Ems Add Three New Players to Roster
Eugene, OR-Fans may have seen some unfamiliar faces on the mound and in the bullpen this past home stand against Salem-Keizer. That's because the Ems have added three fresh arms to the pitching staff: RHP Cody Hebner, …
Emeralds Walk-Off, Secure Eighth Straight Win
by Nate Gartrell, EDN Sports
Heading into the bottom of the ninth Wednesday evening, the streak looked all but over. The Eugene Emeralds, after scoring in the first, had not been able to plate another run all game, and were losing to the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, 2-1. When center fielder Kyle Gaedele led off the ninth with a strikeout, the Ems’ situation appeared even more bleak.
But then catcher Matthew Colantonio reached on an infield hit, and left fielder Mykal Stokes followed with a walk, moving Colantonio up to second. A fielder’s choice and hit batsman loaded the bases with two outs for Cory Spangenberg, the designated hitter, who did what he’s been doing all year for the Ems.
Spangenberg jumped on a first pitch belt-high fastball, and smacked a line drive base hit into center field, sending the tying and winning runs to the plate, and extending the Ems win streak to eight games. The Ems are now 11-2 on the year. Wednesday’s victory also guaranteed the Ems a series win against the Volcanoes.
“It feels great, just to help the team win in any way possible,” said Spangenberg shortly after the game. “We hung on, and kept on battling until the last out.”
Spangenberg’s performance as of late has been getting attention from all the right places, and with good reason. The left-batting, right-throwing infielder is batting .432 with 14 RBIs in only 13 games. He’s also hit exactly two hits in each of the past seven games, including Wednesday’s, and has reached base every game so far this year.
“[Spangenberg] is a special player,” said Ems’ Manager Pat Murphy. “He’s always at the same volume, and it’s a good volume.”
The Ems’ pitching was a bit inconsistent today, but also showed some resilience. Juan Herrera, the Ems’ starting pitcher, walked three, and at times seemed to have trouble locating his pitches, but also pitched five scoreless innings, allowing only three hits. Murphy called his performance “effectively wild.”
Relief pitcher Chris Haney stopped the Volcanoes from scoring more than two runs in the top of the seventh, by striking out Volcanoes catcher Joe Staley. He then followed with a scoreless eighth. Matthew Stites then pitched a scoreless top of the ninth, which turned out to be good enough for his first win of the season.
Wednesday’s saw a standout performance from Travis Whitmore, who hit a single and a double, and drove in the Ems’ first run in the bottom of the first. He also handled a tough play in the top of the fifth, when, by chance, the ball and a jagged piece of a broken bat came towards Whitmore at roughly the same speed. Whitmore somehow danced around the moving broken bat, fielded the ball cleanly, and made a strong throw to first in time for the out.
After the game, Murphy called Whitmore and Clint Moore the “unsung heroes” of the team, a term he used to praise Moore Tuesday evening as well.
“Two low draft picks who have just played the right way,” said Murphy of Moore and Whitmore. “[Whitmore] has been great.”
From the Ems’ perspective, one downside to Wednesday’s game was that not very many people showed up to watch it. The paid attendance was listed at 1,777, slightly more than half the capacity of PK Park.
Also, the Ems’ had a special guest singer Wednesday, but it was someone who’s no stranger to PK Park. Taylor Stiles, a member of the Ems’ ground crew, was selected to sing the Star Spangled Banner before the game. Aside from a few sour notes, he delivered a solid performance.
“I could have done a little better, I was nervous,” said Stiles, when asked to evaluate himself. “But it was fun. Just signin’ for my country, dude.”
-Following Wednesday’s loss to the Ems, the Volcanoes fell to 2-11 on the year. They’ve now dropped five in a row to the Ems this season.
-Ems batters struck out eight times Wednesday, three looking, five swinging.
-Game time for Thursday is set at 7:05 p.m. It’s the last game of this home stand for the Ems.
Emeralds Cruise Past Volcanoes for Seventh Straight Win
by Nate Gartrell, EDN Sports
The Eugene Emeralds ended up only needing one run to secure their seventh straight victory Tuesday evening, but just to be safe, they scored 11.
In a lopsided win against the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, the Ems plated at least one run in each of the first seven innings, and ultimately won 11-0. They are now 10-2 on the year, coming off a perfect road trip in which they swept both the Volcanoes and Everett AquaSox.
Despite the Ems’ recent success, Manager Pat Murphy seemed hesitant to begin celebrating this early into the year.
“Tonight’s ballgame, a lot of things went our way,” said Murphy. “But we’ve got a long way to go.”
The Ems’ pitching was just as dominant as their hitting. Their starting pitcher Matt Andriese, fanned six over five frames, en route to his second win on the season. Luis De La Cruz followed with a 1-2-3 top of the sixth, and Will Scott pitched the final three innings, striking out four.
The Ems’ pitching only had one hiccup, when Andriese surrendered consecutive singles to Kaohi Downing and Leonardo Ochoa with one out in the fifth. He followed with a strikeout, but then walked the bases loaded for Joe Panik, a red hot hitter with power. However, Andriese followed with yet another strikeout, and the Volcanoes never made it past second base after that.
“[Andriese] was on it,” said Murphy. “He was getting ahead with his fastball, and he’s not afraid to throw his changeup. That’s an effective out pitch for him.”
In contrast to the Ems, who racked up 11 hits and played clean defense all game, the Volcanoes looked shaky throughout the evening. They committed three errors, bobbled balls in the outfield, and walked six.
Tuesday’s game saw another dominant performance from Clint Moore, who hit two solid doubles and drove in two runs. Moore has scored 11 runs over the Ems’ 12 game season, and looked zoned in all night.
“He’s the unsung hero of this club,” said Murphy of Moore. “He’s been involved in every big win, it seems like.”
Outfielder Lee Orr had an interesting evening as well. In the second, he hit a line drive double that bounced off the left field wall, and came inches away from going over the fence. Then, later, in the seventh, he made a great catch at the right field wall, possibly robbing the Volcanoes of a home run.
The Ems were dealing with some off-the-field issues Tuesday night as well. San Diego Padres top-prospect Donavan Tate was suspended for 50 games after testing positively to synthetic cannabis. Tate had been batting a solid .286 for the Ems this year, but Murphy seemed most concerned about Tate’s future as a person, rather than as a player.
“This is bigger than our lineup,” said Murphy, when asked for his feelings on Tate. “What we got going on is something important to his life.”
-Ems starting infielder Cory Spangenberg was named the Northwest League’s Player of the Week, for the week ending June 26th. Spangenberg is currently batting .436, following his sixth straight multi-hit game on Tuesday.
-The Ems’ current seven-game win streak is longer than any they’ve had during the lasttwo seasons. The Ems had a five-game streak in 2010, and two three-game streaks in 2009.
Eugene Emeralds: MLB suspends Eugene's Donavan Tate
Eugene Emeralds outfielder Donavan Tate was suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball on Tuesday for a second positive test for a drug of abuse, a violation of the minor league drug prevention and treatment program. Tate, the No. …
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Consistency was the key for the Eugene Emeralds Tuesday night.
The Emeralds scored runs in each of the first seven innings and held the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes scoreless en route to an 11-0 victory at PK Park.
Eugene (10-2) got its seventh consecutive win, capitalizing on a sterling performance by starter Matt Andriese, who gave up four hits and two walks in five shutout innings, striking out six Volcanoes batters.
“(Andriese)’s been on it, last start in Salem and then here,” first-year Emeralds manager Pat Murphy said. “He’s getting ahead with his fastball, and he’s not afraid to throw his changeup.”
Once Andriese left the game, the Emeralds’ relievers were up to the task. Luis De La Cruz threw a perfect sixth inning before Will Scott threw three shutout innings to record a save (despite the Emeralds’ 10-0 lead at the time he entered the game).
The Emeralds also roughed up Salem-Keizer (2-10) starter Brandon Allen, who surrendered six runs on six hits in four innings, striking out nobody, walking three and hitting two batters. The Emeralds scored three runs in the first inning, one run in the second, third and fourth innings, two in the fifth and sixth innings, and one more run in the seventh inning before finally being held scoreless in the eighth inning.
“We’ve got some momentum, and just keep rolling with it,” Emeralds third baseman Clint Moore said. “We played well, pitching staff did well, we swung the bat, so it was a good game.”
Moore and designated hitter Travis Whitmore each scored a run and had two RBI off Allen, with Whitmore hitting a two-run double in the first inning and Moore hitting an RBI double in the second inning and an RBI groundout in the fourth inning.
“Quietly, the Whitmore kid is just putting together some great at-bats,” Murphy said. Whitmore went 2 for 4 with a walk in Tuesday’s game.
Describing his double in the second inning, Moore said, “I got a first pitch that was up and over the plate and I just missed it, fouled it off. He threw me another one in the exact same spot, and I just looked to drive it backside and got it over the guy’s head and ended up with a double.”
Murphy labeled Moore the “unsung hero” of the Emeralds’ season so far.
“He’s been involved in every big win,” Murphy said. “He just makes it happen.”
New center fielder Kyle Gaedele also had an RBI double in the first inning and scored a run off Moore in the third inning. Gaedele replaced Donavan Tate, the San Diego Padres’ third overall draft pick in 2009, after Tate was suspended for 50 games in accordance with Major League Baseball’s substance abuse policy after failing a second drug test for marijuana. Tate’s suspension will be reduced to 25 games after he signed up to take substance abuse counseling earlier in his career.
“It’s a great opportunity for (Tate) to respond. I know who he is as a person and I know who he is as a teammate,” Murphy said. “It’s something important to his life. I didn’t even think about the lineup tonight.”
Emeralds second baseman Cory Spangenberg, who came into the game leading the short-season Single-A Northwest League in on-base percentage, reached all five times he came to the plate, walking in the first and second innings, hitting an infield single in the fourth inning, hitting an RBI double in the sixth inning and getting hit by a pitch in the seventh inning. Spangenberg scored in the first and sixth innings.
“We have great team chemistry and we’re just playing good baseball,” Spangenberg said. “We’re just swinging the bats real well right now, our pitching staff is pitching great and we’re just on a roll right now.”
Emeralds left fielder Mychal Stokes reached base three times in five plate appearances, and hit a two-run double in the fifth inning.
The Emeralds are 4-0 against the Volcanoes this season, and the teams play game two of their three-game series at 7 p.m. Wednesday at PK Park.
Oregon Duck fans can take on Texas on Xbox LIVE and PlayStation Network starting Tuesday in the demo for EA Sports NCAA Football 12.
Ems hang on, beat Aquasox
EVERETT, Wash. — Eugene closer Kevin Quackenbush struck out James Wood looking to end the game with two runners in scoring position, helping the surging Emeralds escape with a 5-4 victory over the Everett Aquasox in the opener of their Northwest League …
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