The Eugene Emeralds defeated the Hillsboro Hops in 10 innings by a final score of 3-2. The Ems record moves to 61-58 on the season and 27-26 in the 2nd half.
It was a quiet first four innings as both teams were held scoreless. Jose Cabrera and Daniel Blair were dominant for both teams and were able to pitch four innings of scoreless baseball. In the top of the 5th inning the Emeralds finally pushed home the first run of the night. Tanner O’Tremba hit a one-out double and with two outs Thomas Gavello delivered a single that scored O’Tremba on the play. It didn’t take long for the Hops to answer however as they scored a run of their own in the bottom of the 5th. With two outs Andrew Pintar ripped a shot out to right center field and he was able to stretch it into a triple. Kevin Graham followed it up by delivering a single to right field and the Hops had tied up the ballgame at 1-1 through the first 5 innings.
The next two frames were scoreless for both teams as the pitchers continued to excel on the mound. In the top of the 8th Eugene delivered the go-ahead run. Damon Dues hit a single up the middle and advanced into 2nd on a wild pitch. The next batter, Aeverson Arteaga, ripped a shot to left field for the go-ahead RBI-Single. It was a scoreless bottom of the 8th and top of the 9th before things got dicey for the Emeralds. Andrew Pintar hit a 1-out double and advanced into 3rd base after Kevin Graham grounded out. With two outs Gino Groover stepped into the box and was down to the final strike of the night. He delivered a clutch hit out to right center field for the game-tying double. The game was headed to extra innings.
In the top of the 10th inning the Emeralds had two quick outs but the runner Brett Auerbach got into 3rd base. There was a wild pitch and Auerbach came home to score easily on the play and the Emeralds took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the 10th.
In the bottom of the 10th things got scary for a moment for Eugene. Junior Franco hit a popup to start the inning and Christian Cerda advanced into third with one out. Nick Morreale was able to strike out Manuel Pena for the 2nd out of the inning. The Hops’ last hope was David Martin who battled in his at-bat but ultimately rolled over the pitch and grounded out to Damon Dues to give Eugene the 3-2 win in 10 innings.
The Emeralds pitching staff was fantastic tonight. Daniel Blair pitched 5 innings and allowed 7 hits but gave up just 1 earned run. He didn’t walk anybody and struck out 2. William Kempner pitched 1.2 innings and gave up just 1 hit and didn’t allow a single run. Nick Morreale went the distance over the final 3.1 innings and gave up just 3 hits and 1 run while striking out 3. Morreale earned his 6th victory of the season.
The Emeralds will close the series out tomorrow night against the Hops as they search for their 5th series victory of the season. Hayden Wynja will be on the mound for Eugene.