Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

Pitching Staff Stacks Up Nineteen Strikeouts In Win

Five Emeralds pitchers combine to tie Eugene’s season-high in punch outs while Eugene clinches series win ahead of regular season finale
September 19, 2021

Nineteen strikeouts. NINETEEN. That… is a lot. The Eugene Emeralds (68-50) pitching staff put forth a dominant performance on Saturday night, blanking the Tri-City Dust Devils (43-67) by a final score of 5-0 at Gesa Stadium. THE DETAILS:

  • Winning Pitcher: John Russell (6-0, 4.01 ERA): 2.0 IP | 1

Nineteen strikeouts. NINETEEN. That… is a lot. The Eugene Emeralds (68-50) pitching staff put forth a dominant performance on Saturday night, blanking the Tri-City Dust Devils (43-67) by a final score of 5-0 at Gesa Stadium.

THE DETAILS:

  • Winning Pitcher: John Russell (6-0, 4.01 ERA): 2.0 IP | 1 H | 0 R | 1 BB | 3 K

  • Losing Pitcher: Ky Bush (0-2, 4.50 ERA): 2.1 IP | 3 H | 1 R | 0 ER | 1 BB | 2 K

  • Save: N/A

  • HR(s): Eugene: Fitzgerald (19) | Tri-City: N/A

HOW IT HAPPENED: The headline entering the night was the return of Ryan Murphy, making his first appearance on the mound since September 2 in Hillsboro during which he left the game before even firing an official pitch after experiencing discomfort in his back while warming up in the middle of the first inning.

Any lingering concerns regarding an injury were quickly put to rest as Murphy, who entered the night ranked sixth in Minor League Baseball in strikeouts (156), stacked up eight K’s through just 4.0 innings of work while allowing only one baserunner via an infield single.

Meanwhile, the Emeralds offense got the scoring started in the third, thanks in-part to some help from the Dust Devils defense.

Kwan Adkins singled on a liner to left with one out, and Ismael Munguia followed by looping a slicing fly ball to right field, a fly ball that glanced off the glove of Tri-City right fielder William Rivera before falling to the turf. During the same play, Rivera fired the ball to cutoff man Kevin Maitan who then turned and rifled it to third in the hopes of getting the lead runner Adkins, who had held up initially on the play assuming Rivera would make the catch in right, but Maitan’s throw sailed wide of the third base bag and into foul territory allowing Adkins to scamper home and put the Emeralds up, 1-0.

The margin stayed at one until the sixth when the Emeralds offense leaned on one of their staples this season: two-out hitting.

After a Brett Auerbach flyout and an Armani Smith strikeout, Sean Roby worked a walk on nine pitches after fouling off three pitches on a full count. That resulted in a brief meeting on the mound with the Tri-City pitching coach and Dust Devils reliever Joey Walsh. On the very first pitch after the mound meeting, Tyler Fitzgerald took Walsh deep for a two-run homer, Fitzgerald’s nineteenth homer of the season to tie Sean Roby for the team lead and stretch Eugene’s lead up to 3-0.

One inning later, Eugene added more insurance when Armani Smith singled with two outs and the bases loaded, sending a soft liner the other way into right field to plate a pair of runs and extend Eugene’s advantage up to 5-0.

Meanwhile, the Emeralds bullpen was stellar once more as four Emeralds relievers – John Russell, Travis Perry, Taylor Rashi and Jesus Tona – combined for five innings of shutout ball with eleven combined strikeouts to seal a 5-0 shutout win.

With the win, the Emeralds pull into a tie for first place with the Spokane Indians entering the final day of the regular season.

PEAK PERFORMERS:

  • Pitching Staff: Let’s revisit this number quickly: nineteen. NINETEEN. That’s how many strikeouts the Emeralds staff amassed tonight, tying a season-high set in an extra-innings game on May 20 against, coincidentally, Tri-City. Eugene has tallied 68 strikeouts through four games this series.

  • Kwan Adkins – CF: The speedy center fielder finished with the only multi-hit game by an Emerald tonight, going 2-for-2 with a walk and a run scored.

WHAT’S NEXT: The series between the Emeralds and Dust Devils wraps on Saturday at 1:30pm PST at Gesa Stadium in what is the final game of the regular season.

You can catch all the action in Pasco with road broadcaster Alex Stimson on the call via 95.3FM The Score, MiLB.com or on the MiLB app.

Tickets to Emeralds home games are available at www.EmeraldsBaseball.com or by calling (541) 342-5367.

Stay up to date with the Emeralds by following the team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.