Courtesy: Eugene Emeralds
After an offensive explosion the night before that saw the Ems triumph, 8-7, it was the Dust Devils who prevailed in a pitchers duel Wednesday night, this time by the final score of 1-0.
Entering tonight’s ballgame, the Ems had scored first in seven of their past nine games, but the Dust Devils struck first with a run in the bottom of the first, and that was all they would need to hold on and win in a game that lasted only two hours and eighteen minutes.
Bad luck bit the Emeralds right out of the gate as Dust Devils center fielder Marcos Derkes singled on a slow roller to Ems second baseman Felipe Blanco. The single, which was a mishit off the end of Derkes’ bat, happened to be just slow enough that is was unplayable for a charging Blanco as Derkes’ speed allowed him to reach safely on a hit that barely made it past the pitcher’s mound.
Moments later, a pickoff attempt by Michael Kelly sailed into the stands allowing Derkes to advance to second base. After a Sam Bumpers groundout allowed Derkes to advance to third, he was soon brought home on a Kelly wild pitch that found its way to the backstop.
The errant pickoff throw and wild pitch were the only blemishes of note on Kelly’s night as the right hander put forth a stellar outing on the mound, posting a final stat line of 5.0 innings pitched, one (unearned) run allowed, two walks, and four strikeouts, with the Derkes infield single being the only hit he allowed on the evening.
The Emeralds bullpen picked up where Kelly left off as Wilson Santos and Max Beatty combined to throw three shutout innings with only one hit and one walk allowed and three strikeouts. However, the Dust Devils pitching staff were on their game as well, as they combined to only allow six hits and one walk while striking out six Emeralds batters.
The Ems will look to get back on the winning side of things as they head home to PK Park where they are already 3-0 on the season after a three-game sweep of the Boise Hawks last week.
For information on tickets for the upcoming homestand and the rest of the 2014 season, call (541) 342-5367, visit www.EmeraldsBaseball.com, or stop by the Eugene Emeralds box office at 2760 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, located next to PK Park on the North side of Autzen Stadium.