Eugene, OR - A two-run homer by Austin Filiere in the first inning got the Emeralds on the board first and they never looked back as they struck out 13 Canadians and held off a late rally to take game two 4-2 in front of 1,652, evening the Championship Series 1-1.
After going down early in Saturday's contest, the Emeralds (3-1) wasted no time securing the lead on Sunday. Jared Young singled with one out in the first inning before Filiere took a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left field for his first homer in the playoffs and seventh overall.
Then a Michael Cruz fly out allowed Jhonny Bethencourt to single on the first pitch that he saw. He stole second before Gustavo Polanco stroked a single of his own into center, scoring Bethencourt and giving the Ems a quick and early 3-0 lead.
Vancouver (3-1) countered with a pair of runs of their own in the second, taking advantage of a wild Brendon Little. Little had walked two batters in the first but got a pair of strikeouts to strand the runners at first and second, but was not as lucky in the second. Trading walks and strikeouts for the first four batters, Reggie Pruitt tripled with two-outs to left field, scoring a pair and putting the Ems lead in jeopardy.
Norberto Obeso grounded out harmlessly to second base right after, ending the inning. Javier Assad (1-0, 0.00) replaced Little in the third, ending Little's night with two innings and two runs given up on one hit and four walks with four strikeouts.
Vancouver starter Jose Espada (0-1, 7.71) settled over the next four innings, but ran into trouble in the fifth after a lead-off single by Zach Davis. Davis stole second before Young drove him in with a ball to right field making it a 4-2 game. Young was out trying to get into second on the throw home.
Assad threw the best game of his young career and stonewalled the Canadians over six innings of work, allowing just three baserunners on one hit and two walks while striking out nine. Jake Steffens came into the ninth and closed the door for his first save of the playoffs and third overall.
Game three of the five game series will take place in Vancouver at 7:05pm. Tune into 95.3 The Score FM for play-by-play with Pat Zajac.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.