#MiLB: @EugeneEmeralds Sweep Hops With Homer-Filled Father’s Day

Emeralds complete just the second six-game sweep in the High-A West this season

EUGENE – The bats were as hot as the Eugene weather last night at PK Park as the Ems exploded in the 7th to complete a six-game sweep against the Hillsboro Hops.

Backed by four homers from four different players, the Emeralds (26-15) finished off the Hops (16-24) by a final score of 7-5 on Sunday evening before a loud and enthusiastic crowd.

The Emeralds took the diamond on Sunday as Los Monarcas de Eugene as part of Minor League Baseball’s Copa de la Diversión initiative with many fans wearing the Los Monarcas gear.

Now that we are well into the season, fans treated each other as family as vaccinated sections created a true game atmosphere as scrambles for foul balls drew cheers throughout the game. The beer was cold, the hotdogs were warm with that baseball-park-softness that made folks that hadn’t eaten meat in months say, “Sure, why not?”

Hillsboro struck first for just the second time this series when Andy Yerzy teed off with an opposite field blast in the top of the second, a solo shot that caromed off the roof in right to put the visitors up early, 1-0.

The early lead for the visitors lasted only a matter of minutes, though, as Eugene’s Franklin Labor mashed an absolute no-doubter up-and-over the scoreboard in left field in the bottom of the inning, a solo homer that tied the game at 1-1 and was his third four-bagger in the past four games.

In the fourth, Tristin English joined the home run derby with his first homer of the season, the third solo homer of the day between both sides, to put the Hops back in front, 2-1. Later in the fourth, with Andy Yerzy on third after drawing a walk and advancing two bases thanks to two Hillsboro groundouts, Tra Holmes brought him home with an RBI single to score the first run of the day that didn’t come via a homer, stretching Hillsboro’s lead to 3-1.

As the game wore on and that 3-1 Hops lead looked like it could hold, Armani Smith stepped up and quickly left the yard, lasering a solo homer to left that exited PK Park in a hurry, his first home run as an Emerald.

That was all the offense either side could muster until the seventh and fans were wondering if we were going to see Sluggo waving the broom above the dugout as that 3-2 score held for two innings.

Hillsboro pitcher Nick Snyder entered aiming to put his most recent appearance in the rear-view mirror after allowing four runs without retiring a single Emeralds batter on Thursday. After issuing back-to-back walks to Tyler Fitzgerald and Labour to start the inning, Snyder secured back-to-back strikeouts to put him one out away from pitching a scoreless frame and maintaining Hillsboro’s 3-2 lead.

Emeralds catcher Brandon Martorano had no such plans, though, mashing a three-run homer the opposite way on an 0-1 count to put the Emeralds back in front, 5-3, with just his second round-tripper of the season.

Will Wilson added to the Eugene lead in the ensuing at-bat with his eighth homer of the season and Eugene’s fourth overall home run of the day, going back-to-back with Martorano to make it 6-3 after seven innings.

The Hops got one back in the eighth when a passed ball by Martorano allowed Spencer Brickhouse to score, but Eugene responded once more in the bottom half thanks to a Heath Quinn RBI single that scored Armani Smith on what was Quinn’s first RBI since joining the Emeralds during the week prior.

Hillsboro tacked on one more in the ninth thanks to a Buddy Kennedy RBI single, but it was too little, too late against closer Chris Wright who picked up a pair of strikeouts to secure a 7-5 win and seal the six-game sweep for the Emeralds, just the second six-game sweep in the High-A West this season.

Eugene starter Conner Nurse worked 5.0 innings while allowing three earned runs and tallying five strikeouts. Travis Perry and John Timmins both worked a scoreless inning apiece out of the ‘pen with each also striking out a pair of Hops batters.

The Emeralds enjoy an off day on Monday before starting a six-game series on Tuesday against the Vancouver Canadians. First pitch between the Ems and C’s is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at PK Park for what is going to be “Grunge Night.”

So wear your Doc’s and faded denim. We’d suggest flannel, but it’s just too dang hot.


  • Franklin Labour – CF: Making his first start of the season in center field, Labour once again looked like the slugger that terrorized the Northwest League in 2019. Franklin finished the day 1-for-2 with two walks, two runs scored and a solo homer.
  • Armani Smith – RF: Back-to-back quality days at the plate for the recent addition from San Jose. Smith went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and the solo homer on Sunday.
  • Brandon Martorano – C: B-Mart was big time on Sunday, coming through with the go-ahead three-run homer in the seventh while going 1-for-2 with two walks and throwing out a would-be base runner at second.

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  • Winning Pitcher: John Timmins (2-0, 4.00 ERA): 1.0 IP | 0 H | 0 R | 1 BB | 2 K
  • Losing Pitcher: Nick Snyder (1-3, 6.28 ERA): 0.2 IP | 2 H | 4 R | 4 ER | 3 BB | 2 K
  • Save: Chris Wright (3): 1.0 IP | 1 H | 0 R | 1 BB | 2 K
  • HR(s): Eugene: Franklin Labour (6), Armani Smith (1), Brandon Martorano (2), Will Wilson (8) | Hillsboro: Andy Yerzy (6), Tristin Engligh (1)