EUGENE - The Emeralds managed just two hits against Vancouver Friday night, dropping the first game of a three-game series to the Canadians.
Ems starter Joe Ross, on rehab assignment from Ft. Wayne, struck out the first four batters he faced. The fifth hitter, first baseman Art Charles, belted a 2-2 pitch into left center field for a double. Jason Leblebijian followed with an RBI single and the Canadians led 1-0. Ross would finish going 2.1 innings striking out 6, allowing two hits and the one run.
Brandon Alger came on in relief and allowed singles to the first three hitters he faced including a perfectly placed RBI drag bunt from their number three hitter, Matt Newman.
The Ems would cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the 3rd after Alexi Colon walked with one out and Ronnie Richardson moved him to third with a single. Corey Adamson knocked in the lone run on the night for Eugene with a groundout scoring Colon.
Vancouver would make it 3-1 a half inning later after Jason Leblebijian hit a leadoff double and Leo Hernandez drove him in with a single. Hernandez finished 2-4 and now has four hits in 37 at bats in NWL with three hits coming against the Ems.
Alger ended up going 3.2 innings allowing six hits and a pair of earned runs. He came into the game with just one run allowed in 27 innings pitched for the year. The Ems offense was no match tonight for Vancouver starter Ben White. He finished going a season high seven innings giving up just two hits, a run and striking out four.
Eugene put one runner on board in each of the final four innings but were unable to cash in. Eric Brown picked up a hold for his 8th inning of work and Arik Sikula shut the door in the 9th for his third save of the year.
Vancouver takes over sole possession of first place in the western division with a 2nd half record of 7-4, a game ahead of the Emeralds. Game 2 starts at 7:05pm tomorrow night back at PK Park.