Emeralds Rally For Second Straight Win to Start Season
The (2-0) Eugene Emeralds turned in another offensive rally for their second straight win to begin the 2012 season, defeating the (0-2) Yakima Bears 5-2 at PK Park on Saturday night.
The Bears jumped on Ems starter Will Scott, early, scoring two runs in the first inning. Jacob House hit a ground-rule double on a fly ball to right, scoring Yogey Perez-Ramos and moving Kerry Jenkins up to third. Jenkins would score on a fielders choice grounder from Jimmy Cormerota.
The Ems would cut into the lead in the home half of the fourth. A throwing error from Yakima shortstop Josh Parr would prove costly, keeping the inning alive with two outs. Yakima starter Miguel Pena would load the bases, eventually walking Jairo Gomez with the bags full, giving the Ems their first run of the game. The Ems nearly continued the scoring, but a diving catch with two outs from Joseph Loftus saved more runs from being scored.
Errors would continue to hurt the Bears in the fifth inning. After a leadoff single from Ronnie Richardson, followed by a walk by Stephen Carmon, Eugene third baseman River Stevens laid down a sac bunt that seemed to be a routine out. An erratic throw from Yakima’s Jose Jose allowed Richardson to score and tie the game at two. Then, Clark Murphy would ground out to first, but Carmon was able to score on the play, giving the Emeralds their first lead of the game.
In the sixth, the Emeralds would send seven batters to the plate for the third consecutive inning, using some strategic baseball strategy to move runners along. After a walk from Guinn, followed by a single from Richardson, Emeralds manager Pat Murphy put on the double steal, which moved Guinn and Richardson into scoring position. River Stevens would drive in Richardson, extending the Emeralds lead to two.
Just for good measure, designated hitter Alexi Colon launched a ball well beyond the Emeralds bullpen in right field to give Eugene a 5-2 lead.
That is all the Emeralds bullpen would need, as three pitchers came in relief to hold the Bears to just three hits over the final four innings. This was a nice change from the first game, where the Emeralds went to the bullpen six different times.
“Last night we used seven pitchers, and it was just one pitcher that didn’t do the job,” said Emeralds manager Pat Murphy. “Tonight we were solid.”
While it was against the Emeralds, fans were treated to a rare triple play in the bottom of the eighth. With runners on first and second with nobody out, River Stevens lined a ball to first, which was quickly caught by Yakima first baseman Jacob House, who stepped on first and fired to second to complete the triple play.
Ryan Kelly came in to close out the game in the ninth, retiring the Bears in order to earn the save.
Emeralds leadoff hitter Ronnie Richardson turned in a big night at the plate, reaching base safely in all five at-bats. Richardson went 3-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored.
“I’m trying to do my job as a leadoff guy and be a spark plug for the guys behind me,” said Richardson. “Just give them RBI opportunities and that’s all I was trying to do. We’ll work as a team and everything else will take care of itself.”
The Emeralds will have their first day game of the season on Sunday, facing the Bears in game three of their opening series. First pitch is slated for 1:05 pm.