In a classic pitchers’ duel, Eugene rallied for enough clutch hits in the late innings to eke out a 2-1 victory
EUGENE, OR – After a sloppy first game in Spokane, the Emeralds bounced back with a fine performance both on the mound and in the box to scratch out a 2-1 victory over the Spokane Indians in front of 4,602 at Avista Stadium.
Jake Washer doubled home Luis Vazquez for the game’s first run in the 7th with 2 outs, after both pitching staffs largely dominated the early portion of Sunday’s Game 2.
The 1-0 advantage would not last long as the Indians clawed their way back, putting runners at 2nd and 3rd with 1 out off of Matteo Bocchi in the 8th. Derwin Barreto would sky a fly ball to medium-deep left field, deep enough to score pinch runner Jake Hoover from 3rd to tie the game.
With a 1-1 score in the 9th, Luis Vazquez would once again spark a scoring effort. With Ryan Reynolds at 2nd and 1 out, Vazquez laced a ball passed the glove of shortstop Cristian Inoa, bouncing into left field. Reynolds would score from 2nd and the Ems pulled back ahead 2-1.
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Matteo Bocchi came back out on the mound to close out the 9th, though he had a walk a tightrope to preserve the victory. The Indians would put runners at 1st and 3rd with 2 outs, but Bocchi induced a swing and a miss from Inoa, striking him out and ending the ballgame, allowing the Ems to breathe a sigh of relief.
Michael McAvene had another strong performance on the mound in his 4th start of the season for the Emeralds, working a career-high 3 scoreless innings and racking up 4 strikeouts along the way. Yunior Perez had a positive outing from the bullpen in relief, retiring all 6 batters he faced in the 4th and 5th innings, punching out 3 hitters as well. Zach Bryant fired 2 scoreless frames following Perez before Bocchi closed the door over the final 2 innings.
The Indians received phenomenal outings from their staff as well, as Justin Slaten set the tone for the game with 2 shutout frames in his start. Luis Rosario seemingly picked up where Slaten left off, throwing 5 solid innings and only allowing the one run in the 7th. Nick Starr received the tough luck loss, allowing the run in the 9th over his 2 innings of work.
The rubber match of the 3-game series takes place on Monday night, with first pitch scheduled for 6:30pm from Avista Stadium.