The Eugene Emeralds narrowly avoided losing their first series of the season to a team not named the Everett AquaSox last week.
Ninth-inning heroics from Sean Roby led them to a walk-off win in Game 6, securing a series split with the Hillsboro Hops at PK Park. The series was as close as it gets, with all six games being decided by one run. The Emeralds lost the first game of the series, won the next two, lost the next two and nearly lost their third straight before Roby came in clutch with a walk-off, two-run double.
Moderate performance from both the hitters and pitchers
It’s been a season of highs and lows for the Emeralds, but the performances turned in by the hitters and pitchers last week were somewhere in the middle. They allowed 26 earned runs in 55 innings, good for a decent yet unspectacular 4.25 ERA. That came with a moderate 26 walks. The elite strikeout numbers this team has posted continued to slip, with only 44.
John Russell was the standout reliever, pitching 5 2/3 scoreless innings with seven strikeouts.
Starter Seth Corry, one of the most fascinating stories for the Emeralds this year, experimented a bit last week by throwing more fastballs to solve his perplexing walk problem. It came with mixed results, as he got hit around a little more for three runs in four innings, while still walking three.
It was a similar story on the offensive side, with a .694 team OPS for the week. They only posted a .292 OBP, but did lead the High-A West with 10 homers.
The Emeralds received contributions from some of the newer players who haven’t quite proven themselves yet. Carter Aldrete had the best offensive week, going 7-for-16 with a homer and a double, good for a 1.214 OPS.
Brett Auerbach homered in the first three games of the series, and cooled off after that but still had a solid week in his own right. He also continued to play all around the diamond, from catcher to center field. Ricardo Genoves began to heat up after tearing it up for San Jose and starting slowly with Eugene, as he hit two homers.
A chance to catch up to Everett this week
The Emeralds lost their grasp of first place in the High-A West in early July when they suffered a beatdown to the AquaSox in Eugene. They find themselves 6.5 games back in the standings now, but with a chance this week to regain some ground.
The Emeralds will travel to Everett to play seven games in six days against the AquaSox, with a doubleheader on Wednesday to make up for the game that was rained out early in the season. This series could make or break the Emeralds’ chance at a High-A West championship. If they win, they could tighten the gap between them and the Frogs, but if they lose, then first place will likely be out of reach.
They’ll get things going on Tuesday, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.