The Hops won game one of the Northwest League South Division playoff series on the last swing of the game Wednesday. For Eugene, game two revenge was served early.
The Emeralds rocked Hops starter Bo Takahashi for five runs and seven hits in the first two innings and cruised to a 6-2 win at P.K. Park Thursday night. The teams will meet in a deciding game three Friday night with the winner moving on to the NWL Championship Series.
The Emeralds had two runs on the board before an out was recorded. Chris Pieters drove in D.J. Wilson and Yeiler Peguero with a base hit to center field as the Emeralds opened the game with three straight singles. Takahashi recorded three straight outs to end the inning, but would not escape the second.
A walk to lead off the second put Eugene's Tyler Payne aboard, but the Emeralds catcher was caught stealing. That did little to deter Eugene, as Kevonte Mitchell followed with a triple, before three straight singles by Robert Garcia, Wilson and Peguero had Takahashi headed for the showers. Wei-Chieh Huang took over on the hill and settled things, after giving up a sacrifice fly to Pieters, but the damage was done.
Pedro Silverio limited the Hops to two hits and four walks over five scoreless innings, striking out eight to earn the win.
Trailing 6-0 going into the ninth, the Hops scored twice against reliever Duncan Robinson. Back-to-back singles by Olmeda and Justin Chigbogu and a Eugene throwing error gave Hillsboro a glimmer of hope. But the final run scored on a double-play grounder off the bat of Stephen Smith as the Hops rally faltered.
The top third of Eugene's order, Wilson, Peguero and Pieters, combined to go 7-for-10 with six runs batted in. Wilson led the way with three hits, three runs scored and an RBI. The Emeralds outhit the Hops 9-6.
Ben DeLuzio doubled and reached base twice for Hillsboro. Jason Morozowski went 1-for-3 with a walk and has been on base five times in two games of the series. Mack Lemieux pitched lights-out over the final three innings for Hillsboro, striking out five without allowing a base runner.
Second-year Hop Tyler Mark is the scheduled starter for Hillsboro in Friday's rubber match. Mark lasted just two innings in his previous start against Eugene, but did not allow a run. Erling Moreno is scheduled to get the ball for Eugene. Hear all the live action on Rip City Radio 620 AM with pregame coverage starting at 6:35 p.m.