DJ Wilson Leads Offense in Eugene Emeralds Win, 6-2
The Eugene Emeralds evened the playoff series by striking while the iron was hot in the first two innings, outlasting the Hillsboro Hops 6-2. The Emeralds scored five runs by the time the second inning was over and that was enough as Eugene’s pitching kept any rallies by the Hops at arm’s distance throughout the night.
Emerald starting pitcher Pedro Silverio (W, 1-0) was in control for the first five innings, blanking the Hops and leaving the mound for good with the score 6-0 and the win. During that stretch, Silverio allowed only two hits and struck out eight to let the Hops know the second win was not going to be easy – let alone possible. At least while he was on the mound.
Eugene only needed one more pitcher for the game. Duncan Robinson (S, 1) took care of the final four innings, allowed the only two Hops runs in the game, and earned the save.
In all, the Hops managed six hits and struck out ten times facing the Emerald’s staff. No Hops batter squeezed more than one hit off the bat and only Ben DeLuzio slugged an extra base hit, a double in the seventh with two outs, but he went no further. Jason Morozowski, Mark Karaviotis and Luke Lowery also singled in the game.
It was the ninth and final inning where the Hops were able to notch more than a zero on the scoreboard. For a moment, it seemed that Hillsboro might do more damage than that. Alexis Olmeda and Justin Chigbogu led the inning off with back to back singles. Paxton De La Garza reached first on a throwing error by third baseman Wladimir Galindo scoring Olmeda for the Hops first run of the game. Chigbogu moved to third on the play. Justin scored on the very next play but that turned out to be a double play removing any base runners from the paths and setting the Hops up with two outs and their final at bat.
Eugene did plenty of damage with their bats with seven singles and two triples. Lead off batter DJ Wilson made something happen almost every time he swung a bat, going 3 for 4, a triple and scoring three times – half of the Emeralds scoring for the night. When he wasn’t scoring, he was knocking a run to the plate.
Yeiler Peguero and Chris Pieters managed two hits apiece and knocking in five of the six runs the team would score that night. Kevonte Mitchell tripled and scored. Robert Garcia singled and scored.
The Hops pitching gave their best effort but was unable to stop the Emerald juggernaut at the beginning. Starting pitcher Bo Takahashi (L, 0-1) was slain by the Eugene offense, getting chased in the second inning with the bases loaded, a run scored and one out, taking the loss. Including the first inning, Takahashi gave up five runs on seven hits.
Up stepped Wei-Chieh Huang for the next three and two thirds innings. Huang limited the Emerald bats to one run and two hits while striking out two. Mack Lemieux took the remaining three innings finally shutting down Eugene completely with no hits or runs and striking out five.
The loss for the Hillsboro Hops forced a third game with the Eugene Emeralds at PK Park Friday night at 7:05 pm. Scheduled pitchers are expected to be Tyler Mark for the Hops and Erling Moreno for the Emeralds. The winner of that game will go on to face the winner of the Spokane Indians/Everett AquaSox series for the league championship. Everett won the first game 8-5.
by Greg Stoker