Emeralds back into postseason

Eugene, OR: Tonight's game had a lot weight put on it as the Eugene Emeralds and Vancouver Canadians were tied for first place going into the last game of the first half. All the Emeralds had to do was take care of their own business tonight; win and they wouldn't have to worry about the Canadians, as they held the tiebreaker.

The Emerald's wouldn't clinch on their own, as they lost to the Everett Aquasox 4-2. The Emeralds offensive woes continued as they only had two runs on four hits. One of those runs came after the AquaSox issues four straight free passes.

"Whatever way we can get it," Lee Orr said. "That is the way the ball goes sometimes. Hopefully Salem can give us a game."

The Emeralds did clinch the first half title as the Canadians lost the Salem-Keizer 10-6.

Another key theme to the game was the amount of missed opportunities by the Emeralds. The Emeralds had 10 runners left on base and the bases loaded more than twice. The runners kept coming as AquaSox starting pitcher Jordan Shipers issues eight walks in three and 1/3 innings. The Emeralds were walked 10 times in the game but could never get the clutch hit they needed.

"Another record manager Pat Murphy said. "I know your not going to find a six stolen base game where the team only scored one run and your not going to find a 10-walk game where the team scored two runs."

The game started off with a bang, as Everett's Jarrett Burgess lined a ball passed third baseman Jorge Minyety on the first pitch. Mario Yepez hit a fly ball to left field which seemed to be out number two for the Emeralds, but a miscommunication between left fielder Mykal Stokes and center fielder Donavan Tate allowed for an RBI triple.

The Emerald's bottom half of the first would say everything about their luck for tonight's game. Leadoff hitter Stokes hit a screaming groundball that deflected off Shipers glove right to the shortstop for the first out. The Emeralds were able to load the bases after back-to-back base hits and a walk, but Zach Kometani would hit into the inning ending 1-6-3 double play.

The offensive woes were something Murphy addressed in post game interviews and alluded to Cory Spangenberg leaving.

"It's a huge void," Murphy said. "He was a huge hitter and was at the top in every major offensive category. When that void leaves and you get a player that comes in and is struggling. It is like losing two players."

The AquaSox came back in the second inning to load the bases on a base hit and two walks. Burgess would make his way into the mix as it looked like he hit a blooper over the third baseman's head, but Jace Paterson came out of nowhere to make a diving bare-handed grab for the second out. Starting pitcher Juan Herrera got the next batter to fly out to center to end the AquaSox threat.

The AquaSox found a way to put themselves in scoring position every inning. In the third, the AquaSox were able to make the score 2-0 on a walk, stolen base, and an error that would have ended the inning.

The Emeralds were able to strike back in their half of the third, walking four consecutive times to bring across their first run. They had the bases loaded with one out, but Mike Gallic hit into a double play to end the threat.

In the bottom of fourth, The Emeralds would load the bases for the third time in four innings and came away with nothing after having the bases loaded on walks.

The AquaSox added another run to their lead in the top of the sixth after a two-base hit scored a runner from first who was running on the play. They would add another in the seventh to make the score 4-1.

The Emeralds just didn't seem to have anything going their way all night. The top of the eighth seemed like it might be the inning they turned it around. Orr led the way by starting off the inning with a base hit and Gallic followed up with a base hit of his own. The runners would move over on a groundout, and the Emeralds would cut the lead to two on a wild pitch.

The Emeralds will now be without Kevin Quakenbush and Mike Gallic. Both were promoted to Low-A Fort Wayne.


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