In a game that had nearly everything, the Ems nearly pulled off a thrilling comeback in the 9th inning before succumbing to the Hawks, falling 9-7 to Boise on Friday night at Memorial Stadium.
During a calm first few innings weather-wise, the Boise Hawks took control of the game early off of Ems' starting pitcher Eduarniel Nunez. In the bottom of the 2nd, the Hawks loaded the bases with nobody out, scoring three runs on back-to-back-to-back pitches. A sacrifice fly by Trevor Boone scored the first, soon followed by a safety squeeze bunt for an RBI by Bryant Quijada. With Yorvis Torrealba at 2nd during the at-bat to Jesus Azuaje, Torrealba broke for 3rd on the 1st pitch from Nunez. Jonathan Soto's throw sailed wide of third and up the left field line, allowing Torrealba to trot home for the 3-0 Boise lead.
After another pair of runs scored in the 3rd and 4th innings, the Ems found themselves trailing 5-0 as they headed to the 5th. Making his 1st start as an Emerald, third baseman Josue Huma introduced himself to the Northwest League, cranking a 3-run home run deep to right field, driving Eugene back into the game at a 5-3 score. However, the weather would quickly take a turn for the worst.
Severe winds and lightning strikes tore through the hills of the Treasure Valley beyond the outfield walls of Memorial Stadium, forcing the game to be postponed per MiLB rules and regulations. Rain started to pour down as well, causing a 1 hour 13 minute delay in the bottom of the 5th.
After the extended delay, the Hawks regained control of the game with 4 runs in the bottom of the 6th, largely buoyed by 2 throwing errors by pitcher Joe Nahas in the inning.
When it seemed the Ems would finish up quietly, things ratcheted up a notch in the top of the 9th.
Down 9-3 heading into the frame, Jake Washer led off the frame by reaching on an error from first baseman Trey Jacobs, who bobbled a simple flip at the bag. Edmond Americaan would quickly lace a double down the left field line to put runners at 2nd and 3rd. Jonathan Soto's RBI single plated the first run of the inning, before Jacob Olson drove a sacrifice fly to center, cutting the deficit to 4.
Once again, Josue Huma came through with a single to left to prolong the frame, though the rally was briefly quelled after Fernando Kelli struck out for out #2. Pedro Martinez made sure to extend the game even further, singling home Soto and bringing the tying run in Chase Strumpf to the plate. Strumpf dribbled the first pitch from Jacob Wallace up the middle, and an errant throw from shortstop Ezequiel Tovar allowed Huma to come home and score, putting the tying runs at 2nd and 3rd.
However, Grayson Byrd would fly out to deep left field, ending the threat and putting an exclamation point on a wild 9-7 victory for the Boise Hawks, finishing up just before midnight local time.
Mistakes on the defensive end plagued the Ems on Friday night, as the team committed 5 errors leading to a handful of Hawks' runs, ultimately proving to be a big difference.
The wild and wet ballgame sets the stage for a rubber match in Game 3 on Saturday at Memorial Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6:15pm PST on 95.3 The Score.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.