Eugene Emeralds Fight Their Way Back Into Tie For First

The Emeralds take five-of-seven against the Everett AquaSox to move back into a tie for first place in the High-A West

EUGENE – The Eugene Emeralds (57-40) capped this season’s biggest series to date with another win, their fifth win in seven contests against the Everett AquaSox (56-39) this week, downing the visiting Frogs by a final of 6-4 on Sunday to pull Eugene level with Everett for first place in the High-A West.

With Justin Lavey at the plate and AquaSox runners on first and third, Lavey skied a fly ball to deep right-center field but it hung up long enough for both center fielder Kwan Adkins and right fielder Franklin Labour to get there in time.

That proved a problem, though, as the two collided at full speed while aiming to glove the fly ball, and that aforementioned fly ball then caromed off the two outfielders and over the fence for a three-run homer, giving the Frogs a 3-0 lead thanks to a Jose Canseco-esque calamity.

However, that forgettable sequence was indeed quickly forgotten as the Emeralds exploded for six runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a three-run lead of their own.

Eugene got their first run on a Jairo Pomares single that scored Marco Luciano from third, and after a wild pitch during the ensuing at-bat allowed Armani Smith to score from third, Eugene tied it up when Logan Wyatt laced a sac fly to right that gave Jairo Pomares enough time to tag and score from third to knot the game at 3-3.

Two batters later and with two runners on, Carter Aldrete rocketed Eugene into the lead with his eighth homer of the season, a three-run shot to left that capped a half inning that started with the Emeralds trailing by three and ended with the Emeralds up by three.

It stayed 6-3 until the eighth when the Frogs got a leadoff triple from Conner Hoover that was later followed by a an RBI single from Joseph Rosa that trimmed Everett’s deficit to two, but the Frogs could get no closer as Ems closer Chris Wright worked a scoreless ninth to collect his twelfth save as an Emerald and seal a series that saw the Emeralds take five-of-seven against Everett to move into a tie for first place with those very same AquaSox.

The Eugene Emeralds enjoy an off day on Monday before beginning a two week stretch away from home that begins with a six-game series in Pasco, Washington against the Tri-City Dust Devils that starts on Tuesday. First pitch on Tuesday is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.


  • Winning Pitcher: Aaron Phillips (4-7, 7.06 ERA): 7.0 IP | 7 H | 3 R | 3 ER | 1 BB | 6 K
  • Losing Pitcher: Tyler Driver (2-3, 9.00 ERA): 3.1 IP | 3 H | 4 R | 4 ER | 1 BB | 3 K
  • Save: Chris Wright (12)
  • HR(s): Eugene: Aldrete (8) | Everett: Lavey (4)

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  • Aaron Phillips – RHP: What a bounce-back performance by the right-hander out of Rochester. Phillips, who lasted just one inning in Tuesday’s series opener, fired a strong 7.0 innings with seven hits and one walk allowed while racking up six strikeouts.
  • Carter Aldrete – 3B: Aldrete’s three-run blast proved to be the difference as Carter came through clutch to help see the Ems answer Everett’s three-run top of the fourth.
  • Marco Luciano – SS: After an up-and-down start to his tenure in High-A, Luciano has shown signs of finding his feel here in the Northwest. The highly touted 19-year-old prospect went 2-for-3 on Sunday and has now collected a hit in each of his last seven starts while going 11-for-24 (.458) over those seven games.