Who says winning has to be pretty?

After their 8-4 win over the Spokane Indians Sunday night, neither the Eugene Emeralds nor manager Doug Dascenzo do.                                

Emeralds combined to walk ten men, throw two wild pitches and hit one man in a sloppy victory. Starting pitcher Orlando Lara gave up one earned run on two hits in three innings while walking one and striking out three.

While it did work out in the end for the Emeralds, Dascenzo made it clear that this is not the way he'd like his team to perform.

"We cannot afford to put guys on base. We just can't do it. That's the bottom line," Dascenzo said after the game.

Lara started the game on a positive note with a swinging strikeout of Spokane leadoff man Craig Gentry. From there, Lara proceeded to retire nine of the next 11 hitters, with the only blemish being a second-inning solo home run off the bat of Thomas Berkery.

The Ems answered back with a run in the bottom of the second inning. With one out, right fielder Willy Crafort lined a double off the wall in the right field corner. Catcher Matt Stocco drove Crafort in three pitches later with his own two-bagger into the left-center field gap.

The Spokane offense could only muster four runs of offense off of Eugene pitchers, but it certainly wasn't because they lacked scoring opportunities. The Indians left 11 men on base, including three in the sixth inning when they couldn't score after having the bases loaded and only one out.

Eugene lefty Geoff Vandel started the sixth strong by striking out cleanup hitter Steven Marquardt looking on three pitches. He walked the next three hitters however, loading the bases for catcher Billy Killian. Killian, a former Padres' prospect, worked the count full and then grounded sharply back to Vandel who threw home for the force out. Number nine hitter Julio Santana ended the threat with a weak groundout to first baseman Craig Cooper.

With the Indians' threat averted, the Emeralds responded in the bottom of the frame with three runs. After a Crafort strikeout, Stucco lined a sharp single into center field. Leadoff man Mike Epping followed with a single to right field, advancing Stocco to third. Tom King followed that with a routine one-hopper to third past the glove of Marquardt scoring Stocco and Epping. King then stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball. Designated hitter Matt Antonelli drew a walk to put runners at first and third for third baseman David Freese. A wild pitch scored King from third and Freese grounded out to shortstop to end the inning.

Antonelli drove in two more runs in the eighth on with a triple that fell just shy of the dive of Gerrard. That made the score 8-4 going into what would turn out to be a wild ninth inning.

Justin Mattison, who had come in an inning before in relief of Ben Krosschell, started the frame by walking Marquardt. Berkery watched three balls go by and was on his way to first base when the umpire thrust his fist in the air and indicated strike one. An obviously frustrated Berkery grounded the next pitch right at King who started a rally-killing 6-4-3 double play. As he made his way off the field, Berkery had a few words for the plate umpire, Ben Robinson. Robinson must not have particularly liked those words because he ejected Berkery before he could reach the dugout. After a brief argument from the third base coach, designated hitter Craig Davis lined an apparent triple into left field. However, Davis was called out to end the game after Eugene's appeal that he missed first base was upheld by base umpire Phil Henry.

It wasn't pretty, but on this night it was good enough to earn Eugene its first home win of the season and its fifth victory overall in seven chances.

The Ems and Indians will meet again Monday night at Civic Stadium at 7:05 p.m. Ernesto Frieri is scheduled to start for Eugene. Frieri, a right-hander, has given up no runs on three hits and one walk while earning a save in four and two-thirds innings so far this season. Spokane will counter with Wandy Morla. Morla, also a right-hander, has an 0-1 record and has given up five earned runs in seven innings pitched this season.


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