EVERETT — The Eugene Emeralds got themselves well acquainted with the outfield fence at Everett Memorial Stadium on Monday night.
Eugene played tennis with the wall, using five extra-base hits to the fence to defeat the Everett AquaSox 5-4.
The Emeralds had two shots to the wall in both the fourth and seventh innings, rallying for two runs in both frames. Then another ball to the wall in the sixth eventually led to Eugene’s other run.
Everett tried to rally in the ninth, but came up one run short.
Ryan Miller went 2-for-4 with a double and a triple to lead Eugene (12-13 second half, 25-38 overall). Tyler Hale earned the win with two scoreless innings of relief, while Adam Cimber picked up the save.
Christian Carmichael went 2-for-3 and Austin Wilson homered for Everett (11-14, 34-29).
The teams mirrored one another through six innings as it was 3-3 going into the seventh. However, Eugene took control with a pair of runs in the seventh. The Emeralds hit reliever Cameron Copping hard in Copping’s second inning of work. Felipe Blanco led the inning off by lining a double to the wall in straightaway center. He later scored on Wynton Bernard’s sacrifice fly to center. Malquiel Brito then followed by ripping an RBI double off the right-center wall, giving Eugene a 5-3 lead.
Everett tried to come back the ninth. Carmichael singled to right with two out to score pinch runner Bryan Brito from second and bring the winning run to the plate. However, Cimber got Wilson to ground into a fielder’s choice to end the game.
Lonnie Kauppila hit a grand total of one home run during his three-year career at Stanford University. Therefore, when the Sox infielder hit his first professional homer during Sunday afternoon’s 6-2 victory over Eugene, it was understandably a special moment.
“Honestly, it felt unreal,” Kauppila said. “It’s been a couple years since I hit a home run, I didn’t really hit any in college. My first one was freshman year, first series, so it’s definitely been a while. I was hoping it would go out, and sure enough it was high enough to actually go out, so I was pretty excited.”
Everett was ahead 5-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning when, with no one on and two out, Kauppila lined a first-pitch fastball from Genison Reyes just over the scoreboard in right-center.
“That pitcher was the first pitcher I got a hit off (as a member of the Sox) in Eugene, so I kind of remembered him,” Kauppila said. “He just threw straight fastballs and I was just hoping he would throw a first-pitch fastball and sure enough he did, right down the middle.
“I thought it would (hit the wall),” Kauppila added. “Knowing my luck as of late I just figured it would smoke the wall and be a long single. I didn’t really see it off the bat, but once I got halfway down to first I saw it was high enough and figured it would go out.”
Ewing called up
Everett lost one of its rotation anchors Monday as left-hander Steven Ewing was promoted to Clinton of the mid single-A Midwest League.
Ewing was in his second season with the Sox. In 12 games (10 starts) he went 1-3 with a 4.11 ERA, walking 18 and striking out 56 in 53 innings. After a slow start he was much improved over the past month, compiling a 2.61 ERA and a 40-9 strikeout-walk ratio over his past seven starts.
Ewing had been scheduled to start Monday’s game.