Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

Smith’s Two-Homer Night Paces Comeback Win

The Ems erase a five-run deficit behind power hitting and power pitching to earn a big win to start a big series
(Gary Breedlove)
September 8, 2021

The Eugene Emeralds (62-48) started the final homestand of the season in electric fashion on Tuesday night, downing the Everett AquaSox (60-49) by a final of 9-6 at PK Park. THE DETAILS:

  • Winning Pitcher: Solomon Bates (2-1, 4.59 ERA): 2.0 IP | 1 H | 0 R | 0

The Eugene Emeralds (62-48) started the final homestand of the season in electric fashion on Tuesday night, downing the Everett AquaSox (60-49) by a final of 9-6 at PK Park.

THE DETAILS:

  • Winning Pitcher: Solomon Bates (2-1, 4.59 ERA): 2.0 IP | 1 H | 0 R | 0 BB | 2 K

  • Losing Pitcher: Taylor Dollard (6-2, 6.79 ERA): 5.2 IP | 7 H | 6 R | 6 ER | 2 BB | 7 K

  • Save: Chris Wright (15)

  • HR(s): Eugene: Roby (18), Smith 2 (7, 8), Munguia (8) | Everett: Marlowe (18)

HOW IT HAPPENED: Kicking off a five-game series with massive playoff implications, the Emeralds entered the day just 0.5 game ahead of the Everett AquaSox in the High-A West standings and just 0.5 game behind the first place Spokane Indians.

Through the first three-and-a-half innings, it looked as if Tuesday night’s series opener wouldn’t go Eugene’s way as the Frogs jumped out to a 5-0 lead behind a Noelvi Marte RBI single in the first, a two-RBI Cade Marlowe single in the second, and a Cade Marlowe two-run homer in the fourth.

However, Eugene’s offense, which never quite found its form during the team’s recent two-week roadtrip, seemed to round back into shape starting in the home half of the fourth.

Sean Roby started the scoring in the bottom half of the fourth inning when he lifted off for his eighteenth home run of the season, a solo shot off one of the stanchions in the Emeralds bullpen that tied him with teammate Tyler Fitzgerald and Everett’s Cade Marlowe for the most homers the High-A West this season.

One inning later, the Ems added another after Logan Wyatt and Ismael Munguia led off the inning with back-to-back singles and Jairo Pomares later brought Wyatt home on a double to center that trimmed Everett’s advantage to three, 5-2 while parking Munguia at third and Pomares at second.

The Emeralds offense wasn’t done in the fifth, though. Later in the inning, Armani Smith snapped a 21-game homer drought with one of is his biggest blasts of the season, a no-doubter to left with Wyatt and Pomares still on base to tie the game at 5-5.

The scoring spree continued in the sixth thanks to yet another long ball. After Logan Wyatt worked a walk on a full count with two outs, Everett manager Louis Boyd opted to turn to the bullpen and call upon left-hander Peyton Alford with the left-handed hitting Ismael Munguia due up. Munguia, notorious for his knack of attacking first pitches, greeted Alford rather rudely by launching his first offering off the roof over the right field bullpen, Munguia’s eighth homer of the season to put the Emeralds in the lead for the first time, 7-5.

In the seventh, Everett trimmed Eugene’s lead back to one when Noelvi Marte tallied his second RBI single of the evening, but the Ems quickly countered by scoring for the fourth consecutive inning when they got their fourth homer of the night in the bottom half of the frame, a two-run bomb from Armani Smith for what was his second round-tripper of the evening that stretched Eugene’s lead up to three, 9-6.

Eugene’s bullpen left no doubt the rest of the way as Austin Reich entered to pitch the eighth and fired an immaculate inning, striking out the side on nine pitches, all fastballs. In the ninth, Ems closer Chris Wright recorded all three outs via the strikeout while working around a leadoff single to seal his league-leading fifteenth save of the season and cap a come-from-behind win to start the series against Everett.

With the win, Eugene remained 0.5 game behind the first place Spokane Indians who narrowly defeated the Vancouver Canadians on Tuesday night, 5-4.

PEAK PERFORMERS:

Armani Smith – RF: The Walnut Creek, California native came through with his second two-homer night of the season (June 30 at Hillsboro) while notching a career-high five RBIs.

  • Ismael Munguia – CF: Munguia finished the night with a team-high three hits including his eighth homer of the season, well surpassing any of his four prior seasons as a pro (one homer in 2017, 2018 and 2019). Eugene’s leadoff man finished the night 3-for-5 with a HR, two RBIs and two runs scored.
  • Austin Reich – RHP: In a bullpen full of standout arms, Reich continues to be one of the most exciting of them all as the Louisiana native fired the first immaculate inning by an Emerald since Jeremiah Estrada did so on Father’s Day in 2019.
  • Sean Roby – 3B: Lost in the fun of Smith’s two-homer night and Reich’s immaculate inning, Roby continued his fine form at the plate in what was a 2-for-3 night with a HR, two runs scored and a walk.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Eugene Emeralds continue their five-game series against the Everett AquaSox on Wednesday night at PK Park. First pitch on Wednesday is scheduled for 7:05pm PST.

You can catch all the action with the voice of the Emeralds Matt Dompe on the call via MiLB.tv, 95.3FM The Score, MiLB.com or on the MiLB app.

With the Emeralds scoring at least six runs, fans can head to EmeraldsBaseball.com prior to first pitch on Wednesday and use the promo code ‘TIX4SIX’ for 50% off box seat tickets to any of Eugene’s remaining home games.

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.