Eugene, OR - A four run first inning proved too much for the Emeralds as they could not complete a comeback against the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes in a 4-3 loss in front of 2,761 at PK Park.
Salem-Keizer (28-38,12-16) batted around in the first inning and knocked out the Ems (33-33, 12-16) starter Brendon Little (0-1, 10.13 ERA) out of the game after 0.2 of an inning. Little gave up four runs on four hits and two walks with a pair of strikeouts as well.
With a runner at first with two outs and just one run across, Little got Orlando Garcia to swing and miss and seemingly end the inning. But, the ball went in the dirt and scooted away from Miguel Amaya, allowing the inning to continue.
Elvis Diaz came in after three more runs had crossed and got Malique Ziegler, the batter that started the inning with a strikeout, to pop out in foul territory to end the inning.
It stayed a 4-0 game until the fifth when the Ems finally figured out S-K starter Luis Pino, forcing him to leave the game before the inning ended. It started with a Michael Cruz double followed by a Jose Gonzalez singled to score Cruz. Chris Singleton singled before Zach Davis grounded into a fielder's choice for the first out.
A stolen base allowed Rafael Narea to ground out, scoring Gonzalez and moving Davis to third. Jhonny Bethencourt put a nice cap on the barrage of hits with a triple to deep left center, scoring Davis and making it a 4-3 game.
Diaz kept the Ems in the game over his 4.1 innings. Allowing just two hits and one walk while striking out a pair. Erich Uelman relieved Diaz and went for three innings, shutting the Volcanoes down and giving up just two hits and working around three walks with two strikeouts.
Jake Steffens closed out the game with a perfect ninth
Game two with Salem-Keizer starts on Thursday for Old School Hip-Hop night. Game starts at 7:05 PM with gates opening at 6 PM. Tickets can be purchased at emeraldsbaseball.com or by 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.