“The pitching was there for the most part. Our bats were just not timely and theirs definitely were,” said Brian Lauderdale. That is how he assessed a somewhat ugly game that featured eleven walks and four errors.
The game got away from Eugene in the eighth because of poor defense. A leadoff single led to the sacrifice bunt everyone in the park knew was coming. Third baseman Justin Baum gambled and narrowly missed getting the lead runner. The next batter Kevin Gossage hit a long flyball to center that Luis Durango was able to get a glove on, but unable to secure. Durango’s error allowed one run to score and Matthew Lawson followed with a sacrifice fly. The Indians got their final run of the inning on Renny Osuna’s RBI-double.
The Ems did not give up, though, and showed heart by inching closer in the eighth. Robbie Blauer lead off with a single and the Ems had runners on second and third after Spokane shortstop Andres James’ throwing error. A shallow fly ball could not score Blauer from third, but Durango’s two-out chopper over the pitcher’s mound did. Durango’s RBI brought the Ems within two. He stole second, leaving the tying runs in scoring position. Shortstop Andy Parrino hit it hard, but right at the left fielder.
Erratic Spokane pitching and a timely hit got the Emeralds in front early. Baum, Durango and Lauderdale worked Spokane starter Evan Reed for walks. Reed managed to get two outs, but Yefri Carvajal sent a shot right back through the box to make the score 2-0 Eugene after two.
The pesky Indians fought back by being patient with the bats. They worked the count extremely well, as many at-bats lasted seven, eight, or nine pitches. Spokane broke finally broke through in the fourth. Eugene starter Jeremy McBryde left the game with runners on first and second and two outs and John Hussey inherited the jam. Hussey could not work out of it as he proceeded to throw a wild pitch and walk two batters before getting the innings’ final out.
Spokane pulled ahead in the fifth. A leadoff walk and consecutive singles set up Jonathan Greene who singled to right scoring James. One pitch later the Indians added another run when Mitch Canham bobbled the throw home allowing Matthew Lawson to score.
McBryde was effective in 3.2 innings. He allowed one run on one hit and struck out six. Hussey had a hard time finding his release point and allowed two runs mostly due to three walks in 1.1 innings of work. Matt Handley was a hard luck loser allowing three runs, but none of them were earned.
Spokane reliever Ryan Falcon got the win despite blowing the save. He worked one inning, giving up one run. Andrew Laughter picked up the save by retiring the Ems in the ninth.
“You win as a team and lose as a team,” Lauderdale said, unwilling to assign blame for the loss. The most blame Lauderdale would dole out was to himself.
“No excuses, I should have had it-- I probably should have dove,” Lauderdale said of a ball he barely missed in the eighth inning that would have prevented a run. He said this despite the fact that he is a regular infielder playing outfield.
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