2-run homer by top draft pick lifts Ems over Canadians, 9-8

2-run homer by top draft pick lifts Ems over Canadians, 9-8
Ems right fielder Hunter Renfroe (#35, left) and Ems Michael Bass (#6, center) congratulate each other. Dan Morrison, Oregon News Lab

EUGENE, Ore. - The Padres top draft pick is exciting. No question about it.

Hunter Renfroe saved the Eugene Emeralds - a Padres affilate - from a loss against the Vancouver Canadians Sunday night, hitting a homer that brought both him and Ems second baseman Michael Bass in to end the game, 9-8.

The Canadians scored first in the top of the second inning. Canadians catcher Michael Reeves hit home plate when Canadians first baseman Dan Arcila doubled on a line drive to Ems right fielder Renfroe.

The Ems responded in the bottom of the fourth inning, with two scores from Ems right fielder Renfroe and third baseman Fernando Perez, respectively, when Ems catcher Ryan Miller singled on a ground ball to Canadians center fielder Chaz Frank.

The Ems added on 4 more runs in the bottom of the fifth, each from Felipe Blanco, Henry Charles, Michael Bass, and Renfroe.

“Our guys have never stopped fighting all year long. And we did it again today,” Ems manager Jim Gabella said.

In the top of the sixth, the Canadians rallied back, scoring 7 times and putting them back in the lead.

The Ems answered with one score in the bottom of the sixth from left fielder Malquiel Brito when Ems second baseman Michael Bass grounded out.

“A game like today we played hard, we fought the whole way," Renfroe said. "That’s just things you’ve got to do.”

In a counter rally to win the game, the Ems racked up two more points in the bottom of the eighth inning, with a homer from Renfroe. The hit also brought in Bass.

“Anytime I can come up there and hit a home run or do anything to help my team win like that is very special to me,” Renfroe said.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound right fielder, holds the highest batting average for the Ems at .352.

“I just want to come out here and help the team win. That’s all I want to do,” he said.

Though the Ems are on a roll with Renfroe in the line-up, it seems that he might not be in Eugene for much longer at the rate he’s playing.

The Ems face the Canadians again Monday night at PK Park at 7:05.