Eugene Emeralds Baseball

Eugene Emeralds Fall To Second Place With Loss To Hops

HILLSBORO – The Eugene Emeralds (59-46) reverted to looking like the team that took the field last week in Pasco as the Hillsboro Hops (46-57) handed the Emeralds a 7-2 defeat on Wednesday night at Ron Tonkin Field.

Fresh off a thrilling, come-from-behind win the night prior that pushed Eugene back into sole possession of first place in the High-A West for the first time since July 2, Eugene ceded that gained ground right back on Tuesday in what was another disheartening loss to a team well out of playoff contention.

Hillsboro opened the scoring in the bottom of the second when AJ Vukovich launched his second homer in what was his twenty-second game as a Hop, an opposite field blast with one out and nobody on base to put the Hops in front first, 1-0.

Axel Andueza then followed by reaching first on a missed call by the base umpire that resulted in Andueza being inaccurately ruled safe on a bang-bang play at the bag, and Andueza later came into score the second Hops run of the inning on an Elian Miranda groundout that made it 2-0. Later in the inning, a passed ball allowed the speedy Nick Dalesandro to advance from second to third, and an Elijah Green infield single then allowed Dalesandro to score from third as the Emeralds did themselves no favors after the missed call at first, and when the dust settled the Emeralds trailed 3-0 after a second inning that saw eight Hops head to the plate.

Eugene seemed to respond with gusto in the ensuing inning as Ricardo Genovés and Logan Wyatt, respectively, led off the inning with back-to-back doubles to cut Eugene’s deficit to one, but the Emeralds went quietly thereafter as Franklin Labour struck out, Ismael Munguia popped out in foul territory, and Brett Auerbach struck out to end the inning.

It stayed 3-1 for just a matter of minutes as Blaze Alexander was hit by a pitch to start the bottom of the third, and three batters later he was brought home on an Axel Andueza sac fly to right that restored Hillsboro’s three-run advantage, 4-1.

Andueza was heard from again two innings later when he singled to right field to score Tristin English from third, but a perfect throw home from right fielder Franklin Labour prevented Hillsboro from taking a 6-1 lead as Labour gunned out AJ Vukovich who was aiming to score from second on the play as the Hops carried a 5-1 lead into the sixth.

In that sixth inning, Eugene’s offense showed brief signs of life once more as Jairo Pomares singled home Brett Auerbach who had earlier reached on a walk to cut Hillsboro’s lead down to 5-2, but Eugene could get no closer as Solomon Bates later struggled in relief by firing more than sixty pitches over two innings of work, culminating in an eighth inning that saw eight batters come to the plate and two Hops come into score as Hillsboro ultimately cruised to a 7-2 win to even the six-game series at a game apiece.

The offensive woes that have plagued the Ems since the start of last week’s series against Tri-City reared their ugly head once more on Wednesday night. Wednesday marked the sixth time in the last eight contests that Eugene had scored two runs or fewer, and over those eight contests Eugene has slugged just three homers.

Entering last week’s series, Eugene had belted 126 homers and scored 559 runs in 97 games, both ranked fifth in all of High-A to that point. Since, though, Eugene’s three homers are the second fewest in High-A during that span while its 21 runs scored are the fewest in all of High-A.

With both Everett and Spokane winning on Wednesday night, the Emeralds fell out of first place and now find themselves tied with Spokane for second in the High-A West, 0.5 game behind the first place Frogs.

The Eugene Emeralds continue their six-game series against the Hops in Hillsboro, Oregon on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m.


  • Winning Pitcher: Collin Sullivan (1-2, 11.57 ERA): 5.0 IP | 4 H | 1 R | 1 ER | 0 BB | 7 K
  • Losing Pitcher: Blake Rivera (0-2, 9.00 ERA): 3.0 IP | 6 H | 4 R | 3 ER | 1 BB | 3 K
  • Save: Liu Fuenmayor (2)
  • HR(s): Eugene: N/A | Hillsboro: Vukovich (2)

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  • Logan Wyatt – 1B: Wyatt delivered one-third of the hits for Eugene on Wednesday night by tallying the only multi-hit performance by an Emerald, going 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.