#MiLB: Ems End Weekend With Win

EUGENE – Following a terrible loss at home on Saturday, the Ems took the series on Sunday in front of fans at PK Park.

The Eugene Emeralds (8-4) wrapped their first stretch of home games since 2019 on a heckuva high note on Sunday evening, downing the Hillsboro Hops (5-7) by a final of 5-2 behind another solid outing from RHP Caleb Kilian and another all-around excellent performance from Wilson.

Kilian retired eleven on Hillsboro’s first twelve batters en route to firing 5.2 innings and allowing just four hits, two earned runs, and one walk (the very first walk he has issued this season, ah-thank-you) while striking out eight Hops batters.

The first free pass issued by Kilian this season came with two outs in the sixth inning, snapping a streak of base-on-balls-free baseball from Kilian at 14.2 innings.

At the plate, the Emeralds – playing as Los Monarcas de Eugene as part of MiLB’s Copa de la Diversión initiative – sent seven batters to the plate in the first frame of the game, and three of them came home to score.

After back-to-back singles from Patrick Bailey and Wilson, Diego Rincones skied a fly ball to right that proved deep enough to score the Emeralds catcher and give the Ems the game’s first lead.

Tyler Fitzgerald singled in the ensuing at-bat, and then Ismael Munguia followed by stroking a double to deep right-center field that plated both Wilson and Fitzgerald to give Eugene a 3-0 advantage after just one inning.

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Kilian held the Hops scoreless until the sixth when they plated a pair of runs to cut the Eugene lead to just one run, but that proved to be as close as they got as three pitchers out of the ‘pen – Nick Avila, Solomon Bates, and John Russell – combined to fire 3.1 innings of scoreless ball while tallying three strikeouts between them.

Just for good measure, the Emeralds added a little cushion to their lead in the eighth thanks to one of the more electric sacrifice flies you’ll see.

With Bailey on third and Wilson on second, Sean Roby skied a playable fly ball to right that looked deep enough to score Bailey and push the Eugene lead back to two. It ended up being well deep enough to push the lead to two, but Will Wilson was not content with a mere two-run advantage. A decently errant throw from Hops right fielder Cam Coursey and some heads-up baserunning by Wilson saw him scamper home on the heels of Bailey to make it a 5-2 ballgame with three outs to go.

Russell entered in the ninth to get those final three outs, and fittingly enough he got some highlight-reel help from Wilson to do exactly that as Wilson turned a spectacular 4-3 double play to end the game and seal the 5-2 victory.

Eugene will hit the road during the team’s off day on Monday as they travel back to Eastern Washington, this time to face off against the Tri-City Dust Devils. The Ems and Devils kick off a six-game set on Tuesday evening at 6:35 p.m.