The Eugene Emeralds’ impressive offensive series continued on Sunday, as they jumped out to an early 5-0 lead against the Spokane Indians. For the second straight game, the Indians didn’t let up, clawing their way back and eventually tying it in the eighth. But the Emeralds held on to win 11-9 in 10 innings, clinching the series victory over Spokane.
With two outs in the top of the first and Ismael Munguia on first base, the Emeralds poured it on against Spokane early. After a single put two runners on, the Emeralds drew four straight walks to bring in three runs. A two-run single by Nolan Dempsey then made it a five-spot.
A fielding error by Dempsey allowed the Indians to get on the board in the bottom of the first against Eugene starter Aaron Phillips.
The Emeralds loaded the bases again in the second, but weren’t able to score this time.
Phillips pitched a scoreless second capped off by a successful pickoff throw to end the inning, but immediately gave up a single and a double in the third. Two groundouts brought home both runs, cutting the Emeralds’ lead to 5-3.
With two outs in the fourth, Carter Aldrete gave the Emeralds some more breathing room. He smacked a three-run homer for his fifth blast of the season, extending the lead to 8-3.
Once again, the Indians fought back, hitting two run-scoring singles in the bottom of the fourth to tighten the gap to 8-5.
Jasier Herrera replaced Phillips after four innings. He issued a walk and allowed an infield single in the fifth, with second baseman Brett Auerbach making a throwing error. The runner tried to score, but was thrown out at home by first baseman Tyler Flores. However, Herrera allowed a double to the next batter as the Indians clawed out another run.
The Indians scratched out another run against Herrera in the sixth. With a runner on second and two outs, third baseman Tyler Fitzgerald made the Emeralds’ third error of the game, making it a one-run game.
Solomon Bates allowed a leadoff single in the seventh, but worked around it to hold the 8-7 lead.
Auerbach got things going for the Emeralds in the eighth inning with a double. After a hit by pitch, two consecutive walks forced home a run.
But the Indians just wouldn’t let up. After a walk and a single set up runners on the corners against Bates in the bottom of the eighth, a two-run double tied the game at nine apiece.
Munguia worked an impressive 11-pitch walk with two outs in the ninth, but it was all for naught as the game went to extra innings, having already passed the four-hour mark.
Starting with a runner on second, the Emeralds immediately took the lead in the top of the 10th as Fitzgerald hit a leadoff double. A wild pitch with two outs brought home a second run, making it 11-9.
Taylor Rashi issued a walk in the bottom of the 10th, but held on to shut the door on the victory in a game that went nearly five hours.
It’s the second straight win for the Emeralds, giving them a 4-2 series win over the Indians. They’re now 4.5 games behind the Everett AquaSox for first place in the High-A West.
The Emeralds will return to Eugene to play the Hillsboro Hops in a series starting Tuesday at 7:05 p.m.