Amaya punches Emeralds' ticket to Finals

Cubs catching prospect's ninth-inning double keys six-run outburst

Eugene will meet Vancouver in the 2017 Northwest League Championship Series. (Jared Ravich/

By Michael Leboff / | September 7, 2017 11:39 PM ET

The youngest player on roster provided the biggest hit of Class A Short Season Eugene's season.

Cubs catching prospect Miguel Amaya plated the go-ahead run with a double off the left-field wall to key a six-run ninth inning and power the Emeralds to a 10-4 win over the Hops in Game 2 of their semifinal series Thursday. Eugene will defend its Northwest League title against Vancouver in the best-of-5 Finals.  

Video: Eugene's Miguel Amaya hits RBI double 

"He came through tonight," Emeralds manager Jesus Feliciano said of the native of Panama. "He's getting better every day. He's a guy that listens and the tools are there. For a kid that's 18 and playing in the Northwest League, you don't see that too often. He showed that he can be a great player."

Box score

Amaya put Eugene on the board with a RBI single to left field in the second inning. He scored on a homer by Brandon Hughes to give the Emeralds a 3-0 lead. Top Arizona prospect Pavin Smith responded for Hillsboro with a three-run homer to right in the third. 

The clubs traded zeros until the seventh when Hughes singled in Jhonny Bethencourt to give Eugene its second lead of the game.

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The Hops answered again as Drew Ellis knotted the game, 4-4, with an RBI groundout in the eighth. 

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With runners on the corners and one out in the ninth, Amaya drilled a 1-2 curveball from reliever Breckin Williams to put Eugene ahead for good.

"He made a great adjustment, especially with two strikes," Feliciano said. "He had a couple of good swings, but Williams left a slider up and I was glad when I saw that ball in the air."

Chris Singleton added a three-run double and Zach Davis lined an RBI triple in the ninth. 

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Feliciano said his team is in a good place right now.

"They're feeling it," the skipper said. "I'm very proud of the way they played. We could not be in a better spot, the way that we're playing right now."

In other NWL playoff action:

Canadians 2, Indians 1

Brock Lundquist hit a solo homer and Riley Adams plated the winning run as Vancouver swept the other semifinal series. Justin Dillon struck out six in three innings of relief after 2017 ninth-round pick Zach Logue threw four scoreless frames for the Canadians. Pedro Gonzalez had two hits for Spokane. Box score

Michael Leboff is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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