in Eugene: Emeralds fall 1-0

Six innings, seven strikeouts, two base-on-balls and one run allowed. Usually that is enough to win in any league, but Friday night it fell a little short for Emerald's pitcher Steve Delabar before a home crowd of 3,112 in Civic Stadium.

"You just don't know what is going to happen in this league, that is part of what you have to deal with at this level," said Emeralds Manager Roy Howell after the loss.

In the ninth inning, the Emeralds had their best opportunity to win the game when two walks to pinch-hitter William Venable and leftfielder Mike Sansoe gave Eugene runners at first and second with one out, marking the first time an Emerald runner reached second base since the first inning.

Third baseman Chase Headley hit a screaming line drive to left field, unfortunately it was right at the left fielder. Catcher Nick Hundley then worked the Aquasox closer Stephen Kahn to a full count, before striking out to end the game.

Aquasox right fielder Alex Gary was responsible for the only run of the game with a fifth inning solo home run to left field.

The Emeralds put forth a gutty performance, twice preventing the Aquasox from scoring with runners on at first and second, and a sterling defensive play was turned in by first baseman Daryl Jones in the seventh to cut down Alex Hall trying to score from third base on a hard ground ball.

After the game the Emeralds manager reflected on the positive aspects of the game.

"Our relief pitching came in and shut their offense down, and gave us a chance to win the game, which unfortunately we didn't do," said Howell, "Its really hard to waste that type of pitching performance."

After scoring 13 runs on Wednesday night, the Emeralds put up one run on Thursday and were shut out Friday. When asked about what how he intends to improve his offense, Howell said its just part of the learning process in the Northwest League and learning how to play professional baseball.

"Its part of what we are tying to teach here, you can't go 4-4 one day, then 0-4 the next. Its everyday, and that is part of becoming a pro. You have to go out there and produce.

"That is why it is the hardest game to play, round ball, round bat, nine guys against one and they got the ball"

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