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Heroes Abound in Tri-City’s Comeback Win over Eugene

September 3, 2023

Major contributions both from up and down the lineup and in the field helped the Tri-City Dust Devils (21-37 2H, 55-69) come back for an 8-7 win over the Eugene Emeralds (30-30 2H, 64-62) Sunday evening at PK Park, earning Tri-City a split of their final road series of 2023.

Major contributions both from up and down the lineup and in the field helped the Tri-City Dust Devils (21-37 2H, 55-69) come back for an 8-7 win over the Eugene Emeralds (30-30 2H, 64-62) Sunday evening at PK Park, earning Tri-City a split of their final road series of 2023.

2B Will McGillis’s first home run as a Dust Devil, a one-out blast to left in the top of the 9th off Eugene reliever Nick Morreale (6-5), proved the difference. The visitors put together another total team effort, with four home runs in the final four innings, for the victory that gave Tri-City the season series win, 16 games to 14, over Eugene.

The Dust Devils scored in the top of the 1st inning for a second straight game to get things started. C Gustavo Campero reached on a fielder’s choice, then got to second when the throw to force him out for a double play sailed into the Emeralds dugout. Campero stole third with RF Alexander Ramirez up, scoring when Ramirez struck out but reached on a dropped third strike.

The 1-0 lead doubled in the top of the 4th, beginning with a Ramirez double to lead off the inning. He stole third, coming home a batter later on an RBI groundout by DH Joe Stewart to make it 2-0 for Tri-City. The bottom of the inning proved difficult, though, with a grand slam by Eugene 3B Brett Auerbach the big blow of a five-run frame that pushed the Emeralds to a 5-2 lead through four innings.

Going back to the drawing board, the Dust Devils dusted off a tool from Saturday’s 11-4 win to get back going in the top of the 6th: the longball. Campero led off with another shot to right-center, his second home run in as many games, to move Tri-City within 5-3. A pitch later, Ramirez crushed a low line drive high enough to get over both the left center field wall and the fencing behind it for a homer into the parking lot. The Dominican outfielder’s first home run since June 13, and fourth of the year, made it a 5-4 game.

An inning later the Dust Devils struck again, this time to take the lead. LF Casey Dana opened the frame with a single to left center, bringing up SS Andy Blake. The 2023 Ivy League Player of the Year went the same route but higher and deeper, socking a two-run blast to left-center to give Tri-City a 6-5 lead. The right-hand hitting infielder from Hopewell, New Jersey has now homered in three consecutive games.

The inning did not end there, with McGillis restarting things with a walk to get on. A groundout moved him to second and Ramirez came up with two out. Manager Jack Howell put the hit-and-run on, with McGillis breaking for third. Ramirez then pulled a ball right where Auerbach had been into left field for another hit. McGillis scored and Ramirez slid into second for his second double and RBI of the night, giving the Dust Devils a 7-5 lead.

Eugene hit right back in the bottom of the 7th, scoring twice to even the game at 7-7. They threatened again in the 8th following a two-out walk to speedy 2B Ghordy Santos. CF Grant McCray then lined a pitch from Tri-City reliever Glenn Albanese, Jr. (1-0), to left. Dana ran in and to his right, making a great diving catch to preserve the tie game and move things to the 9th.

McGillis’s home run set the table for Dust Devils righty Jake Smith to make his first appearance since August 5, against the Emeralds at Gesa Stadium. Smith issued a leadoff walk to RF Carter Howell, then induced SS Aeverson Arteaga to fly out for the first out of the 9th. LF Jared Dupere then stepped in, hitting a fly ball to deep left. Dana pulled up, seeing the ball land foul on the warning track.

A bit of chaos ensued. The home plate umpire initially signaled that it was a home run for Dupere, setting off cheers and celebration. Tri-City argued the ball had landed foul, short of the fence. After conferring, the call was corrected to a foul ball and the game continued. Dupere struck out on the next pitch, pushing Eugene to its final out with the potential tying run still at first and the potential winning run at the plate.

1B Zach Morgan faced Smith, hitting a fly ball to right-center. This time it was Ramirez running in and to his right to make the great diving catch, capping his huge day by flashing the leather to secure the win for the Dust Devils and give Smith his second save of the season.

Tri-City will now enjoy a Labor Day off at home before hosting the Vancouver Canadians for their final home series of 2023. All six games are set for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch, with much fun in store to close out the season. Broadcast coverage of the ballgames will with the pregame show at 6:10 p.m., both here and at the MiLB First Pitch app.

Tickets for the Canadians series are on sale now with special ticket rates available for groups of 20 or more. For more information on Dust Devils single game, season, mini-plan (11, 22, 33) and group tickets, visit, call the team office at (509) 544-8789, or visit the team office (10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on game nights, or Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. otherwise).