The Eugene Emeralds defeated the Hillsboro Hops 5-2 on Sunday night to end their first home series win since 2018.
Hot offensive starts have been common for the Emeralds thus far, and Sunday night was no different.
With Conor Grammes on the mound for the Hops, Patrick Bailey kicked things off with a leadoff single to right. Will Wilson then singled on a hit and run to set up first and third for Diego Rincones, who knocked in Bailey with a sacrifice fly.
Later in the first, Ismael Munguia smacked a two-run missile to the right field wall to grow the early advantage to 3-0.
Caleb Killian cruised on the mound for the Emeralds. He had seven punchouts and just two hits allowed through five innings – an infield hit and a broken bat single.
The Hops finally got to Killian in the sixth. Leodany Perez led off the inning with a bloop single, and he scored just minutes later when Axel Andueza sliced a double perfectly along the right field line.
A wild pitch and a walk forced the Emeralds to turn to Nick Avila out of the bullpen, but the Emeralds weren’t out of the water yet.
The next batter, Buddy Kennedy, reached first on an infield single to cut the Emerald lead down to 3-2.
With one out in the seventh, Carter Aldrete singled, and stole second. This was the first Emerald baserunner to reach scoring position since the first, but a fly out and strikeout ended the threat abruptly.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Emeralds added some insurance. Bailey walked and Wilson doubled to set up second and third for Sean Roby. Roby launched a sacrifice fly to center field, to score Bailey, but when the throw got past the Hops’ catcher, Wilson also scored to grow the lead to 5-2.
John Russell got the ball in the ninth and made quick work of the Hops to solidify the 5-2 victory.
The Emeralds improve to 8-4 on the young season, while the Hops drop to 5-7. The two teams split the series 3-3, while Eugene won three out of the four that were actually played at PK Park. The Emeralds will be back in action Tuesday, May 18, against the Tri-City Dust Devils in Pasco, WA.