Eugene, OR - With a big offense performance by Michael Cruz and a career night for starter Matt Swarmer, the Emeralds held on late and bounced back in a big way to take the rubber match against the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 8-5 in front of 4,011 at PK Park.
Despite finding themselves down early after a lead-off triple came around to score in the first, the Emeralds (2-2, 23-19) hung a three spot in the bottom of the inning. Back-to-back walks to Jhonny Bethencourt and Aramis Ademan followed by a Brandon Hughes single loaded the bases.
A wild pitch scored Bethencourt and tied the game at one before Gustavo Polanco struck out, allowing Austin Filiere to single home Ademan. A Cruz sacrifice fly scored Hughes and gave the Ems a 3-1 lead.
The Volcanoes (2-2, 18-23) clawed their way back to even the score in the third inning when catcher Rob Calabrese hit his first homerun, a moon shot to left field, to start the inning.
A double by Christopher Burks turned into a run when, after stealing third and a walk, he made it home on a delayed steal to the plate as Tyler Brown stole second.
Eugene answered right back in the bottom of the inning and the next two after that, with Hughes scoring on a sac fly by Filiere in the third. Another sac fly, this time by Bethencourt, in the fourth scored Rafael Narea.
The Ems continued the scoring in the fifth when, after a two-out walk and single by Cruz, a passed ball allowed Filiere to score making it a 6-3 ball game.
It would be plenty for Swarmer (3-0, 2.72), as he threw a career high six innings, giving up four hits and three runs while striking out six for the fourth straight game. He also only allowed one runner to reach base after the third inning.
Cruz finished the scoring by adding his third homer in as many nights, a two-run shot to right that made it an 8-3 game.
Ricky Tyler Thomas threw two innings and allowed two hits and a walk while striking out three. Brian Glowicki closed the game as the Volcanoes tagged him for a pair of runs to make it close in the ninth, but he shut the door on the inning with a ground out to end the game.
The Hops come to town on Friday as Jose Albertos (1-0, 2.70 ERA) takes the ball for the Ems and Brian Shaffer (0-0, 1.80 ERA) goes for Hillboro. Get your tickets online at emeraldsbaseball.com or calling the box office at 541-342-5367.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.