Ricardo Genovés and Eugene started off the High-A West Championship Series in Spokane, but it seemed more like the Emeralds’ city.
That might have been particularly true for the Giants’ No. 18 prospect, who homered 13 times over 103 games in the regular season, but smacked two long balls and a double to power Eugene’s 15-7 victory in the Finals opener. But it wasn't much of a surprise to first-year Emeralds manager Dennis Pelfrey because of the work his backstop puts in on a day-to-day basis.
For the past three weeks, Genovés has been working hard on his swing in the batting cages. "He's really committed to the plan and it showed up tonight," Pelfrey said. "He hit one [homer] to the opposite field and one to dead center. ... He almost had a third, he got robbed of the third."
The Emeralds, who finished the regular season just a half-game ahead of the Indians, built an 8-0 lead with one out in the first inning. After top San Francisco prospect Marco Luciano tripled in a run, Genovés smacked one of the club's three long balls that frame to right field off southpaw Helcris Olivarez (Colorado’s No. 14 prospect).
The 22-year-old catching prospect then went deep again to center in the third off righty Moises Ceja. In the fifth, Genovés picked up the first hit off righty Andrew Quezada, a double off the center-field wall.
"He brings a lot of energy every single day, which is really important for our ballclub," Pelfrey said of his catcher. "He keeps guys accountable. He handles the [pitching] staff very well, he commands the strike zone for guys.
"He understands what it's going to take to get him to the big leagues. But one of the things I love most about him is that he wants to get better today. He wants to be better today."
The Venezuela native went 3-for-4 with four RBIs and two runs scored. Leadoff hitter Ismael Munguia racked up a team-high five hits, scored four times and drove in two. And Luciano was 3-for-5 with two runs and an RBI while also making some key plays at shortstop.
"[Marco's] been putting a little bit of undue pressure on himself," Pelfrey said of Luciano. "He had some success at Low-A San Jose. It wasn't going well for him early. ... We wanted him to see that he doesn't need to be 'the guy' here, he just needs to be part of it. And that kind of clicked for him today."
All the run support gave starter Seth Corry a cushion to work with over his three frames. The Giants’ No. 11 prospect struck out five while allowing a run on one hit and plunking a batter.