A hot start at the plate cooled for the Ems as they experienced their first taste of extra innings, eventually falling 4-3 defeat against the Everett AquaSox in front of 4,072 at PK Park.
The AquaSox (9-6) took advantage of the new extra inning rule straight away, with Josh Stowers starting on second to begin the inning and moving to third after a Bobby Honeyman single. Jake Steffens (1-1) then allowed a Matt Sanders single to score Stowers and effectively end the game at 4-3.
The Ems (5-10) tried to rally with Luis Vazquez starting on second, but David Ellingson got the next three outs quickly to really end the game.
It almost looked like another rough start for the Eugene Emeralds (5-10) right out of the gate. Starter Jeff Passantino got the first two outs of the inning quickly, before walking the next three batters he faced to load the bases. After a mound visit, Passantino got Ryan Garcia to ground out and end the inning.
It was the same story in the second inning, as Passantino got the first two outs then allowed back-to-back singles and a walk to load the bases. After another mound visit, Passantino settled and got Stowers strikeout.
Passantino's teammates rewarded his perseverance in the bottom of the inning, scoring the first runs of the game with a pair of outs. Gustavo Polanco walked before Jake Slaughter picked up his first hit in an Ems uniform. Jonathan Soto drove them both in with a double to centerfield and gave the Ems their first lead at 2-0.
That hit knocked AquaSox starter Michael Plassmeyer out of the game. He went 1.2 innings, gave up his first two runs of the year to go with a walk and three strikeouts.
Eugene added another run in the fourth when Tyler Durna tripled to lead off the bottom of the inning. After reliever Ivan Fortunato struck out the next two batters he uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Durna to score and give the Ems a 3-0 lead.
Passantino would give way Luis Aqunio after finishing the fourth. Passantino went four innings, giving up two hits and four walks, but no runs to go with a strikeout. Aquino did his part to hold the lead, working a pair of scoreless innings, giving up a hit, a walk, and two strikeouts.
The AquaSox finally struck back in the seventh, jumping on new reliever Casey Ryan. Ryan walked the first batter he faced before striking out Troy Dixon. He then walked Charlie McConnell and Connor Kopach to load the bases.
Ryan left and was replaced by Dalton Geekie, and Geekie seemed to get one step closer to getting out of the jam when he got Stowers to fly to right fielder Jonathan Sierra. But Sierra lost the ball in the lights, allowing two runs to score. A sacrifice fly scored Kopach and tied the game at 3-3.
The Emeralds have a planned off day on Saturday before playing a double header on Sunday. The Ems will start Brailyn Marquez in game one and second round draft pick Paul Richan will start game two. The AquaSox will go with Max Roberts and Carlos Hernandez.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.