Eugene Emeralds Baseball

Eugene Emeralds Bash Way To First Place

EUGENE – The Eugene Emeralds (63-48) made it four-in-a-row on Wednesday night, handily defeating the Everett AquaSox (60-50) by a final of 11-5 at PK Park.

Continuing a five-game series with massive playoff implications, the Emeralds entered the day just 1.5 games ahead of the Everett AquaSox in the High-A West standings and just 0.5 game behind the first place Spokane ball club.

Twenty-four hours after Emeralds slugger Armani Smith ended his 21-game homer drought with a two-homer night, do-it-all utility man Brett Auerbach ended his own prolonged homerless stretch, snapping a string of 14 consecutive games in which he hadn’t homered by belting his 13th blast in 43 games as an Emerald, a three-run bomb in the third that opened the scoring after Carter Aldrete was hit by a pitch and Ismael Munguia singled in the prior two at-bats.

Back-to-back two out hits two innings later saw the AquaSox plate their first run of the game as a Dariel Gomez single and a Matt Scheffler double together added up to Everett cutting Eugene’s lead to 3-1, but the three-run advantage was restored in the bottom half of the inning thanks to Sean Roby.

Roby, who hit one of four Emeralds home runs the night before, teed off for his second homer in as many days and his league-leading 19th blast of the season, a laser to right field that rocketed off the top of the PK Park outfield wall to put Eugene up by three, 4-1.

Everett wasted no time responding once more, though, as the Frogs tacked on two runs in the sixth, one thanks to a throwing error by Ems pitcher John Russell on a pickoff play that allowed one run to score and another on a Victor Labrada sac fly to right that scored another AquaSox runner from third to see Eugene take a mere 4-3 lead into the home half of the sixth.

Yet again, Eugene’s offense answered serve as the Ems loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the sixth after a Ricardo Genovés double, a Franklin Labour walk, and a Carter Aldrete infield single. That brought up Ismael Munguia who entered the at-bat 10-for-24 in the month of September. That soon quickly 11-for-25 after he delivered a 2-RBI double to right that plated both Genovés and Labour while advancing Aldrete to third. One batter later, Brett Auerbach came through with a two-RBI base knock of his own by singling sharply through the left side to score both baserunners and stretch Eugene’s lead to 8-3. Two batters later, Sean Roby delivered another RBI by slicing a sharp single to right-center field that plated Auerbach and capped a five-run inning for Eugene.

Still leading 9-3 in the seventh, Eugene put a pair of runners on base with no outs after Ricardo Genovés and Franklin Labour each worked walks on full counts, and Carter Aldrete followed un the ensuing at-bat by lasering a double off the left field wall to bring both runners home and make it an 11-3 game.

Everett got a run back in the eighth when Tyler Schimpf’s hard-snapping curveball got all the way to the backstop on a would-be inning-ending swinging third strike, thereby allowing the batter to reach first safely while a runner came in to score from third. In the ninth, the Frogs got one more when Dariel Gomez launched a solo homer to right, but that proved to be far too little, too late as Eugene picked up a comfy 11-5 win to earn their second straight victory to start the series and their fourth consecutive win overall.

With Spokane losing to the Vancouver Canadians on Wednesday night, the Emeralds retook sole possession of first place in the High-A West by 0.5 game over Spokane. Meanwhile, the third place AquaSox now fall 2.5 games behind Eugene in the standings.

The Eugene Emeralds continue their five-game series against the Everett AquaSox on Thursday night at PK Park. First pitch on Thursday is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.


  • Winning Pitcher: John Russell (5-0, 4.18 ERA): 3.0 IP | 3 H | 3 R | 2 ER | 0 BB | 2 K
  • Losing Pitcher: Juan Then (2-4, 6.62 ERA): 5.0 IP | 7 H | 4 R | 4 ER | 1 BB | 6 K
  • Save: N/A
  • HR(s): Eugene: Auerbach (13), Roby (19) | Everett: Gomez (12)

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  • Seth Corry – LHP: Making his first start at PK Park since July, the southpaw was exceptional in his short outing, firing 3.0 scoreless innings with one hit, no walks and three strikeouts.
  • Brett Auerbach – 2B: It was a 5-RBI night for Brett who finished the evening 2-for-5 at the dish with a homer and two runs scored.
  • Sean Roby – 1B: Not often can a 3-for-5 night with a homer get somewhat lost in the shuffle, but nights like that have become a regular occurrence for the Emeralds slugger who now leads the league in homers (19).