Courtesy: Eugene Emeralds
EUGENE, Ore.– The Emeralds came into Saturday night’s game looking to salvage the final game of a three-game series against the rival Volcanoes. They ran into a left-handed starter for the Volcanoes in Andrew Leenhouts who was determined to bring home the sweep. Leenhouts retired the first 15 men that he faced including 7 strike outs.
For the second straight night Salem grabbed an early lead with a home run. Saturday’s version was a little more rare as 3B Will Callaway hit a sinking line drive to center that Yale Rosen dove for but could not come up with. The ball rolled all the way to the warning track and Callaway made the trip around the bases easily before the throw came in. Rosen was making his first start in center field after Nick Schulz was promoted to Ft. Wayne.
When Leenhouts came back out for the bottom of the 6th, Ems 1B Trae Santos smacked a 2-2 pitch over the wall in right to break up the perfect game and tie the score at 1-1. Leenhouts finished 7 innings allowing just 2 base hits while tallying 11 punch outs.
After a strong five innings from RHP Adrain De Horta to start the game, the Ems got 4 stellar innings from three different relievers. Wilson Santos, Chris Huffman and Max Beatty combined to retire 12 of the 13 batters they faced.
In the home half of the 9th, the Emeralds got a leadoff single from C Miguel Del Castillo. Cory Spangenberg followed by beating out a sacrifice bunt attempt and Eugene was in business. Jalen Goree did a nice job to get down a sacrifice bunt of his own with two strikes setting up runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out. Salem elected to intentionally walk Franchy Cordero to load the bases and bring in a left-hander to face cleanup man Marcus Davis. When LHP Steven Neff entered for the Volcanoes he threw just five pitches before walking in the winning run. The Ems won it 2-1 with Max Beatty as the pitcher of record.
Eugene sits at 6-9 on the year and remains 3.5 games back of Hillsboro. Spokane (13-2) comes to the Emerald Valley to start a 5-day 6-game series Sunday night first pitch at 5:01pm presented by Levi’s. Tickets are available at EmeraldsBaseball.com.