Diego Rincones Grand Slam Propels Eugene Emeralds Past Hops 10-7
Diego Rincones delivered big. He not only hit the grand slam in the fourth, Diego also slammed a three-run double in the fifth. By himself, he equaled the run output of their foe, the Hillsboro Hops. His teammates took care of the rest to give the Eugene Emeralds a 10-7 victory.
Hops Explode First
At first, Hillsboro drew the deep cut to take a comfortable lead. After Logan Wyatt singled and scored on a double play in the second for the Ems, the Hops answered with a bunch in the third. Batting around the order, the Hops scored five men on only three hits but with also one walk and two hit batsmen. The first comfortable lead in the game, 5-1. But, no lead is comfortable between these two teams.
Two things had to happen for the Ems to get back in the game. First, they needed Taylor Rashi to come in and shut the Hops down. Rashi gave three innings of three up/three down shut down pitching. His fourth inning allowed Buddy Kennedy to smack a solo shot to left but that was the only blip suffered by the game winner.
His shut down performance gave his teammates four innings to catch up and take the lead. And they did. Will Wilson already walked and scored when Tyler Fitzgerald was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. That cut the Ems deficit to three pulling the Hops within reach.
Diego Rincones, Ems Explode Second
The fourth inning, Rashi’s first, the Ems nearly went around the order. For the sixth man to come up to the plate, Diego Rincones found the bases loaded again for his grand slam blast to left center. One swing brought four runs across the plate and the Ems now had the lead, 6-5. But, there was more to come.
Diego Rincones, Ems Explode Third
The next inning, the Ems did bat around the order scoring another four runs. First Sean Roby walked with the bases loaded, scoring Armani Smith from third. Then Diego Rincones, the grand slam hero of the previous inning, cleared the loaded bases with a double. Brandon Martorano, Will Wilson and Sean Roby all touched the plate. That extended the lead to 10-5. It proved enough for the win.
The Hops did make an effort to catch back up. Buddy Kennedy homered in the seventh. Axel Andueza doubled in the eighth and eventually scored on Tristin English’s sac fly. All that did was to make the final score 10-7.
Taylor Rashi (W, 3-0) went four innings giving up one run on one hit for the win. Also, Tyler Schimpf (S, 2) came in to close the ninth and earned his second save of the season. The Hops’ Kyler Stout (L, 0-2) gave up five runs in the fourth and fifth to take the loss.
The win helped the Eugene Emeralds (24-15) maintain their half game lead over Everett at the top. Conversely, the loss dropped the Hillsboro Hops (16-22) to seven and half games behind. The Hops are also in a tie with Spokane for fourth place now with the Indians ahead by percentage points. The Ems now have a four game winning streak going while the Hops conversely are on a four game losing streak.
Both teams meet again Saturday night at PK Park for game five in the series Consequently, Eugene leads the six-game series 4-0.
Meanwhile, my latest look back (week six) is out now. Check it out.