The Eugene Emeralds took game one of the series against the Vancouver Canadians by a final score of 8-6. After the first game was rescheduled yesterday after poor air quality in Eugene, the Emeralds used the extra day off to start the series off strong. Their record now sits at 56-53 and 22-21 in the second half. They are 1.5 games behind a playoff spot.
The Emeralds started off the game red hot. It all started after Grant McCray singled on a bunt back to the pitcher for their first base runner. The next batter, Carter Howell, decided to do the exact same thing and hit another ground ball bunt back to the pitcher for two runners on with no outs. After Aeverson Arteaga flied out to center field for the first out of the game, Jared Dupere hit an RBI single to center field, forcing McCray to score and pushing Howell into scoring position.
Luis Toribio capitalized on the opportunity with two runners on to hit his 15th home run of the season over the right center field wall to make the score 4-0 in the bottom of the first inning.
In the next inning, Damon Dues led it off with a four pitch walk and stole his 16th base of the season shortly after to be in scoring position. During McCray’s at bat, a wild pitch by Vancouver’s starting pitcher, Adam Macko, put Dues on third. With a full count, McCray drew the walk and then later stole his 40th base of the season, putting two runners into scoring position.
The third batter of the inning, Howell, reached base on a fielder’s choice which led to Dues being out at home but pushed McCray to third with two outs. One pitch into his at bat, Arteaga singled on a line drive to center field that gave the Emeralds a five run lead two innings into the game.
The scoring remained quiet until the bottom of the fourth inning. The leadoff batter, Thomas Gavello, was hit by a pitch to put the first runner on. The first pickoff throwing error by Macko put Gavello into scoring position with the second batter of the inning coming up to the plate. After a seven-pitch at-bat, Dues singled on a ground ball to second base puting runners on the corners with no outs.
After a pitching change, Vancouver’s new pitcher Naswell Paulino threw the second pickoff error of the inning which led to Gavello crossing the plate for a 6-0 lead. Two outs go by and Arteaga hit his 27th double of the season down the right field line for another run added to the board for Eugene.
The Canadians got their first runs on the board in the top of the sixth inning after Cade Doughty doubled on a line drive to center field. Shortly after, former Oregon Duck Josh Kasevich singled on a ground ball back to the pitcher’s mound for runners on the corners with one out. Gabriel Martinez singled on a ground ball to left field, pushing Doughty home for their first run of the game and Kasevich to third. After Eric Silva threw a wild pitch, Vancouver added their second run of the game when Kasevich scored.
In the next inning, the Canadians loaded the bases with a five-pitch walk and two hit-by-pitches with one out. Kasevich hit a sacrifice fly to right field that cut the deficit down to five.
During the top of the ninth inning, the Canadians threated to extend the game. With two runners on after two walks, Garret Spain hit his ninth home run of the season over the right center field wall to cut the Emeralds’ lead to two, but they weren’t able to continue their momentum.
Hayden Wynja started on the mound for Eugene and was awarded the win for tonight after allowing four hits, one walk and striking out eight in five innings. Silva, Will Kempner and Hunter Dula came into the game to relief Wynja and they combined for four hits, six earned runs, five walks and four strikeouts across four innings total.
The Emeralds will look to continue this momentum into game two of the six game series. First pitch will be at 6:35 and be available to watch on MiLB.TV or listen on 95.3 The Score.