Classic 4th of July Victory for Boise Hawks
More than 5,000 fans showed up in Eugene last night for a baseball game and Fireworks, what they got was a marathon celebration that lasted into July 5th.
The Boise Hawks scored four runs in the top of the 20th inning to outlast Eugene 7-5 in a game that lasted five hours and 59 minutes before ending at 1:07 a.m.
The bizarre game featured a Eugene catcher pitching four scoreless innings, an umpire running to his locker to check the rulebook, a row of lights in right field going out, and an inside-the-park homer that capped the night that turned into morning.
The two teams combined for 44 strikeouts, breaking the Northwest League record of 42 set by Eugene and Salem-Keizer in 2014. Eugene's 24 strikeouts tied the league record set by Everett in 2010.
The game fell just short of a few other NWL records as the longest game remains Eugene's 6-5 win over Everett in 25 innings that began on Aug 18, 1989 and ended six days later after 7 hours and 13 minutes of play. Boise's Daniel Jipping went 0-for-9 and struck out in his first six at-bats to fall one shy of the NWL record of seven strikeouts in a game set by Ruben Sierra Jr. of Spokane in 2011.
The game was tied 2-2 after 9 innings then both teams scored a run in the 11th to make it 3-3. Then nothing until the 20th inning when Boise exploded for 4 runs. The Emeralds countered with 2 runs in the bottom of the 20th but fell short losing 7-5.
Both teams had 14 hits but the big difference was 5 errors by Eugene compared to none for Boise.
About 1,000 fans stayed for the Fireworks which seemed anti climactic after a 20 inning game with so many story lines.
The two teams play again tonight in Eugene before the Hawks return home to host Vancouver tomorrow night.