After the Ems jumped out to a hot start and a 3-0 lead, it was the Indians who supplied all of the heavy-duty fireworks, exploding for 10 runs over the course of three innings to hand Eugene their 15th loss of the season, defeating the Emeralds 10-3 in front of a sold out Avista Stadium.
The Emeralds entered the 5-game set with the Indians coming off a loss to Hillsboro, yet still with positives to take from the series after taking two out of three games against the Hops. After neither a side scored in the first two innings, the Emeralds struck first to take a 1-0 lead. After Ronnie Richardson reached on a walk, the center fielder was advanced to third thanks to a wild pitch by Spokane starting pitcher Kelvin Vasquez and a single by Ems designated hitter Fernando Perez. With two outs and two on, Trae Santos blooped a single to left field, scoring Richardson and giving the Ems the early lead.
Just one inning later, the Ems would tack on two more as Henry Charles and Chase Jensen both led off the inning with singles. After both were advanced ninety feet by a Michael Bass sacrifice bunt, Charles scored on a Malquiel Brito sac fly, and Jensen quickly scored thereafter on a Ronnie Richardson single.
With a 3-0 lead, the game looked to be in the hands of the Emeralds as starting pitcher Erik Cabrera put forth his best outing of the season, throwing five innings of scoreless ball, allowing two hits and two walks while striking out five Spokane batters in the process.
But from the moment Emeralds Manager Jim Gabella turned the ball over to the bullpen, the lead dissipated in a blink of an eye, as Gennison Reyes quickly surrendered two runs before striking out the side in the bottom of the sixth inning, cutting the Ems lead to a nail-biting 3-2 through six innings.
Then in the sixth, the Spokane Indians prematurely launched their post-game fireworks in the form of an offensive explosion, erupting for six runs as they batted around in the frame, as three Emeralds pitchers and a few blunders in the field added up to a 8-3 lead for the home side after six innings.
The Indians would tack on two more in the bottom half on the eighth inning extending the lead to 10-3. The abuse of the Ems bullpen soon became too much for Gabella to handle, as he pulled reliever Jairo Gomz in favor of Miguel Del Castillo, the Ems' third string catcher. Del Castillo prompt recorded the final out of the inning, inducing the inning-ending ground ball to Trae Santos needing only three pitches.
However, the game was well in hand at that point, and the crowd entered into full "party mode" swaying the press box as the "wave" swept back-and-forth through the Avista Stadium stands, with the crowd of 7,027 enjoying every bit of the fireworks the Spokane offense was supplying.
When the dust settled, Eugene starter Erik Cabrera was left with a no-decision despite putting forth easily his best performance of the year, as the Ems were issued their fifteenth loss of the season in another gut-wrenching manner. Meanwhile, the Indians moved a game above .500 as they prepare for game two of this five game series, kicking off tomorrow once again at 6:30.
The Ems look to bounce back tomorrow, and you can catch all the action on 95.3FM The Score, with pregame coverage starting at 6:15pm.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.