Eugene, OR - A back-and-forth game saw the Eugene Emeralds take a 3-0 lead, lose it, and then get it back before it finally losing it in the ninth, taking a 6-5 defeat against the Boise Hawks in front of 4,251 at PK Park. Boise moved back into a tie with Hillsboro and Salem-Keizer for first place.
Going into the ninth up by one and with Luis Aquino (1-3, 1.32 ERA) on the mound, the Ems (31-31, 10-14) were in a good position to end a mini two-game slide. After a lead-off single by Danny Edgeworth, Aquino rebounded and got Sean Bouchard to strikeout and Austin Bernard to slowly ground out to second baseman Jhonny Bethencourt and moved Edgeworth to second.
A wild pitch to J.B. Moss allowed Edgeworth to advance to third before Aquino threw a 2-2 curveball that went in the dirt. Moss chased and struck out, but the ball got away from catcher Michael Cruz and Edgeworth scored to make it a 5-5 game.
Moss stole second before Aubrey McCarty hit a single through the left side, scoring Moss and giving Boise (30-32, 11-13) the lead.
Scoring started in the second when after scoring just one run in their last two games the Ems matched that total with no one out in the second inning. Austin Filiere doubled to lead-off the inning followed by a Gustavo Polanco walk. Michael Cruz then launched his own double to left field, scoring Filiere and moving Polanco to third.
Ramsey Romano struck out for the first out of the inning, but his teammates picked him up as Jose Gonzalez hit a sacrifice fly to score Polanco and move Cruz to third. Rafael Narea then singled to score Cruz and make it a 3-0 game.
Boise starter John Valek settled after that, going the next four innings without giving up a run and finished by scattering six hits over six innings, giving up just the three runs in the second while walking one and striking out six.
The Hawks got two runs back in the third off Ems starter Alex Lange, who was almost as effective on a tighter pitch count. Lange gave up back-to-back singles and a Matt McLaughin double to make the score 3-2 and finished with 2.2 innings, giving up two runs on four hits, one walk and five strikeouts.
With Jesus Camargo pitching, the Ems found themselves down after the seventh when a double, two walks, hit by pitch, and a single scored two runs to make it a 4-3 game in favor of Boise.
The Ems got the runs back in the eighth when, with runners at second and third and one out, Romano hit a pop fly that left fielder Steven Linkous over ran and hit off his glove for an error. It caused a pair of runs to score and briefly gave the Ems the lead.
Game 2 of the 4-game series will be tomorrow at 1:05pm. 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.