Eugene Emeralds Launch Past Hillsboro Hops, 2-1 in 11
On a 93 degree sultry evening, zombies invaded tonight’s game as the Eugene Emeralds powered past the Hillsboro Hops 2-1 in the eleventh inning. The winning run was scored by a powerful home run smashed by Ian Happ. The ball sailed over the highest portion of the center field fence.
Tonight was the second annual zombie night for the Hops. The new tradition invited fans to come dressed as a zombie or come to the park and get the make-up to become transformed. Even staff joined in the fun.
The game featured excellent pitching by both sides. Hops starter RHP Carlos Hernandez pitched a masterful seven innings allowing no runs with three hits, three walks and struck out ten batters. Will Landsheft (0-1) pitched the final two innings for the loss. Landsheft struck out three of the seven batters he faced and the only two hits allowed were a single in the tenth and the winning home run in the eleventh.
RHP Oscar De La Cruz also started a masterful game going six innings for the Emeralds. He allowed one earned run with no walks and four hits, striking out nine. Dave Berg (1-0) pitched the ninth and tenth innings for the win. Berg struck out two batters and allowed no hits or walks. Jared Cheek pitched the final inning for the save (S-1).
The scoring started in the bottom of the sixth inning. Zach Nehrir smacked a line drive into left center for a stand up double. Stephen Dezzi knocked a single over the head of third baseman Blake Headley. Nehrir hustled home on the throw. Hops led 1-0.
The Emeralds answered back in the top of the ninth. Ian Happ walked to start the inning. Donnie Dewees hit a sharp grounder to third baseman Nic Coffman. Happ went to second on the throw. Blake Headly hit a slicing grounder up the middle just out of reach of sliding second baseman Fernery Ozuna. Happ scored from second. Game tied 1-1.
The two teams entered extra innings wth the same box score: one run on five hits and no errors in an evenly matched game.
The Hops had a fine defensive inning in the top of third when two base runners were tagged out, clearing the bases. The first was when Emerald Vimael Machin knocked a double past left fielder Zach Nehrir to the fence. Machin tried to stretch it into a triple but the relay of Nehrir to shortstop Sergio Alcantara to third baseman Nic Coffman tagged the runner. The second was when Emeralds Frandy De La Rosa walked and attempted to steal second with Eloy Jimenez at the plate. Catcher Jose Queliz threw to second baseman Fernery Ozuna for the tag out.
Ian Happ had a fine game for the Emeralds going 2 for 3. Happ also scored two runs, had one RBI and walked twice. Vimael Machin went 2 for 2.
For the Hops, Zach Nehrir went 2 for 5 and scored one run. Nehrir managed to increase his team leading average to .375.
The Eugene Emeralds (9-6) increased their lead over the Hillsboro Hops (7-8) by two games for the South Division lead. The two teams meet tomorrow night for the final game of the three game series. The Emeralds lead it 2-0.
by Greg Stoker