Emeralds rally fails in Hillsboro

    Eugene Emeralds

July 4, 2024 – Northwest League (NWL)
Press release from Eugene Emeralds

Hillsboro, OR – The Emeralds lost to the Hillsboro Hops by a final score of 2-1. The Ems now trail in the series 2-1. The good news for the Ems is that they head home to prepare for their next 3 games against the Hops at PK Park.

The first 3 innings were scoreless for both clubs as both starters on the mound were fantastic. Jean Walters opened the 4th inning with a double for Hillsboro and came home to score on a double by Neyfy Castillo to give the Hops the 1-0 lead.

Wilkelma Castillo was the Emeralds’ starter tonight and he was fantastic in his first start as an Emerald. He pitched 5 innings and allowed 4 hits while allowing just 1 earned run. He did not allow a single walk and struck out 6 batters, which is a season high. It was a great night for Castillo and he could potentially find himself in the Emeralds’ rotation now.

The Emeralds finally tied the game at 1 run in the seventh inning. After the first two batters were retired, Diego Velasquez drew a walk and gave Eugene a baserunner. Justin Wishoski hit a double and put Velasquez on third base. Hops starter Logan Clayton had been excellent up to that point in the evening. However, on his 101st pitch of the evening, he walked Zach Morgan and the ball landed behind catcher Gavin Logan. Velasquez was able to come home and score, tying the game at 1-1.

However, the Hops regained the lead with a run in the bottom of the 8th inning. Jack Hurley’s hit resulted in a force out, but Junior Franco came home from 3rd base and scored as Eugene could not complete the double play that ended the inning.

Eugene made things interesting in the 9th inning, however. Rodolfo Nolasco worked a 1-out walk and Tanner O’Tremba came in as a pinch runner. He was able to steal 2nd base with 2 outs and put himself in scoring position. Justin Wishkoski hit an infield single to put runners on the corners for Zach Morgan. Morgan threw a ball to center field that seemed routine for Jack Hurley. It bounced off Hurley’s glove, but he was able to catch it barehanded and end the game.

The Hops now have a 2-1 lead in the series. Eugene will look to bounce back with a Fourth of July win tomorrow night. Last year, the Emeralds threw a combined no-hitter at home on the Fourth of July. Jack Choate will start tomorrow night, with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m.

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