EUGENE — Tyler Olson retired the first 17 batters he faced on the way to a complete-game shutout and the AquaSox beat the Eugene Emeralds 5-0.
Olson’s was just the fourth 9-inning complete game by an AquaSox pitcher since 1999.
It was almost something even rarer. The only hit Olson gave up was a popup to shallow left field by shortstop Chase Jensen that Phillips Castillo had a chance at. Castillo made a heroic attempt at a diving catch to preserve the perfect game, but couldn’t quite get there.
That small hiccup, and a walk later in the inning, were really the only flaws in an otherwise dominant pitching performance. Olson struck out 10 and finished under 100 pitches. He had only thrown 50 prior to facing Jensen, and he needed 10 or fewer in six of his nine innings. He came back in the seventh after his only tough inning to retire the Emeralds with just six.
The AquaSox offense did its job as well, despite struggling for five innings before managing to get any of their many runners home. They finally broke the ice in the sixth when Castillo hit a 1-out double to score D.J. Peterson. A sac fly later in the inning by Lonnie Kauppila scored a second run, but that was all the Sox would get, leaving two stranded.
The Frogs added another in the seventh when James Zamarrippa scored on an error, but were held to just one, leaving the bases loaded.
They continued to pound away, though, notching two more in the eighth on a double by Zamarripa and a single by Jack Reinheimer whose 3-hit night extended his hitting streak to 14 games.
Zamarrippa had three hits as well, and scored twice.
The AquaSox finished with five runs, a total that probably should have been much higher considering the 11 runners they left on base. But on a night where their pitcher threw about as well as you are going to see in a Northwest League game, and they shutout their opponents 5-0, that was really the only complaint.