Murphy Makes Mark As Eugene Emeralds Dominate Dust Devils

Eugene’s most recent roster addition tallied eight strikeouts in debut

EUGENE – The Eugene Emeralds (45-34) earned an impressive 11-4 win over the Tri-City Dust Devils (31-48) in front of 2,546 fans at PK Park on Tuesday night.

This was the season’s first meeting at PK Park between the Eugene Emeralds and Tri-City Dust Devils, but the big story heading into the evening was the return to PK Park for Oregon Baseball greats, Kyle Kasser and Kenyon Yovan.

The Emeralds sent Ryan Murphy to the mound to make his Emeralds debut after he was recently promoted from Low-A San Jose where he led the Low-A West in strikeouts (116), ERA (2.96) and innings pitched (76.0).

Eugene made it 1-0 in their favor in the game’s first frame, capitalizing on a leadoff double from Ismael Munguia that was followed two batters later by a single from Armani Smith that scored Munguia to make it 1-0, Emeralds.

Two innings later, Eugene leaned on the long ball to stretch their lead to 3-0 as Brett Auerbach teed off for what was ninth homer in just twenty-seven games as an Emerald, hammering a 0-1 offering from Tri-City’s Taylor Ahearn 434 feet for a two-run blast that made it 3-0.

It became 5-0 in the fourth when Eugene belted their second two-run homer of the evening, this time off the bat of Heath Quinn, a 103 MPH laser to left field for Quinn’s sixth round-tripper as an Emerald.

Later in the inning, after a Tyler Flores double the opposite way, Ismael Munguia lifted a moonshot triple to right-center field to score Flores and make it 6-0, Emeralds. Munguia made the ninety-foot trot home two batters later when Armani Smith singled to put the Ems up by a touchdown and an extra point, 7-0.

Tensions tightened in the sixth, though, as a fielding error that allowed the leadoff Dust Devil batter to reach, a hit batter, and a walk on a full count combined to load the bases and see starter Ryan Murphy lifted after allowing just three hits and two walks with eight strikeouts over 5.1 innings.

In came Bryce Tucker who was fresh off a solid relief outing on Sunday, but for the third time in four appearances Tucker could only pick up one out as another fielding error, two singles and a sac fly combined to see the Dust Devils plate four runs and cut Eugene’s lead to 7-4.

Manager Dennis Pelfrey turned to right-hander Nick Avila out of the bullpen and the former Long Beach State standout did exactly what he was tasked to do, picking up a strikeout to end the threat and send the game to the bottom of the sixth with the Emeralds still up by three.

One inning later, the Emeralds busted the game back open as Sean Roby strolled to the plate with the bases loaded and promptly picked the perfect time for his tenth homer of the season, a towering blast that snuck just over the right-center field wall for a grand slam that suddenly ballooned Eugene’s lead back up to seven, 11-4.

Roby’s rocket to right capped the scoring for both sides as the Eugene bullpen shut the door the rest of the way to give Ryan Murphy the win in his debut outing while giving the Emeralds as a whole a win in the series opener.

The Eugene Emeralds continue their series with the Tri-City Dust Devils (Los Angeles Angels) on Wednesday at PK Park.


  • Winning Pitcher: Ryan Murphy (1-0, 0.00 ERA): 5.1 IP | 3 H | 3 R | 0 ER | 2 BB | 8 K
  • Losing Pitcher: Taylor Ahearn (0-3, 7.23 ERA): 3.2 IP | 8 H | 7 R | 7 ER | 0 BB | 7 K
  • Save: N/A
  • HR(s): Eugene: Auerbach (9), Quinn (6), Roby (10) | Tri-City: N/A

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  • Ryan Murphy – RHP: Not a bad debut for the Poughkeepsie, New York native. After dominating the Low-A West during the month of July, Murphy started August in the High-A West right where he left off. The fifth rounder out of Le Moyne (NY) fired 5.1 innings with eight strikeouts while allowing three hits, three runs (all unearned), and two walks.
  • Ismael Munguia – CF: Lost in the shuffle of all the longballs at PK Park was another strong performance in the leadoff spot for Munguia. The Nicaraguan finished the night with a game-high three hits, finishing just a homer shy of the cycle while scoring three runs and driving in another.
  • Brett Auerbach – 2B: Two questions continually loom around Auerbach entering each night: What position will he play on the diamond, and will he homer? On Tuesday, those answers were ‘second base’ and an emphatic ‘YES’ respectively. Auerbach finished the night 2-for-5 with a homer, three RBIs and two runs scored.
  • Sean Roby – 3B: If you hit a grand slam, you’re going to be included here. That’s exactly what Sean Roby did, finishing with a game-high four RBIs that all came on one swing of the bat.