Despite a 13-38 record coming into tonight’s game the Gems have been playing in some of the most important games remaining in the 2014 West Coast League regular season. On this night in Bend the Gems dealt a serious blow to the Elks and their playoff aspirations with a 9-3 win.
For the first four innings Jordan Kron of the Gems and Jake Thompson of the Elks matched each other zero for zero, but in the top of the fifth the stalemate was broken. Kyle Dozier reached by way of a Nick Osuna error that would be one of three he would commit on the evening. After some small ball got Dozier down to second, Thompson uncorked two wild pitches to give the Gems the 1-0 advantage.
The sixth inning was where most of the offense occurred and the Gems started a rally with one man out that forced the Elks to use three pitchers in the inning. The Gems batted around and had a streak of eight straight men reaching safely to plate six runs in the inning, taking a 7-0 lead that they would not look back from.
The Elks offense all came on just one swing by Billy King in the bottom of the sixth. With nobody out and two men on King crushed a 0-1 fastball that cleared the right field wall by plenty and momentarily turned it into a game at 7-3.
But the Gems offense did not just have one big inning in them, they continued to tack on runs. They scored one run in the seventh on a throwing by Nick Osuna, and one more in the eighth on a Zach Reemer RBI single to extend the lead to 9-3.
Jordan Kron was great in his seven innings of work giving up just the home run on his way to collecting his first win of the season. Michael Hirko relieved him and threw two shutout innings despite getting into a jam in the eighth.
The loss of the Elks and the win by the Applesox later in the night has locked Wenatchee and Bend into a virtual tie for the final playoff spot, the wild card. The Elks hold the tie breaker, and will host the Gems for an even more important game tomorrow at Vince Genna Stadium. First pitch is slated for 6:35PM with Austin McGeorge scheduled to go for the Gems.