EUGENE, Ore. - The comeback is real.
With the attendance at Friday night's game at 3,256 fans, nearly a sold out crowd at the 4,000-seat stadium, the Eugene Emeralds did not disappoint the large turnout.
In game three of a five-game series, the Ems trounced the Everett AquaSox 8-0.
"The kids are playing good right now," Ems manager Jim Gabella said. "We're starting to swing the bats. Our pitching has been good. We're playing solid defense. And when you do those three things, you've got a good chance to win."
Though the game started in a lull and there was no score for five innings, the Ems quickly racked up five runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Ems right fielder Hunter Renfroe racked up the first score in his second game with the team when Michael Miller singled on a line drive to AquaSox right fielder Austin Wilson.
Gabella said about Renfroe and his outfielder Edwin Moreno, "Sometimes, when you add two bats like that into a lineup, it kind of snowballs. You put some energy into a lineup when you put Hunter in there, and Moreno, and everybody kind of follows suit, and that's kind of what's happened the past two nights."
After Renfroe's score, Ems third baseman Fernando Perez hit the scoreboard next.
In the next at bat, Ems shortstop Anthony Torres doubled on a ground ball to AquaSox right fielder Wilson. This set up both catcher Michael Miller and right fielder Wynton Bernard's scores. In the sixth inning, AquaSox pitcher Tommy Burns threw a wild pitch, allowing Emerald player Anthony Torres to score.
Gabella said, "We were fortunate. We tried to force them to make a play at the plate on the sacrifice fly and we were fortunate that the catcher dropped the ball, tried to make the tag too soon. That happens, and we took advantage of it. They made a mistake, we took advantage of it, and scored more runs."
Ems pitcher, Erik Schoenrock, had an exceptional night, helping to keep the AquaSox's hits to a mere three.
Gabella said, "Schoenrock was outstanding. His tempo was great. He threw strikes with all his pitches. He kept their hitters off balance. And when you do that, you've got a chance to get a lot of guys out."
In the bottom of the eighth, the Ems piled on three more scores before the night' when Ronnie Richardson hit an over the fence homerun with Wynton Bernard and Anthony Torres on base.
Said Gabella, "We come out every day and work to get better. Whenever you win it, you've got to be happy. There's nothing like winning. It's the best feeling in the world."
The Ems face-off against the AquaSox again Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. at PK Park.