Emeralds ride Herrera gem

A solid showing of 3,373 fans to flocked to PK Park to witness the Eugene Emeralds overtake the Boise Hawks on a beautiful Father's Day. The Emeralds beat the Hawks 8-1 to take the third game of a five-game series.

The game was somewhat of a reverse of Saturday's game when the Emeralds lost 10-2, as manager Pat Murphy jokingly admitted.

"It felt a bit different not having to come from behind. Kind of a flip-flop from yesterday."

The Emeralds win came backed by excellent pitching. Starting pitcher Juan Herrera took a no-hitter into the fifth before he was taken out, throwing 65 pitches.

Manager Pat Murphy discussed his decision to take Herrera out of the game even though he still had a no-hitter going, "So then, what, we get a seven inning no-hitter? He's not gonna go the whole distance, so I decided to take him out."

Will Scott came on in relief and threw two innings and allowed one run. This would be the only run of the game for the Hawks. Scott was relieved by Matthew Stites, who pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth innings. Murphy has been impressed by his bullpen this early in the season.

"The pitching was great. Really, the bullpen was great."

"Our pitches are fantastic," right fielder Kyle Gaedele added. "When our pitchers throw strikes, they are very difficult to hit. So I give the credit to our pitching staff, you know they did a heck of a job."

The Emeralds got on the board first when they scored in the top of the second. Gaedele was walked, and moved on to second with Jose Dore's fielders choice. Zach Kometani then hit a double that easily scored Gaedele.

The Emeralds were able to tag on two more runs in the third aided by Gaedele's stand up triple.

"I was just looking for a good pitch to hit," Gaedele said. "Just looking for something over

the plate, something I can put in play, drive, and I got lucky that hit was today."

The Hawks sole run came in the sixth inning, when they were able to rally with two outs. Shortstop Wes Darvill hit a single then stole second. Chen then followed with an RBI single.

The Emeralds really broke the game open when they scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth. The Emeralds sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning. Dore led off the inning with a single that ended up with him on third base because of right fielder Reggie Golden's fielding error. Jhonaldo Pozo was hit by a pitch, and Travis Whitmore followed with a triple that scored two runs. Jorge Minyety then hit a single that scored another run. Donavan Tate walked, and Cory Spangenberg singled to load the bases. Gaedele and Lee Orr then both walked, plating two runs. Kometani struck out to end the inning, but the Emeralds effectively put the game out of reach.

Although the Emeralds handily won this game, there were times when timely hitting would have helped them blow the game open earlier than they did. Two runners got picked off from second, and this hurt the Emeralds scoring chances early.

"We are still sputtering a little bit offensively," Murphy said. "We're not really clicking. I know that sounds crazy looking at the score today, but we're still not really clicking. There's not a lot of guys satisfied with the way they're swinging the bat."

Despite some timely hitting issues, the fans went home satisfied with an Emeralds win on a lovely Father's Day.

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