Eugene, OR - A first inning run on a double play looked to be enough for Spokane to win, but the Eugene Emeralds tied the game late and eventually won it in the twelfth for their third straight win, a 2-1 victory in front of 3,054 at PK Park.
After missing an opportunity to score in the eleventh with a one out double, the Ems (30-26, 9-9) finally broke through next inning after Gustavo Polanco singled to lead things off. A Miguel Amaya single put two on with no out and let manager Jesus Feliciano play the small ball game. Ramsey Romano pinch ran for Polanco and Zach Davis was called on to bunt the runners over.
It worked in the Ems favor when Ismel Lopez (2-2, 3.16 ERA) threw four straight balls as he tried to avoid Davis' sac bunt attempt. That loaded the bases for Rafael Narea and, with the infield pulled in, he grounded a ball hard up the middle, getting by the second baseman trying to make a play and ending the game.
The comeback would have not had a chance to start if it wasn't for the ninth when the Ems put their first run on the board against Spokane (25-31, 9-9). Jared Young and Brandon Hughes each had broken bat singles to start the inning off reliever Lucas Jacobsen. A deep fly out by Austin Filiere moved Young to third before Polanco launched a ball to right that was caught, allowing Young to tag and score to tie the game at 1-1.
Eugene starter Cory Abbott had a much different experience in his second professional game than his first after allowing a pair of singles to start the game. A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third and a walk loaded the bases.
Abbott finally settled and got Clayton Middleton to ground into a 4-6-3 double play, with Miguel Aparicio scoring. A strike out ended the inning and Abbott cruised from there for a total of three innings, giving up just those two hits and one run with two walks and four strikeouts.
Spokane found no relief in the Ems bullpen, as Enrique De Los Rios relieved Abbott and was even more effective, going five strong innings with just one hit and a pair of walks with four strikeouts as well. Manuel Rodriguez was next in line and kept Spokane down, throwing two perfect innings with a pair of strikeouts.
Jake Steffens picked up his first professional win after throw two innings of one hit ball as he further stymied the Spokane offense.
The fourth game of the five-game set will be on Good Karma Monday at 7:05pm. Fans can name their own ticket price at the box office with half of that price going to the Science Factory. Tickets are available online at emeraldsbaseball.com or by calling the box office at 541-342-5367. Box office hours at 12pm-end of the 7th inning.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.