EUGENE, OR – Justin Hancock gave Eugene 5.1 innings of shutout baseball allowing just one hit and three walks while striking out six. He was locked in a pitcher’s duel with Vancouver starter Tayler Cole who finished five shutout innings allowing just two hits.
Eugene had scoring opportunities in the 1st and 6th innings but couldn’t push anything across. A pair of hit batsman were stranded on 1st and 3rd in the bottom of the 1st when Rodney Daal lined out. In the 6th, Corey Adamson was caught stealing after leading off with a walk. The Ems would get two more free baserunners that inning when Maxx Tissenbaum was hit for the second time and Rodney Daal drew a two out walk. Vancouver brought in Colton Turner who got Dane Phillips to fly out to end the inning.
Vancouver wasted a big opportunity in the 3rd inning when they had a runner on 3rd and one out with leadoff man Ian Parmley at the plate.
Parmley tried to lay down a squeeze bunt but instead popped it back to the pitcher Hancock who flipped to Chris Burke covering 3rd for the inning ending double play.
In the bottom of the 9th Eugene had the game in the palm of their hands. They started the inning with singles from Maxx Tissenbaum and Rodney Daal. Dane Phillips dropped down an excellent sacrifice bunt to setup runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out. Vancouver intentionally walked Jonathan Roof to load the bases. Clayton McCullough would employ 5 infielders and just two outfielders for the next hitter Alexi Colon.
The strategy worked perfectly as Colon grounded out. Jonathan Lucas struck out Chris Burke to end the threat and send the game to extra innings.
Still scoreless heading to the 11th, Matt Shepherd allowed a leadoff single to Matt Newman. Jorge Flores put down a sacrifice to move Newman into scoring position. After an intentional walk, Kellen Sweeney hit a two-run triple to give Vancouver a 2-0 lead. Balbino Fuenmayor added a two-run homer and Vancouver took a 4-0 lead into the bottom of the 11th.
Eric Brown closed out the game with a 1-2-3 inning and the Canadians completed the three game sweep here in Eugene. The Emeralds now trail by three games in the 2nd half standings and will head up to Yakima for afive-game series. The Ems will then return home for an 8-game homestand starting Saturday, August 11 against Tri-City.