The Vancouver Canadians fell to the Eugene Emeralds 6-4 at Nat Bailey Stadium Friday.
Eugene staged a two-out rally in the second inning against Canadians sat Trenton Wallace. Jimmy Glowenke singled on a 1-2 pitch to center past a diving Alex De Jesus at short. Andy Thomas followed suit before Robert Emery singled to right on a 3-2 pitch bring in Glowenke with the game’s first run.
Vancouver broke through in the fifth inning against Emeralds starter Nick Zwack. A fielding error at short by Marco Luciano who was handcuffed on a short hop allowed Glenn Santiago to reach first base. Andrés Sosa followed with a four-pitch walk and he and Santiago would scamper home on a P.K. Morris double to left to give the C’s a 2-1 lead. The Emeralds argued that Morris should have been given a ground-rule double as the ball got stuck in the padding of the chain link fence. Simon Whiteman had to pull the ball out of the padding to make the throw back to the infield. However, the umpiring crew of Paul Roemer and Matt Blackborow did not overturn the call and allowed Sosa’s run to stand.
The Emeralds evened things up with one out in the sixth when Luis Toribio took Justin Kelly deep to right field in a hurry as there was no time to serve food on that flight.
The C’s took the lead when Morris mashed a Nick Morreale pitch over the fence in left-center to start the eighth.
Miguel Hiraldo made it to first when Luciano overran a shallow pop up at short. Luciano compounded the issue with a throwing miscue on top of his fielding error. Hiraldo—who spiked his bat into the ground—did not break stride as he slid into second ahead of the throw before going to third. De Jesus was given the green light on a 3-0 pitch and produced a sacrifice fly to left to score Hiraldo and put Vancouver up 4-2.
Connor Cooke was called in from the Vancouver bullpen to close the door in the ninth but he lost Toribio on a 3-2 pitch for a leadoff walk as the Emeralds slugger just held up on a check swing. Jared Dupere hit a ground ball to second that had the makings of a double play but Hiraldo threw the ball away and that put runners at second and third. A Glowenke single to left scored Toribio to make it a one-run game. Thomas flew out to left for the first out as Santiago made a strong throw to keep Dupere at third but Glowenke tagged up to go to second. Emery walked to load the bases and pinch-hitter Damon Dues would do the same to score Dupere with the tying run. Base umpire Matt Blackborow called a balk on Cooke to allow Glowenke to score the go-ahead marker. Cooke dropped the ball after trying to transfer the ball from his glove to his throwing hand. Cooke was still on the rubber when he dropped the ball and picked it back up. Hayden Cantrelle hit a sac fly to right to score Emery for the Emeralds final run.
The first inning was sponsored by the letter K. Wallace struck out Cantrelle looking to begin the game and whiffed Luis Matos and Luciano for a 1-2-3 frame. Zwack matched that with three straight punchouts of Sosa, Damiano Palmegiani and Morris with the first two being reverse Ks.
Wallace stranded runners at the corners after Emery’s RBI single in the second by striking out Simon Whiteman. Palmegiani made a nice play to retire Dupere by making an off-balance throw from third for a bang-bang play at first. After retiring seven in a row that featured swinging strikeouts of Toribio and Dupere to begin the fourth, Wallace walked Thomas to lead off the top of the fifth. Emery singled to left but was forced out on a Whiteman 6-4-3 double play ball in which De Jesus deftly shovelled the ball with his glove to Hiraldo at second. MiLB.TV replays showed Emery should have been called safe. Cantrelle worked a two-out walk on a 33-2 pitch but Matos popped out to second to end the inning.
Kelly rebounded from the Toribio homer to sit down the last five Emeralds he faced as he struck out Dupere swinging in the sixth and Whiteman looking to conclude the seventh. Svanson needed nine pitches to finish a perfect eighth with Cantrelle and Luciano flyouts to center bracketing a Matos groundout to third.
Wallace was in line for the win after five innings of one-run ball. He yielded four hits and two walks, striking out seven and getting four outs on the ground. Kelly was charged with the blown save after surrendering a solo homer but struck out three over two innings. Svanson set down the side in order in the eighth. Cooke gave up a hit and three walks which led to four runs, two of them earned, in the ninth. He got the double whammy of a blown save and a loss.
The first baserunner of the afternoon was Martinez as a singled to left on an 0-2 pitch to start the second inning. De Jesus and Garrett Spain walked with one out to load the bases but Jommer Hernandez struck out swinging and Santiago grounded into a 6-4 fielder’s choice.
Hiraldo was robbed of a hit after Morris’ two-run double as Matos made a diving catch on a sinking liner to end the fifth inning.
A fielding error by Luciano at short allowed Santiago to reach base to open the seventh but Brooks Crawford promptly picked off Santiago and wound up facing the minimum.
Hernandez got a base on balls as Juan Sanchez could not locate the strike zone with his first four pitches in the ninth. Pinch-runner Michael Turconi took over on the basepaths but Santiago fouled out behind the plate, Sosa struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch and Palmegiani put up a 10-pitch fight but Sanchez got the Surrey slugger to ground out to third for the final out.
Morris supplied half of Vancouver’s hits with a double and his 13th home run of the season, driving in three runs. Martinez and Spain had the other base knocks and they also drew a base on balls. Sosa, De Jesus and Hernandez heard ball four once with De Jesus adding a sac fly. Vancouver was successful only once in seven tries with runners in scoring position, stranding seven men.
The Emeralds have wrapped up first place in the second half after winning the first half and have guaranteed a series split.
Vancouver suffered its 60th loss of the year against 67 wins with a second half mark of 37 victories and 27 setbacks. The C’s and Em’s square off at 7:05 p.m. Saturday night. Dahian Santos will sling the first pitch for Vancouver. Mason Black—a college teammate of C’s reliever Matt Svanson at Lehigh University—goes for Eugene. Tyler Zickel will call the action on CanadiansBaseball.com and MiLB.TV.
Radar Gun Rundown
Wallace was up to 91 miles per hour and had batters whacked at 84, 83, 79, 80, 90, 79 and 77. Kelly Ks were at 89, 82 and 95. Svanson checked in at 84 to 95. Cooke was in the 84-96 range.