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TJ's steal opener from Ems

EUGENE -- Franklyn German registered five strong innings on the mound, Aaron Nieckula homered and the Southern Oregon Timberjacks stole seven bases on the way to a 7-4 victory over the Eugene Emeralds in the Northwest League season-opener for both teams Friday night.

A crowd of 5,732 looked on at Civic Stadium as the Timberjacks showcased their speed on the basepaths by stealing seven bases, including two each by Carlos Rosario and Jamie Porter, without getting thrown out.

German gave up nine hits in five innings but struck out five and didn't walk a batter to pick up the win. Four Timberjacks relievers finished up the contest.

Eugene starting pitcher Jeremy Gomer struck out the first four batters he faced before Nieckula blasted a solo homer over the left-field wall that tied the game 1-all in the top of the second inning. Southern Oregon took the lead for good later in the inning when Brad Henderson singled and came home on Michael Lockwood's single.

The Timberjacks scored three more runs in the sixth on an RBI double by Nieckula, a sacrifice fly by Henderson and a wild pitch.

Run-scoring singles by Henderson and Gerald Laird produced the Timberjacks' final two runs in the eighth.

Nieckula, added a single in the eighth inning for his third hit of the game.

Nieckula, the Timberjacks' catcher, also threw out two Eugene base-runners.

Eugene had 13 hits but stranded 12 runners on base.