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Breaking Down Why the Ems Won'T Host Postseason Action

September 16, 2021 - Northwest League (NWL) - Eugene Emeralds News Release

EUGENE, OR - There's a lot to unpack here in the final week of the regular season; so, let's do exactly that. We'll take a look at what the current final series of the regular season looks like, what the playoffs look like, and where you can expect to see Emeralds postseason baseball.

PLAYOFFS AT PK PARK?: Let's immediately address the elephant in the room: there will be no playoff games at PK Park this season.

Last night, the Emeralds clinched a berth in the High-A West Championship Series behind a 6-0 win over the Tri-City Dust Devils, one of Eugene's most well-rounded performances of the season to date. However, the Ems will unfortunately be unable to host any postseason action at the ballpark they've called home for a decade now.

The reason for that is simple: our annual lease at PK Park runs out every year on September 10.

If you're reading this, then you likely already know that the Emeralds and Oregon Ducks baseball team share the University of Oregon owned and operated PK Park.

Prior to this season, the Emeralds had operated as a short-season team with a schedule that began in mid-June and concluded, including playoffs, within the first week of September. Thus, our annual lease at PK Park has run from June 15 to September 10 for more than a decade

With the Minor League realignment that took place prior to the 2021 season, the Emeralds transitioned from being a short-season team (78 games) to a full-season team (120 games in 2021 | 136 games in 2022). Obviously, that creates overlaps that did not exist prior.

This year, the Minor League Baseball regular season schedule alone extends past that September 10 'move-out' date. In fact, that is why this week's regular-season-ending series against the Tri-City Dust Devils, which was previously scheduled to be a home series for the Emeralds, will instead be played in Pasco, Washington in order to honor our lease obligations with the University of Oregon. The Emeralds, however, will still play as the 'home' team and bat in the bottom half of each inning during this week's series in Pasco.

In short, the Oregon Ducks have requested that we adhere to our previous agreement and cease baseball operations at PK Park, and the Emeralds have honored that agreement while dealing with the understandably awkward situation of playing a 'home' series on the road and additionally not being able to host playoff games in our first year playing High-A baseball as an affiliate of the San Francisco Giants.

While the University of Oregon has graciously been flexible in terms of accommodating our new, extended spring schedule this year, our home schedule must be cut short to accommodate the Oregon Ducks baseball team's spring practice and various Oregon home football game needs.

Currently, our small staff is working tirelessly around the clock to thoroughly clean PK Park, comply with requests put forth by the Oregon baseball beam and the University of Oregon.

PLAYOFF PICTURE: Now, on a more positive note, the playoff picture has come into focus after last night's action in the Northwest.

Both Eugene and Spokane entered Wednesday night with a magic number of just one, meaning that, essentially, a win would put each respective team into the postseason.

The Ems and Indians each did exactly that. Eugene earned a 6-0 victory over the Tri-City Dust Devils while the Indians eliminated the Everett AquaSox behind a 6-3 victory, thereby earning a postseason berth for Spokane.

With four games to go in the regular season, the High-A West Championship Series is solidified: the Eugene Emeralds vs. the Spokane Indians.

The matchup between the Ems and Indians will be a best-of-five series that will determine the High-A West Champion. The series is slated to start on Tuesday, September 21.

The entirety of the series will be played at Avista Stadium in Spokane, Washington.

IN CONCLUSION: So, there you have it, and now.... we wait. It goes without saying that the Emeralds would love, in the organization's first year as a San Francisco Giants affiliate playing High-A ball, to go for a championship in front of our home fans.

Unfortunately, that's not in the cards... this year.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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