Sports Zone, Springfield

‘Embree Era’ underway: Franchise’s 2nd head coach stresses timely hitting

SPRINGFIELD – The Springfield Drifters wrapped up their first home stretch in the 2024 West Coast League season on Sunday with a 2-1 victory over Bend, putting them at 3-6 on the season. Now going into their away series against the Elks, head coach Alan Embree is focused on one thing: timing. 

“(We need) timely hitting,” Embree said. “We’re banging out hits but they’re not timely hits. We need some good two-out hits. I mean we play defense and we pitch; we keep ourselves in the game with our offense.”

To Embree’s point, the Drifters racked up 28 hits in three games against Bend, but left 26 runners on base. 

Embree took over head coaching responsibilities after former head coach Tommy Richards accepted a position as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Washington State University.

Richards was the head coach of the Drifters for the first two seasons of the organization, and was head coach of Bushnell University in Eugene. The Drifters were 39-69 in the West Coast League under Richards.

After Embree’s first series as Springfield’s head coach, he stressed the team’s need for energy. 

“(We need) better defense, working ahead in the count, and timely hitting,” Embree said after a 22-6 loss against Yakima Valley. “We played an emotional game the first night and lost. We played a good game last night and won, and we just kind of let up tonight. I didn’t feel the energy and effort that was required to do the job tonight.”

Since the series vs. Yakima Valley, Embree said he has seen improvements on the defensive side. After a run differential of -23 in the series against the Pippins, the Drifters sit at a -2 run differential against Bend after three games. Despite the improvements, winning games remains the sole focus for Springfield.

“At some point you get tired of losing one-run games with mental mistakes and physical mistakes,” Embree said after the game against Bend on Sunday. “And for the boys to get it done, even though we had the one miscue there in the outfield, we found a way to make it happen. It’s just a matter of time, it’s a good group of boys.”

The Drifters continue league play with a series at Bend Tuesday-Thursday before returning to Hamlin Sports Complex on Friday-Sunday to face Cowlitz.

DRIFTERS DATA CENTER

RESULTS
Tuesday, June 4
Yakima 5, Springfield 2
Wednesday, June 5
Springfield 13, Yakima 11
Thursday, June 6
Yakima 22, Springfield 6
Friday, June 7
Bend 7, Springfield 5
Saturday, June 8
Bend 4, Springfield 3
Sunday, June 9
Springfield 2, Bend 1

SCHEDULE
Thursday, June 13
Springfield at Bend, 6:35 p.m.
Friday, June 14
Cowlitz at Springfield, 6:35 p.m.
Saturday, June 15
Cowlitz at Springfield, 6:35 p.m.
Sunday, June 16
Cowlitz at Springfield, 4:05 p.m.
Tuesday, June 18
Springfield at Corvallis, 6:35 p.m.
Wednesday, June 19
Springfield at Corvallis, 6:35 p.m.
Thursday, June 20
Springfield at Corvallis, 6:35 p.m.


Tuesday, June 4
Yakima 5, Springfield 2
(Home games at Hamlin Field)
Yakima 0000000010013–5 8 0
SPR 0100000000010–2 6 1
WP–D.Jackson. LP–J.Upton
Yakima: HBP–P.Allen. RBI– J.Sheward, D.Dillehay (2). SB– P.Allen, B.Morgan. Team LOB–12.
SPR: HBP–E.Maris, R.Dykstra. SB–D.Woodcook, R.Dykstra, J.Peper. Team LOB–14.

Wednesday, June 5
Springfield 13, Yakima 11
Yakima 400030220–11 9 1
SPR 00124510x –13 13 2
WP–T.Manyo. LP–K.Edler
Yakima: 2B–P.Allen. HBP– D.Koester, M.Guardado. RBI– C.Wayne (3), G.Brubaker, B.Peterson (2). SB–P.Allen, B.Morgan, J.Angulo. Team LOB–9.
SPR: 2B–B.Stinnett, D.Woodcook. HBP–K.Kinzie, C.Updegrave, G.Cooper, E.Kennel. RBI–K.Kinzie, K.Sandow, G.Cooper (2), D.Woodcook (4), E.Kennel (3), A.Guana. SB–E.Kennel. Team LOB–8.

Thursday, June 6
Yakima 22, Springfield 6
Yakima 102064252–22 25 0
SPR 000011202 – 6 15 2
WP–E.Salscheider. LP–K.Larsen
Yakima: 2B–S.Shipman, P.Allen (2), J.Sheward. 3B–D.Ballenia. HBP–J.Angulo. RBI–C.Wayne, P.Allen (2), R.Schuerman (2), A.Hinojosa (2), J.Sheward (4), P.Fregoso (4), D.Ballenia (4). SF– C.Wayne, P.Fregoso (2). Team LOB–13.
SPR: 2B–A.Guana, N.Miller, J.Peper. HBP–A.Lobetos, E.Maris, B.Robertson, S.Chandler. HR– E.Maris. RBI–A.Lobetos, K.Kinzie, N.Miller, E.Maris, B.Robertson, J.Upton. Team LOB–15.

Friday, June 7
Bend 7, Springfield 5
Bend 000200221 – 7 12 1
SPR 301001000 – 5 10 0
WP–R.Madariaga. LP–B.Dotson
Bend: 2B–V.Salvione, C.Calnon. HBP: B.Ott. HR–E.Admunson. RBI–V.Salvione, I.Burke, E.Admunson (3), T.Johnson. SB–V.Salvione, C.Calnon. Team LOB–11.
SPR: 2B–B.Stinnett, A.Guana. HBP–B.Robertson (2). RBI–E.Maris, G.Cooper (2), D.Woodcook. SB–D.Woodcook. Team LOB–7.

Saturday, June 8
Bend 4, Springfield 3
Bend 1000100011 – 4 5 2
SPR 0200000010 – 3 7 2
WP–E.Lay. LP–T.Hammond
Bend: 2B–V.Salvione, E.Admunson. HBP–R.Christiansen. HR–J.Miller. RBI–E.Admunson, J.Miller. SF–J.Miller. CS–R.Christiansen. SB–R.Christiansen. Team LOB–6.
SPR: 2B–D.Woodcook. 3B–A.Miller. HBP–B.Stinnett. RBI–A.Miller. SB–E.Kennel, A.Miller (2), S.Chandler, A.Lobetos. Team LOB–9.

Sunday, June 9
Springfield 2, Bend 1
Bend 000000010 – 1 8 3
SPR 00200000x – 2 11 0
WP-A.Gottfried. LP–C.Calnon
Bend: 2B–A.Cazorla. RBI–V.Salvione. SB–B.Ott (2). Team LOB–7.
SPR: HBP–B.Stinnett. CS–G.Bushnell. Team LOB–10.

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