Unearned runs undo Everett 6-4

  • By Mike Cane / Herald Writer
  • Monday, August 8, 2005 9:00pm
  • Sports

EVERETT – Chase Headley was worried.

The Eugene Emeralds third baseman figured his team had wasted too many golden opportunities to dream of beating a team as white-hot as the Everett AquaSox.

Game over, right?

Not quite.

With two solo home runs in the seventh inning and two unearned runs in the eighth, Eugene toppled Everett 6-4 Monday night in a Northwest League game at Everett Memorial Stadium. Headley’s homer in the seventh tied it at 4-4 and the Emeralds used an error, a balk and a wild pitch to go ahead for good the next inning, defeating an Everett team that had won 11 of 13.

“Too many mistakes,” said Everett manager Pedro Grifol, whose team fell to 26-21 and remains in third place in the West Division. “We made too many mistakes fundamentally.”

Eugene (23-24) piled up four doubles through five innings but couldn’t find that big hit.

“You’re not going to get a whole lot of opportunities a lot of times,” said Headley. “So when you blow them, it’s just definitely a little frustrating.”

But Eugene finally broke through in the seventh.

After entering the game with a 4-2 lead, Everett reliever Lance Beus (1-1) gave up solo home runs to Tim Turner and Headley. Turner was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts before he nailed his second homer of the season, and one out later Headley’s third home run of the season (his first from the right side) tied it at 4-4.

The next inning, Beus gave up a leadoff single and then booted a potential double-play ground ball that left Eugene with runners at first and second with no outs. Grifol pulled Beus in favor of Cory Koliscak, who promptly balked before delivering a pitch to the plate. Following a brilliant diving stop by Everett first baseman Jeff Flaig that froze the runners and resulted in an unassisted groundout, Koliscak unleashed a pitch that skidded to the backstop and put Eugene ahead 5-4. The Emeralds added their sixth run on Clint Cleland’s RBI-ground out.

Everett never seriously threatened again. Emeralds relievers Arnold Hughey (3-1), John Madden – yes, John Madden – and Neil Jamison each threw a scoreless inning to close the game. Jamison earned his sixth save with a 1-2-3 ninth.

Luis Valbuena, Danny Santin and J.B. Tucker (one home run, one double) all had two hits for Everett, which concludes its three-game homestand against Eugene today before traveling to Eugene for a three-game set.

Despite getting hit hard at times, Everett starting pitcher Paul Fagan pitched well in tense situations and put together a solid outing. In six innings he allowed just two runs, both in the second, and struck out six. He allowed eight hits, including four doubles, but didn’t walk anyone.

“He kept us in the ball game,” Grifol said. “He gave us a chance to win.”

Trevor Heid tripled and scored Everett’s first run in the bottom of the first inning. Ron Prettyman drove in Heid, whose triple was his first of the season, with a groundout to second base that put the Frogs in front 1-0.

Eugene countered with two runs on four hits (including two consecutive doubles) in the second inning. The Emeralds were primed to inflict even more damage, but Fagan struck out Turner with runners on first and third to end the rally and keep Everett within one run.

Tucker’s sixth home run tied it at 2-2 in the bottom of the second, tying him for the team lead in home runs with Casey Craig and Valbuena.

Tucker came up big again in the fourth, giving Everett a 3-2 lead with a run-scoring double off the center-field wall.

Santin’s RBI-bloop single in the sixth put the Frogs in front 4-2. It was Everett’s final hit of the night.

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