Emeralds miss chances, lose 7-2 to Boise

EUGENE— The struggles continue for Eugene pitcher Ben Krosschell. Saturday during a 7-2 loss to the Boise Hawks (Cubs), Krosschell entered the sixth inning of a 3-2 game and promptly surrendered three hits, a walk, and two runs. He did not record an out before his departure.

That's the third time this month, and fourth time this season, that Krosschell has pitched less than an inning and given up multiple earned runs. The 20-year-old Krosschell, the Padres' 16th round selection out of high school in 2004, now has a 7.07 ERA.

"He's working through (his struggles) the best he can, and we're going to keep giving him the opportunity to get out of this," Eugene manager Doug Dascenzo said. "He's part of this team, and he's going to get every opportunity to get through it."

Krosschell's rough outing began with two outs in the sixth. He replaced starter Aaron Breit and gave up a leadoff double to Alfred Joseph. Steve Clevenger followed with an RBI single into center before Krosschell walked Deryck Lewis and allowed another RBI single to Mathew Canepa singled to bring home Clevenger. Just like that, the Hawks led 5-2, and added two more runs in the seventh inning off reliever Jon Kirby. Josh Lansford homored and Joseph tagged a RBI double into the left-centerfield gap to make it 7-2.

Boise, the top Northwest League hitting team, pounded out 11 hits in the game, including two homeruns, against four different Eugene pitchers.

The Emeralds scattered five hits in the ballgame but had opportunities for many more runs right from start. In the first inning against Boise's Michael Billek, Eugene loaded the bases with one out when Tom King walked, Matt Antonelli doubled and Craig Cooper walked. But Chad Huffman struck out and Luany Sanchez flew out to center, allowing Billek to end the threat unscathed.

"We didn't get a lot of opportunities, so it would have been nice to cash in early," Antonelli said. "It would definitely have set the tone. But, unfortunately, we didn't get anything. Sometimes, that's the way it goes."

The Emeralds took advantage of an opportunity and recorded their only runs in the second inning. Willy Crafort led off with a single on a hard grounder to third that could not be controlled. Luke Cannon followed with a lined shot into right field that was mishandled by Joseph in right field, allowing Crafort to reach third and Cannon to reach second on the error. Both scored when Abraham Aguilar hit the ball on the ground to the shortstop Pedro Lopez. Lopez fielded the ball cleanly moving to his left, but had to spin back around in order to make the toss to first. His throw was wide, giving the Emeralds the 2-0 lead.

Early, it looked like that was all the run support Aaron Breit would need. He cruised through three innings, allowing only one base runner. He gave up his first hit of the game in the fourth, an inning that saw the Hawks tie the game.

Breit gave up a leadoff single to Lopez, who eventually stole second. The next batter, Tyler Colvin, reached base after strike three got past the catcher, Sanchez. Breit walked Lansford to load the bases for Russ Canzler, who is second in the league in RBIs and showed why on this night as he hit a screamer past Antonelli at third and into leftfield for a game-tying, two-RBI single.

With two on, Breit still had yet to record an out in the inning. But he quickly struckout Joseph and got Steve Clevenger to pop out to left. Lewis followed with a liner into leftfield, and Lansford attempted to score from second but was gunned down on a perfect throw to the plate from Huffman in left for the final out of the inning.

He began to tire a bit in the sixth. After quickly recording the first two outs of the inning, Breit gave up a crushing solo homerun to Canzler, which broke a 2-2 tie before Krosschell replaced him on the mound.

"He was reaching his limit there," Dascenzo said of Breit. "But he threw the ball well. I was very pleased tonight with how he threw the ball."

Breit went 5.2 innings and gave up three runs on five hits. He struck out seven but picked up his second loss of the season.

Canzler led the Boise attack by going 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Billek picked up the win after going five steady innings, allowing four hits and two runs. Two other Boise relievers combined to shut down the Emeralds in the final four innings.

Crafort paced the Emeralds offense with a 2-for-3 evening. Kirby lasted 2.1 innings, giving up two runs on three hits and Justin Mattison pitched a perfect ninth inning in the loss.

Boise's victory was just the second in seven games against Eugene this season. The Hawks sit alone atop the Northwest League's East division with a 25-21 record. Eugene is in third in the West division with a 24-22 record. The two wrap the season series with two more games in Eugene on Sunday and Monday.

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