One Long Inning in Eugene
One long, strange inning, was the difference between a win and a loss for the Boise Hawks, as Eugene evened up the five-game series at Civic Stadium (pictured left) at a game apiece with a 5-1 victory.
After the Hawks took advantage of a lead-off, sun-aided double by Hak-Ju Lee and an RBI single by Brett Jackson to take an early lead – things unraveled in a hurry.
After tossing 14.2 consecutive scoreless innings, starter Tarlandus Mitchell struggled mightily – walking three consecutive hitters with one out, then hitting a batter to tie the score. After a strikeout, another walk gave Eugene the lead – then back to back wild pitches allowed two more runs to score. The final ledger – two-thirds of an inning, five walks, one hit batter, five earned runs, one strikeout. It isn’t often you see five runs on just one hit in an inning.
Kudos, however, to the Hawks pen, which has thrown now 12 consecutive scoreless innings – as Corey Martin had his longest outing of the year, while Yohan Gonzalez and Josh Lansford were both solid.
Jon Berger was outstanding for Eugene, retiring 17 of the final 20 batters he faced, while David Erickson worked out of a bases loaded jam in the eighth, then retired the side in order in the ninth for his sixth save.
THE OLD PARK SHOWING ITS AGE: I had the opportunity to walk the Civic Stadium playing surface prior to batting practice today, and can tell you that the strange weather they have had in the Upper Willamette Valley has done a number on the outfield grass – which is in as bad of shape as I have ever seen it. I did get to get up close and personal with the manual scoreboard (pictured to the right), one of only 18 still operating in the minors (including Everett and Vancouver). The Hawks outfielders were telling me after the game that the kids who were operating the board were playing loud music and seemed a bit tipsy – he said it was comical (maybe that is why the ball/strike count throughout the game was a bit off).
HEADING TO PK PARK: First thing on Saturday morning, I will attempt to get some footage at PK Park (guessing PK stands for Oregon booster and Nike boss Phil Knight), the University of Oregon stadium that looks to be the home of the Eugene Emeralds in 2010. Only a seven-mile walk stands in my way – wish me luck!!!
THE BACON: Logan Watkins and Justin Bour each saw their hitting streaks snapped last night, with Watkins going 0-for-3 with a hit by pitch, closing out a career-high 15-game run. Bour went 0-for-3 with a hit by pitch as well, ending a six-game streak…Jackson has now reached base in all 20 games he has played with the Hawks this year…Lansford has not allowed a run in six of his last seven outings, including six consecutive scoreless frames…following the game, an unknown number of Eugene Emeralds players will be heading to Salt Lake City to join the AAA Portland Beavers for tonight’s Pacific Coast League game – as seven Portland players were hospitalized with what may be the H1N1 flu, forcing the postponement of their game last night in Utah…as a precaution, Hawks trainer Dan Golden gave a speech to the squad on the ride home tonight from the ballpark about washing hands and not sharing towels.