Tue Sep 11 22:39:23 PDT 2018
EUGENE, Ore. -- The Eugene Emeralds won the Northwest League Championship on a walk-off balk Tuesday night.
The Emeralds tied the Spokane Indians in the ninth inning of game three of the championship series at PK Park before a balk with the bases loaded forced the scoring run.
The 3-2 victory secured the series sweep against the Indians.
In the first inning, Nelson Velazquez scored off a fielding error from the Indians’ shortstop, giving the Emeralds a 1-0 lead.
The Indians scored in the second inning to tie the game, then took the lead in the fourth inning with a 2-1 score.
With the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning, Andy Weber walked to tie the game at 2-2 before the balk secured the win.
The Emeralds had a 31-45 overall losing record this season, making the championship win unprecedented.
“I’ve been through everything with these guys day in and day out,” Emeralds manager Steve Lerud said. “This is pretty special for it to all come together for this and for them to get rewarded for all their hard work like this.”
This is the Emeralds’ second Northwest League Championship win in three years, after winning in 2016 and losing in the finals in 2017.