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 Eugene Emeralds

Andrew Kachel's Three-Run Blast The Difference In Eugene's 8-6 Win Over Vancouver

April 20, 2024 - Northwest League (NWL)
Eugene Emeralds News Release

EUGENE, OR - Andrew Kachel is known for his personality.

He has a chow-chow Yorkie mix named Joy or occasionally "Wiggles", a big smile, and can own any room he's in.

Friday night in front of a raucous Eugene crowd his personality wasn't the only thing to love about him. His three-run homer turned a one-run deficit into a two-run advantage; the blast was the driving force in Eugene's 8-6 win over Vancouver.

Looking to bounce back from a less-than-stellar previous outing, Hayden Wynja got the start for Eugene and battled through his day despite not having the best command. Wynja allowed two runs - both earned - over his four innings of work, striking out two and finishing with a no-decision on the night.

Geison Urbaez was on the bump for Vancouver (6-6) and did himself no favors in his first inning of work. The right-hander hit lead-off batter Diego Velasquez, who advanced two bases via a wild pitch and throwing error on a pick-off.

Zach Morgan made Urbaez pay, singling home Velasquez to give the Ems an early lead.

The first four batters of the second reached base for Vancouver as Wynja struggled with command. Jackson Hornung lined a double to left to tie it at one.

Wynja punched out the next batter and rolled a 6-4-3 double-play to end the inning.

Wynja allowed four hits on the day, his second run allowed on the day came in the third as Nick Goodwin swatted a single to right which brought home Dasan Brown.

A pair of knocks and a walk brought up Scott Bandura with the bases juiced for Eugene. He made weak contact on the 2-2, looping the ball into center and slamming his bat in frustration.

The frustration ended up being a blessing in disguise for the Emeralds.

Andrew Kachel's risky decision to test the center-fielder's arm paid off. He tagged from third and scored on the sac fly. Velasquez - who singled - tagged from second and scored via an errant throw from Vancouver's catcher.

Eugene's first three batters of the inning reached base, but the weak fly to center brought home the lone pair of runs in the third.

An error put a Vancouver batter on second with one down in the fourth, but reliever Stephen Blair navigated the threat nicely to end the inning unscathed.

Former Duck Josh Mollerus entered in the fifth for the C's with a runner on third and one down. Back in his college town, he looked right at home fanning the first two batters he faced.

Mollerus's second frame of work was not nearly as successful. A pair of knocks and a walk loaded the bases for Justin Bench whose infield single brought home Matt Higgins and doubled Eugene's lead. Chay Yeager entered in relief and immediately rolled a double-play to limit the harm.

Of course, In order for the Ems victory to be in the come-from-behind fashion. They would have to trail again, Vancouver added three straight singles, one of which coupled with a fielder's-choice tied the score in the seventh.

Then, Matt Higgins stepped to the plate and with one swing, gave Vancouver the lead. He launched a mammoth home run to left-field, the no-doubt blast made it 6-4 going into the seventh-inning-stretch.

Cam Cotter earned the win and was stellar in his fourth outing of the year, his 2.1 scoreless innings of relief were key in the come-from-behind victory.

A rally sasquatch appearance was not needed, the Ems only required the bottom of the eighth to complete the comeback.

Jack Payton singled home a run, cutting the C's lead to just one when Kachel stepped to the dish with two runners on.

Johnathan Lavallee's 2-0 fastball was center-cut, Kachel knew it was gone off the bat. The blast ricocheting off the scoreboard in right provided an emphatic soundtrack for yet another victory.

"There's nothing else to say, Ems win again." Kachel deadpanned post-game.

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