The Vancouver Canadians established the running game but it did not matter in the end as the Eugene Emeralds scored a 3-2 walk-off win at P.K. Park Sunday.
After being kept in check by Chris Clarke over the first three innings. the C’s got to Blake Whitney for a pair of runs in the fourth. Jesus Lopez reached base on an infield single to first and made it to third on a Will Robertson base hit to right that was booted by Edmond Americaan. Robertson got into scoring position on a wild pitch. After Cameron Eden struck out swinging, Whitney uncorked another wild offering and that scored Lopez with the game’s first run. A Ronny Brito sacrifice fly brought in Robertson from third for run number two.
The Emeralds fought back with two runs in the fifth against Jared DiCesare. Jacob Olson led off with a base hit and advanced to second on a two-out groundout by Luis Diaz. A Josue Huma base hit up the middle scored Olson and a throwing error by Eden allowed Huma to get into scoring position. Huma would score the tying run when Brito threw one away at third on a groundball by Fernando Kelli. Schwecke got to the ball from first base and started a 3-6-5 putout to get Kelli at third to end the inning.
The Emeralds would win it in the ninth when Pedro Martinez began the frame with a leadoff double off Mike Pascoe. An Americaan groundout to second advanced Martinez another 90 feet. With the infield drawn in, Caleb Knight lifted a fly ball to left that fell in for a single to bring home Martinez.
Hunter Bigge got the victory in relief with two shutout innings of relief.
The C’s tried to make things happen offensively over the first three innings. Philip Clarke had a two-out base hit and stole second in the first, Robertson reached base on a sharp single back to the mound to start the second and Tanner Morris walked with one out and pilfered second in the third but they did not get any further.
Morris started the fifth with a double and got to third on a wild pitch with one out but Schwecke and Lopez struck out with a Clarke pop-up in between to waste that opportunity.
Ramos had a one-out walk in the seventh and stole second base but Morris struck out and Schwecke grounded out to third. A Robertson two-out walk from Bigge was wasted in the eighth and a De Los Santos single was erased in the ninth on a tailor-made 6-3 double play off the bat of Ramos.
Ponce bailed himself out of first inning trouble after Kelli began the game with a double by picking off Kelli at second on a 1-6 play. The right-hander from Arizona Western College retired 10 straight Emeralds before running into trouble in the fourth. An Americaan single and stolen base and a Knight walk put two men on but Ponce ended his outing by getting Grayson Bird to fly out to left.
After giving up two runs (one earned) in the fifth, DiCesare settled down by sitting down the last nine hitters in a row. He had three strikeouts, four groundouts and walked nobody.
Robertson and De Los Santos had two hits for Vancouver who were 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position. De Los Santos has three hits in his last two hits as he is getting back into the swing of things. The Dominican infielder has three hits over his last two games after taking a ball off the lip while fielding during batting practice in Tri-City last week.
The C’s and Em’s play again Monday at 7:05 pm. Rob Fai will call the game on Sportsnet 650 and Canadians Baseball.com. The game is also available on MiLB.TV.