Bo Takahashi Thwarts Eugene Emeralds; Hillsboro Win 1-0
The Hillsboro Hops stopped the seven game winning streak of the Eugene Emeralds with a tightly pitched 1-0 squeaker. The lone run came for the Hops in the bottom of the third when Ben DeLuzio reached first on a fielder’s choice and scooted over to second on a balk by Eugene starting pitcher Erling Moreno. DeLuzio quickly darted home when Jason Morozowski beat out a slow roller to second baseman Yeiler Peguero for an infield hit.
After canceling last night’s game in Spokane due to thunder and lightning, the Hops came home to start the final home stand of the regular season. The odd part is that they are finishing the regular season against the Emeralds in a three game series only to start the playoffs one day later with a three game series against the self-same Emeralds.
Eugene made the playoffs by winning both the first and second halves of the regular season. If the same team wins both ends, then the team with the second best overall season record wins the second playoff spot. At worst, the Hops will end with a 40-35 overall record if they lose the last two games against Eugene. At best, Salem-Keizer will end with a 33-41 and Boise with a 34-22 record.
Eugene did have a chance to tie the league record for wins (57-19) if they swept the series against the Hops. But that chance evaporated among the wet drizzle of the evening game that kept fans in doubt if they would see a full game or a rain out. Hillsboro would not get the chance to see two games canceled in a row. Eugene had been on a seven game winning streak shortly after finishing a thirteen game win streak before that.
Hops starting pitcher Bo Takahashi pitched six innings of top notch ball keeping the Emerald batters away from the scoring plate. Takahashi (W, 5-2) limited the visiting second half crown winners to four hits with four strike outs and only one walk for the win. Riley Smith, Jake Winston and Kevin Ginkel all came to the mound for one inning each keeping the scoreboard empty for the Emeralds giving up only one more hit on the night. Ginkel (S, 2) took the mound in the ninth to record the save.
The Emeralds pitching staff did a fine job giving up the one run and only three Hops hits for the game. Erling Moreno (L, 2-1) pitched five innings that would normally win a game giving up the one lone run on two hits. It was that lone run of the game, in part aided by Moreno’s balk, that saddled Erling with the loss. Michael Knighton took the mound for a hitless sixth. Tyler Peitzmeier piched the final two innings, giving up one more hit and no runs.
Hillsboro won the game despite only getting three hits. There was Jason Morozowski’s RBI single in the third along with Justin Chigbogu’s single in the fourth. The final hit came in the seventh with Ben DeLuzio’s single. Neither team had an extra base hit.
The Emerald bats had five hits on the night interspersed through out the innings. Wladimir Galindo led off the second with a single. DJ Wilson singled in the third. Trent Giambrone singled in the fourth. Yeiler Peguero singled in the sixth and Galindo singled in the eighth to become the game’s only batter with more than one hit.
The win for the Hillsboro Hops (21-14) chipped a game off of the Eugene Emerald’s (26-10) lead. Both teams will meet Sunday afternoon for a 1:05 pm game before the season-ender on Monday night. The Hops lead the three game series 1-0.
Hops notes: Hillsboro received two more players to the team roster. Wesley Rodriguez comes from the AZL league D-Backs where he started five games but earned no decisions despite maintaining an 0.00 ERA. The 19 year-old RHP originally came from George Washington high school out of New York, NY. He was drafted in the 12th round in 2015.
Jason Heinrich is the other addition. The Diamondbacks traded CF Michael Bourn to the Baltimore Orioles for the 20 year-old left fielder on August 31st. Jason comes from the New York-Penn league where he played for the Aberdeen Iron-Birds. In 2016, Heinrich has gone 34 for 147 for a .231 average. Known for power, 8 of those hits were doubles and 3 were homers. He was drafted in the fifth round in 2015.
By Greg Stoker