Eugene, OR - Despite getting out hit by seven and seeing two, 2-run leads disappear, the Eugene Emeralds still found a way to take the series in extras against the Boise Hawks in front of 2,807 at PK Park. The 5-4 victory in extras coupled with Salem-Keizer losing their game means the Ems have a one-game lead for the playoffs.
Despite getting two runners on in the ninth, the Ems (12-12, 26-36) would have to wait until the tenth to finally seal the victory they fought so hard for. Riley McCauley got out of the top of the inning with little effort, getting a pair of strikeouts to strand the runner that started at second.
Eugene took full advantage by moving D. J. Artis, who started the inning at second, to third on a ground ball to second. Andy Weber then blasted a ball by the pulled in short stop and set off a celebration on the field.
The Ems started off their night getting a pair of runs in the first two innings, starting with Artis fighting off nine pitches before launching the tenth over the right field wall for his second home run.
Jonathan Sierra then led off the second inning with a double before coming around to score two batters later on a Levi Jordan single to make it a 2-0 game.
The Hawks (8-15, 29-33) came back in the top of the sixth against the Ems Eugenio Palma. Willie Maciver walked to lead off the inning before Cade Harris and Trey Jacobs both singled and loaded the bases.
Aubrey McCarty then singled to score Maciver and make it a 2-1 game. Palma was replaced by Casey Ryan, and he looked like he would lessen the damage when he got Kennard McDowell to ground the ball at Jake Slaughter at third, who then fired home to get Harris.
But home plate umpire called a foul ball that prompt Manager Steve Lerud to come out of the dugout. The argument led to Lerud's first ejection at home and the at bat to continue and McDowell to single on a ground ball to first that the pitcher was not covering on to tie the game.
The Ems got the runs back in the bottom of the inning, when Mike Nikorak walked the first five batters he saw. Eugene only scored one run because one of the runners was picked off. A wild pitch scored Artis while Slaughter was batting, forcing a walk of his own.
Jonathan Sierra then grounded into a force out, with Slaughter getting throw out at second but allowing a second run to score in the inning to make it 4-2.
Boise scored two runs in the next two innings to tie it, starting with Harris scoring LJ Hatch in the seventh with a single and Cole Anderson singling home Jacobs.
Ems starter Riley Thompson went a career high 3.2 innings with a career high five strikeouts. McCauley earned his first victory with a perfect tenth inning.
The Ems are on the road again for three games against Hillsboro before coming back home for a five-game set with Tri-City. Tickets are available now and can be purchased at emeraldsbaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.