eugene their 9th and final run of the evening. The Emeralds took the game by a final score of 9-1.
While the Emeralds offense was on fire, once again the pitching staff put together a fantastic showing. Trevor McDonald got the start and looked absolutely dominant. He allowed just 2 base hits and didn’t give up a single walk or run. He struck out 4 batters as well. He earned the victory tonight, and it was his 2nd of the season. Tanner Kiest came in and pitched the final four frames. Kiest was great as well as he threw 4 innings and allowed 3 base hits and 1 earned run. He walked just 1 batter and struck out 5. It was a great 2-man showing tonight out of the two Emeralds pitchers, and they’ll look to carry it over to tomorrow’s double-header.
The Emeralds sit just a half game out of the playoffs. It’s shaping up to be a two-man race between the Emeralds and the Everett AquaSox, and they end the year playing each other in a 6-game series in Everett. For Eugene right now, they just have to keep taking care of business and winning ballgames to stay in the race.
It’s a double-header tomorrow, with the first game starting at 5 P.M. It’ll be two 7 inning games, and there will be a 40-minute intermission between the games. Seth Lonsway will be on the mound for the first game, and the starter for game 2 still hasn’t been announced.
It’s the last Exploding Whales game of the season, and the Emeralds will be auctioning off the jerseys during the game. It’s expected to be a sellout at the ballpark.