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Ems' opener good for nothing.

Byline: Steve Mims The Register-Guard

The first three Emeralds to step to the plate at Civic Stadium this season reached base.

None of them scored.

It was not a good omen and not a good home opener for Eugene, which lost 5-0 to Tri-City in Northwest League baseball Monday night in front of 5,233.

The Ems had Tri-City starter Steven Register on the ropes after he loaded the bases with no outs in the first inning, but then the right-hander struck out three straight Emeralds to escape the jam.

"Bases loaded, no outs and you don't put a ball in play. There is no excuse for that," Eugene manager Roy Howell said.

"Their pitcher is struggling. That is the cat sitting in the canary's house. The pitcher has to throw his best pitch, which is likely a fastball ... that is a hitters' dream. We were overanxious, and give (Register) credit, he kept pumping them in there."

Brian Fryer reached base on an error to open the bottom of the first, and then Register walked Sean Kaz-mar and Lachlan Dale.

Register then struck out Colt Morton, Craig Johnson and Billy Hogan to end the inning.

"Their pitcher beared down, and he threw some good pitches," Johnson said.

The Ems had five hits while being shut out for the first time in four games. The Ems (1-3) dropped their third straight game and watched their team batting average drop to .189.

"It's been slow out of the gate. We've got to put the ball in play," Johnson said. "We need to get something going one night, and that can propel us from there."

It's very early in the season, but Howell and the Ems were hoping for a better start, particularly at home.

"You don't like to see this at the beginning of the year because everyone is excited to get here and swing the bats," Howell said. "But we don't have 162 games or 145 games, we have 76 games, so the urgency is there a bit, but not really."

After the Ems wasted their opportunity in the first inning, Tri-City struck quickly in the second with three runs off Eugene starter Danny De La O.

Joseph Koshansky and Pedro Strop each hit a solo home run, and then Florentino Nunez drilled a single to left. Luke Sargent drove in Nunez with a double to center field to put the Dust Devils ahead 3-0.

Strop added another solo home run in the fourth to give Tri-City a 4-0 lead.

Strop doubled his career home run total with two against the Emeralds. He had one home run during his previous 102 career games.

The Dust Devils (2-2) had only one home run in their first three games of the season, but hit three solo shots against the Emeralds.

De La O, who was a late addition to the roster after pitching twice for long-season A Fort Wayne, allowed four earned runs in six innings pitched.

He allowed six hits and struck out four while walking one.

Register struck out six in three innings pitched. He allowed only one hit, but walked five.

The Ems had runners on first and second in both the second and third innings against Register, but he got out of trouble both times.

Reliever Steve Thomas earned the victory with three scoreless innings. He allowed one hit and hit one batter.

Mark Ion pitched the final three innings to earn the save.

Notes: Former Oregon State pitcher Jake Postlewait makes his pro debut tonight when he starts for the Dust Devils. Postlewait was picked in the seventh round of the draft by the Colorado Rockies. Vern Sterry, an eighth-round pick from North Carolina State, pitches for the Ems.

TRI-CITY EUGENE

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Spivey cf 4 0 2 1 Fryer 2b 4 0 1 0

Valdez 2b 5 0 0 0 Kazmar ss 4 0 1 0

Miller lf 3 0 0 0 Dale 3b 2 0 0 0

Vasquez dh 4 0 0 0 Morton c 4 0 1 0

Koshnsky 1b 4 1 1 1 Johnson rf 4 0 1 0

Macri 3b 3 1 1 0 Hogan lf 3 0 0 0

Strop ss 3 2 2 2 Embrey 1b 3 0 0 0

Nunez rf 4 1 1 0 Vincent dh 4 0 0 0

Sargent c 4 0 1 1 Mora cf 4 0 1 0

Totals 34 5 8 5 Totals 32 0 5 0

Tri-City ... 030 100 001 -5

Eugene ... 000 000 000 -0

E-Strop, Thomas, Kazmar. DP-Tri-City 1, Eugene 1. LOB-Tri-City 6, Eugene 11. 2B-Sargent. HR-Koshansky, Strop 2. SB-Macri, Strop, Fryer, Embrey. CS-Macri.

IP H R ER BB SO

Tri-City

Register 3 1 0 0 5 6

Thomas W,1-0 3 1 0 0 0 1

Ion S,1 3 3 0 0 0 4

Eugene

De La O L,0-1 6 6 4 4 1 4

Vose 2 1 0 0 0 0

Colbert 1 1 1 1 2 2

WP-Colbert. HBP-by De La O (Miller), by Thomas (Dale). T-2:32. A-5,233.

LOOKING BACK AT THE EMS

June 22, 1973: A disappointing crowd of 1,500 watches Eugene defeat Portland 6-4 in the first Northwest League game ever at Civic Stadium. Springfield High graduate Bob Foster pitched three scoreless innings for the Emeralds during the home opener of their first season back in the NWL after a five-year stint in the Pacific Coast League. The Ems moved from Bethel Park to Civic in 1969.

CAPTION(S):

Florentino Nunez (left) is congratulated by Pedro Strop after scoring in the second inning. Strop homered twice for Tri-City.
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Title Annotation:Sports; Eugene squanders a chance to score early and loses 5-0 in its home opener
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Jun 22, 2004
Words:943
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