by REED NELSON
So now that my sports junky status has been officially documented on the vast wasteland known as the internet, I must admit that I have some separation anxiety over leaving the wonderful realm of competitive athletics. That being said, I am lucky enough to have some pretty awesome venues in my region (that being the Harlow neighborhood) and those venues do host sporting events. A pretty sweet trade off if you ask me.
But an even sweeter trade off? (Don’t worry, this isn’t a quiz, I don’t expect you to answer) To see a team that plays in said venues do some amazing things. With that being said, on Tuesday, July 5th, the Eugene Emeralds (a minor league affiliate of the San Diego Padres) broke the Northwest League’s record for consecutive wins by beating the Vancouver Canadians 9-3. In that time, second baseman Corey Spangenberg has increased his R.B.I. total from six to 19, the NBA has locked its players out and the Washington Nationals manager Jim Riggleman, is no longer the Washinton Nationals manager Jim Riggleman (instead, he simply goes by Jim Riggleman now. Or Jim.)
So, without further ado, the recap of the last 14 victories for the hometown Emeralds:
1. Emeralds 4 — Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 3 — The Ems made an eigth inning comeback in Salem behind a Donavan Tate double and some timely mistakes made by the Volcanoes to begin the streak on the right foot.
4. Emeralds 5 — Everett Aquasox 4 — It wasn’t pretty, the Ems used six different pitchers, but Corey Spangenberg picked up his sixth R.B.I. of the year as the Ems ran their streak at this point to four.
6. Emeralds 3 — Aquasox 1 — Jace Peterson, Zach Kometami and Jeremy Rodriguez all drove in runs as the Emeralds again got a solid performance from the bullpen, who gave the Ems four scoreless innings of relief.
7. Emeralds 11 — Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 0 — The Ems thumped the Volcanoes behind a team effort at the plate — with six different players knocking in runs — and on the bump, as Matthew Andriese, Luis De La Cruz and William Scott combined for a shutout.
8. Emeralds 3 — Volcanoes 2 — Corey Spangenberg drove in two runs (and scored one more) with the Ems down to their last out in the bottom of the ninth to win in spectacular walk-0ff fashion (and Travis Whitmore drove in the other in the second) in what may have been the most exiting game of the season. The timely hitting complimented a stellar staff outing as the Ems took down the Volcanoes in such dramatic fashion that it almost seemed hokey, campy, planned or scripted. But it wasn’t.
14. Emeralds 9 — Canadians 3 — The Ems win huge behind Lee Orr’s fourth inning grand slam on Ballpark Buyout Night, Jose Dore’s fifth inning blast and the stellar pitching of Colin Rea, who tossed five strong innings allowing only a run on seven hits.
If you are still reading, I feel like we’d get along swimmingly. Or maybe you just want to slap me. Either way is fine, but what the Ems did is pretty amazing, for a ball club of any level.