Eugene Emeralds Notebook VII

Keizer, OR: Friday was a day for pitcher's batting practice – a reward for pitching a shutout against Spokane earlier in the year. Also, Jon Berger joined the team from Arizona while Ryan Hinson will again be moved up to Lake Elsinore.

  • A shutout equates to a fun time for the pitching staff during the season – a chance to let loose and get in some hacks.

    Al Angelucci and Ryan Hinson were named the team captains. Hinson had the first pick, selecting Gary Poynter as his offensive force.

    Since Team Hinson had the first pick, Team Angelucci was allowed to bat first with an eye on setting the tempo.

    Angelucci came through with a two-out double in the opening frame and came around when the cleanup hitter, strengh and conditioning coach Nick Santa Barbara, smoked a single to put the team up 1-0.

    Unfortunately, it would be the only run Team Angelucci would score.

    It would be 1-0 until the third. After Matt Jackson just missed a double down the left field line – falling about 12 inches shy – Nick Greenwood laces his second single of the game. Hinson, hitting second in the lineup, smoked a ball to the deepest part of the right-center for a triple and an RBI. He would come around in a single from Tyson Bagley, putting Team Hinson up 2-1.

    Angelucci, who was 2-for-4, would also crush a triple but was stranded at third base. David Erickson and Mario Tabachnik each had two hits for Team Angelucci while three went hitless.

    Hinson would start off the next inning with a single and moved to third on a Bagley double. Team Hinson used small ball to get both runs across. Poynter notched a sacrifice fly and Jon Berger had an RBI ground out, pushing ahead 4-1.

    "It was a team effort," Hinson said. "We tried to hitt he ball hard and score some runs. Luckily, I got a couple of hits and we won the game."

    Team Hinson poured on three more runs before the final frame. Jackson started things off with a single and Nick Greenwood added his third knock. Hinson then pounded his second extra base hit, smacking a double and getting two RBI. He would score on a Poynter single.

    "Three for four," Greenwood said. "All singles but I will take it."

    Hinson went 3-for-4 with three RBI and three runs scored. Poynter had a pair of RBI. Bagley had a run scored and RBI and Greenwood scored twice.

    "Greenie was a good leadoff hitter, getting on base," Hinson said.

    Ironically, the last quality hitter to come out of the pitching ranks was Stephen Faris – also a Clemson alumnus.

    "It is one of those things where you go back to the glory days when you could hit," Hinson said. "We enjoy it. We go out and have a good time with it. Swing hard – try and hit home runs. That is my philosophy."

  • Hinson was told before the game that he would head up to Lake Elsinore to join the Storm for the second time.

    Hinson did not allow a run in 2.2 innings with the High-A club, giving up one hit and striking out four while stranding an inherited runner.

    By contrast, Hinson has allowed 13 runs, nine earned, on 12 hits and six walks while fanning nine across nine innings for the Emeralds.

    "Going up there is a little different," Hinson said. "A lot of times the hitters here (in the Northwest League) like to swing at everything. Up higher, they are more selective and try and find the one pitch they can hit – and hit it well."

  • Jon Berger was on the field on Friday after getting promoted from Arizona the previous day.

    "I am fortunate," Berger said. "I was having fun in Arizona and luckily enough I got the call to get moved up. It is fun to see fans. It is a different game."

    Berger went 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA across five games in Arizona. In 27 innings, he allowed 20 hits, walked two and struck out 33.

    In his last outing, he became the first short-season pitcher to go seven innings, giving up one run on three hits while striking out 10.

    "I need to just throw strikes and let my defense work for me," Berger said. "I was commanding the zone pretty well down in Arizona. I am going to keep the same game plan – keep it down in the zone and throw strikes."

    Both Tom Gamboa and Grady Fuson said Berger was a guy who they felt could compete in Eugene prior to the move.

    Berger threw a short bullpen on Friday to give pitching coach Bronswell Patrick an idea of what he can do.

    Catcher Emmanuel Quiles was impressed. "He has a very good changeup and fastball command."

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