Eugene, OR - A big sixth inning saw the Eugene Emeralds take their first lead of the year and hang on late thanks to great pitching to take a 4-2 victory over the Vancouver Canadians in front of a sold out crowd at PK Park on Saturday.
After starting off the season with early deficits in each game, the Emeralds (1-2) looked to be headed down the same road as starter Bailey Clark allowed a lead-off double to Reggie Pruitt and then hit Chavez Young with a pitch. Yorman Rodriguez popped up to first baseman Miguel Amaya for the first out of the inning.
A wild pitch advanced the runners before Owen Spiwak double to give the Canadians a 2-0 lead. After Clark induced a ground out by Roman Mattingly, Clark walked Jesus Severino and Francisco Rodriguez to load the bases.
Kevin Vicuna lined a ball that appeared to smack Clark on the pitching arm, but he recovered quickly and tossed the ball to Amaya to end the inning.
Clark would go on for another 2.2 innings, allowing just two hits, two walks, four strikeouts and just the two earned runs.
Eugene threatened in the bottom of the third inning, as Tyler Payne singled and Tolly Filotei was hit by a pitch. Aramis Ademan struck out before Rafael Narea singled and loaded the bases. Amaya grounded into a double play to end the rally.
Vancouver (2-1) starter Kyle Weatherly (0-1, 1.80 ER) looked to be on a roll through 5 innings, but ran into plenty of trouble in the sixth inning.
Narea reached base on an error by Vicuna to lead-off the sixth. Amaya then singled before Gustavo Polanco smashed a double to deep left field to score both Narea and Amaya to tie the game 2-2.
Weatherly would leave the game after that, allowing four hits and one walk, with five strikeouts as well. Grayson Huffman came in and struck out Kwang-Min Kwon before throwing a ball in the dirt to advance Polanco.
Huffman then got Connor Meyers to line out to Vicuna, but Jhonny Bethencourt picked him up, doubling down the line and scoring Polanco, giving the Ems their first lead of the year 3-2.
They would add on in the seventh after Narea walked and advanced on a wild pitch. Amaya singled into center field to give the Ems a 4-2 lead.
Yapson Gomez and Michael Knighton relived Clark to go a combined 5.1 innings with just one hit and a walk to go with five strikeouts. Gomez picked up his first win of the year while Knighton earned the save.
Eugene will continue the series with Vancouver tomorrow with a 1:05 PM first pitch PK Park for a Father's Day celebration. Tickets can be purchased at emeraldsbaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.