Eugene, OR - It didn't go quite as long as the game on July 4th between the Emeralds and the Boise Hawks, but the result was the same as the Ems fought back to the tie the game twice before falling 11-6 to the Hawks in front of 2,418 at PK Park.
Boise (30-33, 11-14) finally broke through against Emeralds (32-31, 11-14) reliever Casey Ryan, (1-1, 8.79 ERA) in his third inning of work, in the fifteenth with five runs on all singles, wild pitches, and groundouts.
In the eleventh inning, Boise loaded the bases off a walk and a pair of singles before Hidekel Gonzalez singled home the go-ahead run. Then craziness ensued when Luis Castro lofted a line drive to right field. Chris Singleton caught the ball and threw home to get the runner for the second out of the inning. Catcher Michael Cruz noticed the runner from first trying to advance to second and threw the ball, but it went under the glove of Jhonny Bethencourt.
The base umpire appeared to make a signal to indicate that the runner had interfered with the fielder and he was out, but after a discussion the umpire reversed his call and said the fielder interfered with the runner instead.
Eugene came roaring back in the bottom of the inning after Bethencourt singled advanced to second on a passed ball. Austin Filiere came up and went out to deep right center, sending the ball over the wall, and the game, into the twelfth inning for his fifth homer of the year.
Eugene got the scoring started in the second inning for the second straight game when Cruz took a ball deep to right and over the wall for his sixth homer of the year.
The Hawks answered right back in the third with a pair of runs of their own off Ems starter Cory Abbott. A single and an error got runner to first and second before a wild pitch moved them to second and third.
After Abbott struck out LJ Hatch, Matt McLaughlin hit a shallow fly ball to right field that was just out of the reach of Singleton to make it a 2-1 ballgame.
The Ems would respond over the next two innings when, in the fourth, Gustavo Polanco singled and drove in Bethencourt and tied the game at 2-2. Eugene looked to score off Hawks reliever Jesse Lepore, who came in for starter Keinter Olivares in the fifth after Ramsey Romano singled and Chris Singleton walked.
A ground out moved the runners to second and third before Lepore threw a ball in the dirt and Romano scored the go-ahead run. Enrique De Los Rios, in for Abbott after throwing three innings and giving up two runs, one earned, on four hits and three strikeouts, kept the Ems in the lead until the eighth.
De Los Rios had gotten in and out of trouble all afternoon, but the Hawks got back-to-back singles to lead-off the eighth. A bunt by JB Moss moved McLaughlin to third, but the Ems got the runner heading to second out. Gonzalez then grounded softly to third base and Romano threw the runner out at home. It looked like De Los Rios might get out of the inning unscathed, but a Castro double pushed the lead to 4-3.
Eugene tied it in the eighth on a Zach Davis lead-off single, a stolen base, a ground out to move him to third and a sac fly.
Game 3 of the 4-game series will be Monday at 7:05pm. 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.