EVERETT – It was an eventful Wednesday at Funko Field that saw the Eugene Emeralds (42-32) and Everett AquaSox (49-24) split a pair of seven-inning games as part of a doubleheader that featured two games of very contrasting fashions with the Ems winning, 2-0, in Game One while the Frogs prevailed, 9-6, in Game Two.
Fresh off falling the night prior, 5-4, in what was the seventh straight one-run game that the Emeralds had played in, Eugene bounced back in Game One of Wednesday’s doubleheader thanks in large part to the pitching performance of Kai-Wei Teng.
Teng was simply stellar on Wednesday for the Emeralds, holding a potent AquaSox offense to just two hits over five innings while never allowing a runner to advance past second base.
Meanwhile, the Emeralds offense did all of their damage in the third inning thanks to a quick spree of three straight hits with one out – a single by Ismael Munguia (followed by a throwing error on a pickoff play from AquaSox pitcher Franklin Van Gurp that allowed Munguia to advance to second), an RBI double by Brett Auerbach that scored Munguia, and an RBI double by Tyler Fitzgerald that scored Auerbach – that together amounted to a two-run advantage for the Ems.
That’s all that Ems starter Kai-Wei Teng and Ems closer Chris Wright needed as Teng worked the first five innings while Wright finished off the final two innings to earn his seventh save is an many opportunities as an Emerald to seal a 2-0 win for Eugene.
With the win, the Emeralds snapped their streak of seven straight games decided by just one run, but they also saw another streak snap: a stretch of fifteen consecutive games with a home run.
Of note: Wednesday’s doubleheader was part of a make-up of a rain out back on June 13 in Everett.
Game Two could not have been more different than Game One.
The game started with Eugene equaling their run total from Game One in the first inning alone thanks to a two out, bases loaded single up the middle by Carter Aldrete that put the Emeralds up right from the jump, 2-0.
That two-run advantage was short-lived, though. Everett got one back when Dariel Gomez laced a line drive double to the right-center field wall to scored Cade Marlowe and make it a one-run game, and the Frogs leaped into the lead three batters later when Matt Scheffler, in his first at-bat with the AquaSox and down to his final strike with two outs and two runners on base, belted a three-run homer to left to see Everett take a 4-2 lead into the second.
In that second inning, the AquaSox plated four more, all of which came with two outs. Kaden Polcovich made it 5-2 with his tenth homer of the season, and after Cade Marlowe walked and Dariel Gomez tagged a triple to bring him home, Conner Hoover lifted off to right field for the third Everett homer through just two innings to seemingly set up a potential rout with the AquaSox leading 8-2 after just two innings.
However, after a scoreless third, the Emeralds put up their own four-run in the fourth when they sent eight batters to the plate.
Franklin Labour led off the frame by working a walk on a full count, and Carter Aldrete followed by doubling to left to put runners on second and third with no outs. After Tyler Flores was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Robert Emery came through with an RBI single that moved all three baserunners up ninety feet to trim Eugene’s deficit to five, 8-3.
With the bases still loaded, a wild pitch by Everett’s Igor Januario allowed all three to advance another ninety feet – most importantly, plating Aldrete from third thanks to a quick read and jump – which made it an 8-4 game, and Ismael Munguia followed one batter latter by looping a slicing single down the left field line to bring two more batters home and bring it to an 8-6 game.
However, that’s as close as Eugene could get as the Emeralds left the bases loaded one inning later in the fifth and Everett added an insurance run in the seventh to see the two teams split the doubleheader with Game Two ending in a 9-6 win for the Frogs.
The Eugene Emeralds and Everett AquaSox face off on Thursday at 7:05pm PST at Funko Field in Everett, Washington.
THE DETAILS (GAME 1):
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THE DETAILS (GAME 2):