Timberjacks rally for sweep of Ems
Southern Oregon plays Boise today in home opener
EUGENE -- Carlos Rosario picked a fine time to deliver his first home run of the season.
The Southern Oregon second baseman broke a 5-all tie in the ninth inning with a one-out blast to complete a Timberjack rally and sweep the season-opening series with the Eugene Emeralds.
Sunday's 6-5 win helped Southern Oregon maintain its perch atop the Northwest League standings at 3-0. The Timberjacks' status will be immediately tested, however, as the Boise Hawks hit town today to open a five-game series at Miles Field.
Game time for tonight's home opener is scheduled for 7 p.m., with the two teams slated to do battle each night at that time through Friday.
Eugene grabbed an early 4-0 lead after two innings Sunday before the Timberjacks could finally put a run on the board in the third.
Kirk Asche smacked a leadoff single to left field in the third, but was nabbed at second on a fielder's choice by Jason Clements. After a wild pitch advanced Clements to second, Matt Forbes laced a two-out, RBI single to finally put Southern Oregon on the scoreboard.
The Emeralds answered with a run in the fourth, but the Timberjacks would not be denied as they scored three times in the fifth inning.
A leadoff walk to Clements and a single by Rosario capped the day for Eugene starter Ken Conroy in the fifth. His replacement, Kevin Waldrum, didn't fare much better as he was immediately greeted with an RBI double by Forbes. Schied followed with an RBI single, and Aaron Nieckula added a sacrifice fly to trim the TJ's deficit to 5-4.
The Timberjacks wasted little time regaining their momentum, with Clements tying the game in the sixth with a two-out bomb to right field for his first Southern Oregon homer.
TJ's pitcher Darin Moore (1-0) then came on in relief of starter Eric Meeks in the sixth and proceeded to shut down Eugene's hopes with five strikeouts and only two hits in three innings.
Neither team could manage much offense in the next two innings until Rosario's clutch effort in the ninth.
TJ's pitcher Keith Surkont preserved the victory in the ninth, allowing only a two-out single before posting his second strikeout to end the game.
Rosario finished the game with two runs on two hits and one RBI, while Schied continued his tear with three hits in five at-bats. Forbes added two hits and two RBIs for the unbeaten Timberjacks.