EUGENE, Ore. -- Eugene Emeralds Fernando Perez walked off the field at PK Park and sluggishly went down the steps to the dugout, shuffling items in the left corner of the dugout. Perez’s teammates watched as he emerged.
Finally, Perez noticed his helmet was placed in front of him on the ground, and he delivered a swift kick to it before taking his place on the bench to cool off.
The Eugene Emeralds suffered a 3-4 loss in the first game of their series against the Vancouver Canadians. The five-game series is big for the Ems, just after starting the second half of the Northwest League season.
Emeralds manager Jim Gabella said, “We had our chances tonight and just couldn’t get over the hump.”
In the top of the second inning, the Canadians scored two points to start the match-up. Canadians designated hitter Dan Arcila scored when Canadians right fielder Melvin Garcia singled on a line drive to Ems right fielder Hunter Renfroe. Garcia scored soon thereafter on a balk, with Canadians center fielder Chaz Frank at-bat.
The Ems remained stagnant for the first four innings, failing to put scores on the board.
Gabella said, “Their pitcher had pretty good stuff. Sometimes, you’ve got to give them credit. They had pretty good stuff. Left-hander and he changed speeds through strikes and sometimes, you’ve got to tip your cap to them, so that’s what happened earlier.”
In the top of the fifth inning, the Canadians tacked on another score when Canadians first baseman L.B. Dantzler hit a homer.
The Ems answered with a score of their own in the bottom of the fifth. Ems designated hitter Marcus Davis scored when Ems center fielder Ronnie Richardson grounded out.
In the next two innings, Ems right fielder Renfroe and Ems shortstop Felipe Blanco each added a score to the board. This tied the game at 3-3.
The final score came in the top of the eighth inning from Canadians third baseman Andy Fermin when Canadians designated hitter Arcila singled on a line drive to Ems center fielder Richardson.
On the second half of the season, thus far, Gabella said, “We’ve got to be happy with taking two out of three from Boise. The first half of the season, Boise played pretty well against us, so you’ve got to be happy about that.”
“The kids are doing a lot of good things. The kids are working hard. They’re taking the things that we’re working on, they’re taking them into the game, so those are positives,” he added.
The loss put the Ems at 15-27 on the season. The Canadians are now 25-17.
The Ems face off against the Canadians again at 7:05 PM Saturday night at PK Park.