Eugene, OR - After getting out slugged in a 10-1 get-away loss on Wednesday, the Eugene Emeralds came roaring back with a vengeance. They scored five times in the final four innings to take game one against the Tri-City Dust Devils 5-0 in front 3,519. It was the Ems third shutout of the year.
Eugene's (13-15, 30-35) offense finally clicked and broke through in the fifth inning after getting runners on in the first and fourth innings. Gustavo Polanco came up with one out and hit a soft ground ball up the third base line. Kelvin Alarcon was playing back and could not make to play, getting Polanco safely to first.
Then D.J. Artis hit a ball right at first baseman Luis Asuncion, who had it go off his glove and bounce away. Polanco moved to second and Artis was safe at first for another infield single. Fernando Kelli flew out to right field for the second out before Andy Weber stepped to the plate.
Weber, who was hitting just .167 with runners in scoring position and two outs, turned his fortunes around as he drove a 1-2 pitch into the left field corner. Polanco and Artis scored easily and Weber stood on second with a double.
The Ems pitching did not need much more than that, as they used three pitchers to shut out the Dust Devils (12-15, 30-35). Eury Ramos, who lasted just two innings in his last start at home, fired 6.1 innings of one hit ball. He also only walked one batter and struck out eight, a career high.
The lone hit surrendered was in the first inning, but turned out not to matter when Michael Curry was thrown trying to steal second to end the inning. Ramos retired the next 16 straight batters before walking Tre Carter in the seventh with one out.
Eugenio Palma came in for Ramos after the walk, and promptly got a line out and strikeout to end the inning. He pitched a perfect eighth before handing the ball to Riley McCauley, who finished the ninth with one strikeout.
The Ems added runs in the seventh and eighth innings, getting an Artis triple with Polanco on first to make it a 3-0 game in the seventh. Grant Fennell singled to lead off the eighth but watched two teammates strike out before Jonathan Sierra doubled to score him. Jake Slaughter was hit by a pitch before Polanco singled once again, driving in Sierra and making it a 5-0 game.
Polanco was 3-4 with two runs and that RBI.
Game two will take place Friday and the Ems will send lefty Faustino Carrera to mound while Tri City will counter with a lefty of their own in Ramon Perez. It is Sandlot Night and the Ems are hosting a Sleepover. Get tickets, food, and a bracelet to camp out on the field and watch the movie Sandlot after the game. Tickets are available at Emeraldsbaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.