EUGENE, Ore. -- It’s no longer a fluke. If anyone thought it was just luck earlier in this series, it is safe to say the Ems have convinced the fans it is pure talent.
The Eugene Emeralds are on a roll. The new and improved team has done it again. With the help of a Renfroe homer and seven additional runs, the Ems once again defeated one of the best teams in the league, the Everett AquaSox, 8-0 in Saturday night's game at PK Park.
The first inning went scoreless. The bottom of the second inning is where the runs began piling up.
Ems’ infielder Fernando Perez, catcher Ryan Miller, and shortstop Chase Jensen all took to home plate when Ems’ outfielder Marcus Davis doubled on a fly ball to AquaSox left fielder Phillips Castillo.
Emeralds’ manager Jim Gabella said, “We’re swinging the bat much better. The past three games here, everything’s kind of starting to come together. They’re staying on the ball. They’re getting a more quality of bats and it’s just kind of snowballing.”
In the bottom of the third, the Ems added another run to the scoreboard. Ems’ center fielder Hunter Renfroe scored when infielder Perez singled on a line drive to AquaSox left fielder Phillips Castillo.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Ems’ first baseman Trae Santos doubled on a fly ball to right fielder Austin Wilson. Ems’ infielder Perez singled on a ground ball to AquaSox center fielder James Zamarippa, putting Santos at third base. Santos then scored when Ems’ catcher Ryan Miller was out on a sacrifice fly to AquaSox right fielder Austin Wilson.
In the bottom of the sixth, Ems’ center fielder Ronnie Richardson scored when Ems’ left fielder Henry Charles singled on a line drive to AquaSox left fielder Castillo.
The next two runs came in the bottom of the eighth inning, when Ems’ outfielder Renfroe hit a home run on a fly ball to center field. Ems’ left fielder Charles also scored on Renfroe’s homer.
Of the homerun, Renfroe said, “It felt good. It felt really good coming off the bat. I knew I had the right trajectory on it and I was able to get some more RBIs out of it.”
Gabella added, “He’s a baseball player; not only his bat, but the way he runs the bases, his defense, he plays the game the right way. He’s all five tools.”
The Ems shut out the AquaSox for the second time in a row at PK Park. The wins come after the Ems’ newest bats, Hunter Renfroe and outfielder Edwin Moreno, joined the team.
“The guys played well today. The pitching staff did a great job, helping them to zero runs. We’ll win all our games doing that,” said Renfroe.
Said Gabella, “Very aggressive with all their pitches. They all have quality stuff and when they trust their stuff, they’re going to have more success. And that’s what they’re doing. They’re trusting their stuff, they’re pounding strikes home.”
The Ems had 13 hits in the game, with one error. The AquaSox had only five hits, also with one error.
The Ems are now 11-18 on the season and, the AquaSox are 19-10.
Said Gabella, “The other games that are behind us, I don’t even think about anymore. We think about this one, we’ll enjoy this, and then tomorrow, we’ll come out and get ready for tomorrow. It’s fun, but tomorrow’s another day. That’s the way baseball is. When you lose three or four in a row, tomorrow’s another day. We win three in a row, tomorrow’s another day. This game’s over with. We’ll learn from it and come out tomorrow and play.”
The final game of the five-game series will be held Sunday night at 5:05 PM at PK Park.