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Ems take 8th in a show.

Byline: Steve Mims The Register-Guard

Eugene had the right guy at the plate.

Down by one run with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Cory Spangenberg drilled the first pitch he saw into left field for a two-run, walk-off single that lifted the Emeralds to a 3-2 win over Salem-Keizer in front of 1,777 Wednesday night in Northwest League baseball at PK Park.

Spangenberg, a first-round pick this month by the San Diego Padres, raised his average to .432 with his seventh straight two-hit game.

"I don't think any of us doubted Cory right there," catcher Matthew Colantonio said.

"I think we were all confident he'd get a hit."

The Emeralds stretched their winning streak to eight games in a row and five of them have come against the Volcanoes.

Salem-Keizer (2-11) looked to snap that streak when Joe Panik hit a two-run single in the bottom of the seventh to put the Volcanoes ahead 2-1, but the Ems rallied in the ninth.

Colantonio hit an infield single with one out off reliever Cody Hall, who retired the Ems in order in the eighth inning.

"I was deep in the count and just trying to get on base," Colantonio said. "Good things happen when you put the ball in play."

Mykal Stokes walked before Jace Peterson grounded into a fielder's choice. Clint Moore was hit by a pitch and then Spangenberg hit a sharp liner that drove in the final two runs.

"I was looking for a fastball early in the count and he happened to put it in there on the first pitch," Spangenberg said.

The Ems improved to 11-2 and still lead Vancouver by a game in the West Division.

"It's a great feeling," said Spangenberg, who has reached base safely in every game as a pro. "We keep winning and to persevere like tonight was great."

Spangenberg also got the Ems started with a two-out single in the first inning.

Lee Orr followed with a walk and Travis Whitmore singled home Spangenberg as Eugene took a 1-0 lead.

Eugene starter Juan Herrera threw five shutout innings for the second time at home this season. The right-hander did not allow a hit in the first two innings to run his streak of hitless innings at PK Park to seven before Leonardo Ochoa singled to open the third inning.

Salem-Keizer got the leadoff runner on base in three of five innings against Herrera and got three runners to third base, but Herrera got out of trouble each time.

The Volcanoes had runners on first and second against reliever Chris Wilkes in the sixth inning before he got a pair of fly outs to end the inning.

Salem-Keizer finally broke a 15-inning scoreless streak over two days in the top of the seventh when Ochoa and Jesus Galindo hit back-to-back singles off reliever Jeremy Gigliotti with one out before a ground out advanced the runners. Panik, San Francisco's first-round pick this season, followed with a single up the middle that brought in both runners to give the Volcanoes a 2-1 lead.

Relievers Chris Haney and Matthew Stites kept the Volcanoes scoreless the rest of the way and Stites earned his first professional victory.

"We just hung on and kept battling until the last out," Spangenberg said.

"You never know what can happen in baseball."

Eugene had a couple chances to extend its lead early in the game, including the third inning when Peterson led off with a double and went to third on an error.

With one out, Spangenberg flew out to right and Peterson was thrown out trying to tag up at home for a double play.

Eugene loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth inning on three straight singles before Stokes struck out.

Note: Colin Rea (1-0, 2.00 ERA) starts tonight for Eugene while Salem-Keizer will throw Kendry Flores (0-1, 11.81).

Eugene vs. Salem-Keizer

7:05 p.m. today, PK Park. Radio: KUJZ-FM (95.3).
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Title Annotation:Baseball Ems; Eugene continues to win, this time on a dramatic ninth-inning, walk-off single that drives in two
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Jun 30, 2011
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Next Article:No-hitter propels Challengers to win.

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