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Timberjacks stumble over the Emeralds, 5

-4

The Southern Oregon, playing its final regular-season home game, dropped a 5-4 decision to Eugene Thursday in Northwest League baseball at Miles Field.

There were 3,117 spectators.

The Timberjacks' loss, coupled with Portland's 13-9 win over Salem-Keizer Thursday, trimmed Southern Oregon's lead in the Southern Division to two games over Portland -- the team it closes the season with tonight, Saturday and Sunday.

The Timberjacks must win two of the three to win the division title and advance to the playoffs.

If the two are tied at the end of the season, Portland holds the tiebreaker because it would have won the season series.

Against Eugene, the score was knotted at 1-1 when catcher Gerald Laird slammed a two-run home run to put the Timberjacks 3-1 in the second inning.

Eugene scored twice in the fifth and once in the sixth to go up 4-3. After the TJ's knotted it again in the sixth, the Emeralds pushed home the eventual winning run in the eighth.

Chris Curry and Jeff Ryan hit consecutive two-out singles to get things started. Center fielder, Matt Forbes, attempted to gun down Curry at third, but his throw skipped by third baseman Matt Howe and into the visitor's dugout. The error allowed Curry to come home for Eugene's final run.

Miguel Declet and Carlos Rosario each had two hits for the TJs.

Cade Sanchez was dealt the loss in four innings of relief, giving up two unearned runs and four hits.