Franklin Labour Homered, Eugene Emeralds Power Past Hops 7-4
Franklin Labour homered in the eighth to bring Tyler Fitzgerald and Logan Wyatt home for the go ahead runs. It turned out to be the final score: Eugene Emeralds over the Hillsboro Hops 7-4. What little time the Hops had left didn’t matter.
Kai-Wei Teng started for the home team Ems and gave 85 pitches over five controlled innings. Teng only had two blips to deal with. The last one: a simple walk in the fifth. The second, however, made it a game again. With the Ems ahead 3-0 in the top of the fourth, the Hops’ Dom Canzone singled and came home with Andy Yerzy and his two-run homer. The lead shrunk to one run.
While Teng averaged 17 pitches per inning, his opposite, Hops starting pitcher Ryne Nelson spent 43 pitches over 1.2 innings for an average of almost 26 pitches per inning. When Ryne was pulled early, The Ems were ahead 1-0. But, it was the third inning when the Ems tried to blow it open.
Justin Vernia relieved Ryne in the second and threw two pitches to end the inning. The third was his downfall. After 34 pitches in the third, Vernia faced a 3-0 deficit.
Eight Men to the Plate
All of the damage was done with two outs already in the books. Diego Rincones doubled and came home on Armani Smith’s RBI single. Logan Wyatt walked and came home on Tyler Fitzgerald’s RBI single. By the time Vernia struck out Brandon Martorano, he was lucky it wasn’t worse as the inning ended with the bases loaded.
Vernia came back for one more inning to be followed by three more by reliever Mitchell Stumpo. Combined, the two pitched 1-2-3 innings for four innings straight. During that time, the Hops took the lead for the first time.
Dom Canzone led off the sixth with his second homer of the year tying the game. Blaze Alexander followed Dom with a single and came home during Spencer Brickhouse’s ground-out to Ems second baseman Tyler Fitzgerald. The Hops now had the lead. They held onto it for two more innings.
Eight More Men to the Plate
Sending eight men to the plate in the third gave the Ems a comfortable lead. Sending eight men to the plate in the eighth inning gave them a commanding lead. Diego Rincones led off with a walk. Behind only one run, the mission was to achieve a tie so they sent Tyler Flores in as a pinch runner. Mission accomplished. Flores tied the game when he came home on Tyler Fitzgerald’s RBI single.
Franklin Labour homered
Now the mission was to get the lead. Franklin Labour homered as the next batter up with two runners on base to give the Ems the lead for good, 7-4. Logan Wyatt had walked and Fitzgerald previously singled for the two extra runs. All they had to do was hold onto it for three more outs as the Hops came to the plate in the top of the ninth.
Wins and Losses
Tyler Schimpf (S, 1) did that by going 1-2-3 with a strikeout and two fly balls. Game over. The Eugene Emeralds beat the Hillsboro Hops 7-4.
Ryan Walker (W, 1-0) earned the win for the Ems by shutting down the Hops in the seventh and eighth innings. That gave the Ems batters a chance to get the lead back. Giving up four runs in two thirds of the eighth inning saddled Hops P Julio Frias (L, 0-1) with the loss.
The win helped the Eugene Emeralds (22-15) gain a game on the leader Everett. The Ems are now only a half game away from sharing the lead. The loss, coupled with Everett’s loss, kept the Hillsboro Hops (16-20) six games behind the leaders.
As a result, the Hops now have a two game losing streak as the Ems lead the weekly series 2-0. Conversely, the Ems are on a two game winning streak. However, both teams meet again Thursday night for game three of the six game series.
My weekly look back, this time at week 6 for the Hops, is now online for you to read. Relive Buddy Kennedy’s grand slam and his franchise tying six RBI game at the same time since they happened in the same game. Also enjoy Nick Dalesandro’s inside the park home run.