Four-run first powers Emeralds victory

Eugene, OR- The Eugene Emeralds used a four-run first and solid pitching to pick up their sixth win of the season Tuesday night, 5-2 over the Boise Hawks. The Hawks' record now stands at 0-8 while the Emeralds kept pace in the ultra competitive west division of the Northwest League.

Lance Zawadzki drilled a solo home run over the right field wall in his first professional at bat. An RBI single by Luis Martinez and a two-RBI double by third baseman Justin Baum accounted for other three runs the Ems pushed across in the bottom of the first. Matt Huff closed the door on Boise in the ninth by striking out the side to pick up the save.

Emeralds starting pitcher Rey Garramone was splendid, allowing only one hit and no runs in four innings of work. In addition to his solid start, Garramone made a spectacular backhanded stab to save a base hit in the first inning. Allen Harrington, Dustin Gibbs, and Huff combined to give up two runs in five innings of solid relief.

Boise scored once in the sixth and once in the seventh. Both runs came off Harrington, who was chased from the game after giving up back-to-back doubles to Steven Clevenger and Ty Wright. Boise's second run of the game made the score 4-2, but they would get no closer.

Boise starter Chris Huseby was shelled early on, but settled in after his early struggles. He took the loss giving up four runs on eight hits in five innings on the mound. Huseby did not allow a run after the first inning. Gibbs pitched an inning and one third of scoreless relief to pickup the win for the Emeralds.

The Emeralds big inning started with Zawadzki's solo home run. Right fielder Kellen Kulbacki placed a ball between the pitcher and the first baseman for an infield hit. The red hot Justin Pickett was hit by the next pitch. The RBI single by Martinez and the RBI double by Baum made the score 4-0 Emeralds.

Kulbacki finished the night 3-for-3 with an RBI. He was a 2007 first-round draft choice of the Padres and tonight was only his second professional game.

The Ems tacked on an insurance run in the seventh. Luis Durango got his second infield hit of the night to lead off the inning. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and to third on a dropped third strike. Durango then scored on Kulbacki's third hit of the night.

The newest Emerald certainly made a big splash with the home run, but he also showed he is a complete player. Zawadzki, a native of Shrewsbury, MA, made several nice plays on defense and showed a strong throwing arm. The Padres drafted Zawadzki out of Lee University in Tennessee in the fourth-round of this year's draft.

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