At first, it appeared as though Luis Toribio would be the hero. Then, it was Luis Matos. Surely Grant McCray go-ahead three-run homer in the top of the ninth would seal his place in Emeralds lore.
In the end, Jimmy Glowenke stood atop them all. The infielder’s two-run homer in the 10th inning sunk the hearts of the home crowd in Vancouver, BC, securing the Northwest League championship for High-A Eugene, 9-7.
Glowenke’s blast capped a back-and-forth affair in which the Vancouver Canadians, with their backs against the wall down 2-0 in the best-of-five series, fought back against the Emeralds’ every last punch. His knockout blow in extras, ultimately, was too much to overcome. Full story »
Emeralds 6, Canadians 5
It took Eugene almost six innings to push the door open. Marco Luciano needed just one pitch to barge through.
Baseball's No. 17 overall prospect belted a go-ahead three-run homer and the Emeralds held on to defeat Vancouver to take a 2-0 lead in the Championship Series at PK Park. The Emeralds will go for their second consecutive title when the clubs resume their best-of-5 series in Canada on Friday.
Trailing, 3-1, with two outs and the bases loaded in the sixth, Luis Matos cashed in with a two-run single after fouling off four straight pitches. Luciano wasted no time, belting the first offering deep over the left-field fence to cap the Emeralds' five-run frame. San Francisco's top-ranked prospect ended the regular season in a 3-for-25 skid but has come alive in the postseason. Luciano plated two runs with a double in the series opener.
Matos, the No. 3 Giants prospect, has gone 5-for-10 with two doubles and four RBIs through the first two games.
Dasan Brown homered again for Vancouver, slugging a two-run jack in the seventh. The No. 30 Blue Jays prospect went deep twice in Game 1, his first multihomer game as a professional. Box score
Emeralds 10, Canadians 3
Eugene came out of the gate swinging and rode those early runs to a 10-3 win over Vancouver in Game 1 of the Championship Series at PK Park. Andy Thomas cranked a first-inning grand slam and top Giants prospects Marco Luciano and Luis Matos provided firepower as the reigning champions jumped ahead in the best-of-5 series.
Luciano, the game's No. 17 overall prospect per MLB Pipeline, roped a two-run double in the second inning and Matos, the Giants' No. 3 prospect, doubled home two more to extend the early lead. But the biggest swing of the night came from Thomas, who had homered just once in 24 games for Eugene down the stretch. Damon Deus also went yard for Eugene, which did most of its damage against starter Abdiel Mendoza.
Blue Jays' No. 30 prospect Dasan Brown belted two long balls and No. 27 prospect Damiano Palmegiani also went deep to account for Vancouver's offense, but the Canadians mustered little more against winning pitcher Carson Seymour and three relievers.
This series is a rematch of the 2017 Finals between Vancouver and Eugene, when the Canadians captured the title. The Emeralds claimed the league championship last season, and then won the first-half title this season to punch an early ticket to the Finals.
How they got there
*Powered by an offensive outburst and a shutdown pitching performance, Vancouver clinched a spot in the playoffs with a 9-1 win over Eugene at Nat Bailey Stadium. The Emeralds sit atop the Northwest League standings by two games, and the league will come down to the wire as the two teams close out the season with the final four contests of a five-game set.
Right-hander Michael Dominguez led the way for the Canadians on the mound, tying his career high with nine strikeouts across six scoreless innings while surrendering only two hits and a walk. Three relievers each contributed an inning of work to close out the victory, with the only Eugene run coming on a wild pitch in the eighth.
The Blue Jays affiliate got things started quickly with No. 30 prospect Dasan Brown cranking a homer to lead off the bottom of the first before the Canadians put up a six-spot in the second, highlighted by a two-run dinger from PK Morris to cap off the frame. Dominguez dominated the Emeralds lineup, retiring 17 of the 20 batters he faced on 86 pitches (55 strikes).
Vancouver is back in the playoffs for the first time since 2017, when it defeated Eugene for the Northwest League title.
*The Emeralds' clinch of the High-A Northwest League first-half title came on their 35th victory of the year. Eugene cemented its title with a 13-0 shutout over Vancouver, capped off by a 5-for-5 night from the Giants' No. 3 prospect, Luis Matos.
This marks the second straight postseason appearance for Eugene following their championship win last season. The Emeralds have thus far led the league in home runs (78) and slugging percentage (.413). The pitching staff has posted a 3.42 ERA and a league-best 1.19 WHIP. Gameday box score