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Dream debut lifts Ems.

Byline: Steve Mims The Register-Guard

Clark Murphy feels like he's starting over, and his new life in baseball got off to a great start.

Murphy homered twice and then drove in the winning run with a walk-off double in the bottom of the 10th inning to lead Eugene to a 6-5 win over Yakima in the Northwest League opener Friday night in front of 3,569 at PK Park.

Murphy started the night with a three-run homer in the first and homered again in the sixth to put the Emeralds ahead 4-1. Yakima tied the game 5-5 to force extra innings before Murphy hit a ball over the head of left fielder Kerry Jenkins with two outs in the 10th to score Ronnie Richardson with the winning run.

"Awesome," said Murphy, who was 4-for-5 with five RBIs and two runs scored in one of the best debuts in Emeralds history. "Great place to play, great team to be on."

Murphy is making his second trip around the Northwest League after he batted .319 for Spokane in 2010. He missed almost all of last season because of a family emergency and was released by the Rangers before being signed by San Diego.

"This is the start of a new career for me in a lot of ways and a great way to get it started," the first baseman said.

It was a somewhat similar story for Chris Fetter, who began his career with the Emeralds in 2009 and made it up to long-season Class A Lake Elsinore for two years before needing Tommy John surgery last year on his pitching arm. He is back with the Ems on a rehab assignment and made his season debut with three scoreless innings while facing the minimum nine batters.

"It felt good, first time in a year on the mound," Fetter said. "The nerves were good and I felt comfortable. Nice to be back and to win on a walk-off hit, it couldn't be better."

Richardson and Eric Charles were both hit by a pitch from reliever Victor Acosta to start the bottom of the 10th, but then Acosta got back-to-back fly outs before Murphy got the game-winning double.

"I was just trying not to do too much," Murphy said. "See the ball and do what I can with it."

Murphy gave Fetter a lead in the first inning with his three-run homer. Charles bunted for a single with one out in the first inning and River Stevens followed with a double to left before Murphy hammered a homer to right that put the Ems ahead 3-0.

Fetter retired the first six batters he faced before Ronnie Freeman led off the third with a single. Danny Poma followed with a grounder to Fetter, who started a double play and then retired Kevin Medrano to end his night after throwing 33 pitches. Eugene manager Pat Murphy said Fetter's limit was 50 pitches or three innings in his return to the mound.

Brandon Alger relieved Fetter and tossed two scoreless innings while allowing one hit before Yakima got a run off Tony Wieber in the sixth inning.

Wieber hit Poma with a pitch and Medrano followed with a single. Yogey Perez-Ramos drove in Poma with a sacrifice fly to get the Bears within 3-1.

Murphy followed with a two-out homer in the bottom of the sixth.

The Ems added another two-out run in the seventh after Stephen Carmon and Richardson drew back-to-back walks before Charles had an infield single that drove in Carmon to put the Ems ahead 5-1.

Yakima tied the score with four runs off reliever Alexis Lara in the eighth.

Freeman doubled and Poma was hit by a pitch before Perez-Ramos singled to load the bases with one out. Josh Parr followed with a two-run single and Jenkins walked to load the bases before Mark Picca relieved Lara.

Picca struck out Jacob House and then Joe Loftus hit a grounder to third baseman Chris Burke, who bobbled the ball and made a wide throw to first for an error that allowed two runners to score and tie the game 5-5.

Matthew Shepherd, Eugene's seventh pitcher, threw a scoreless 10th inning to earn the victory. Charles had two hits for Eugene and Corey Adamson stole three bases.

Notes: Will Scott, who went 2-2 with a 3.17 ERA in 19 games with the Emeralds last year including five starts, takes the mound tonight for Eugene. Yakima counters with Miguel Pena, who pitched for Yakima in 2010 but missed all last season after Tommy John surgery.
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Title Annotation:Baseball Ems; Clark Murphy drives in five RBIs, hits two homers and the walk-off hit in Eugene's 6-5 win over Yakima
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Jun 16, 2012
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