The Vancouver Canadians spent their whole wad building up a lead to 4-2 but had nothing left to protect it against the Hillsboro Hops, losing eventually by 7-4. In the fifth inning, Andy Yerzy’s home run traveled like a speeding bullet launched off his bat at 109 MPH. 342 feet later, the ball sailed over the right field fence, seemingly within touching distance of the right field line.
But the game was only half over. There were still four innings to go where the Canadians could easily make up the one run and lurch ahead. The feeling still spurred the Hops bats onward. At the top of the seventh, Geraldo Perdomo launched another missile over the right field fence, traveling 409 feet at 99 MPH. The ball sailed high and far.
Andy Yerzy Starts Home Run Parade
Finally, Last night’s hero, Will Gorman, led off the eighth and final inning for the Hops offense with a triple that sped at 109 MPH over the centerfielder Hunter Steinmetz’ head bouncing before Big Blue in center, the park’s deepest part. Any other area in fair territory would have been another home run for the night’s power trio. What Andy Yerzy started, Gorman finished.The score stood at 7-4 for the win.
The combination of power at the plate and control on the mound earned the win for the hometown Hops. While bats launched sky rocket after sky rocket, the fastballs, sliders and curves attacking from the mound did their part. Hops starter Matt Mercer got blown off the mound in the first two innings. Normally a shut down ace, the former Duck who had not allowed a run before this, became blistered for four runs on six hits. Five of them were doubles amounting to four runs and a 4- deficit for the Hops to climb out.
Hops Pitching Shut Down Vancouver Last Half
Reliever Trevor McKenna (W, 2-1) came to the mound in the third and immediately gave up another double. After that, Hops pitching combined for a shut out the rest of the way, retiring 16 batters in a row. Canadian Jake Brodt’s double in the eighth created Vancouver’s first base runner since the beginning of the third inning. He was also the last.
McKenna faced and retired nine batters after Jesus Severino’s double in the third. Ryan Miller (H, 1) shot down another three lumberjacks. Chester Pimentel (H, 2) took the air out four more batters’ sails. A series of seven fly-outs, four strike-outs and five groundouts paraded before the home crowd ruled the game while the Hops continued to score. Josh Green (S, 6) came on in the ninth for his sixth save. Starting pitcher for the Canadians, Jose Espada (L, 2-4), took the loss.
The win maintained the Hillsboro Hops (7-3) lead in the Southern Division. The Hops sit two games above second place Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (5-5) . All four southern teams won their games. With the loss, the Vancouver Canadians (5-5) remained a part of a three-way tie, one game behind Northern Division leading Spokane Indians (6-4). All northern teams lost tonight. Both teams return to Ron Tonkin Field for game three Friday night. Hillsboro leads 2-0.
This week’s installment of former Hops climbing the ladder features those with the AAA Reno Aces. Check them out.