Canadians Walk Home, Beat Hops 2-1
Canadians walk home in the top of the ninth inning, scoring the winning run of the game. Vancouver had two hits for the game but walks were plentiful as the Hillsboro Hops broke their own record for walks issued in one game. Eleven Canadians took a walk to first and beat the Hops 2-1.
Andy Yerzy Returns
The last time Andy Yerzy wore a Hops uniform, it was the bottom of the ninth with two outs. It was in September of 2019 and it was the fifth and final game of the championship series. Two men on base, two outs and needing two runs to tie the game.
Yerzy stepped up to the plate and into Hops folklore. Andy smashed a three run walk-off homer over the fence and delivered to the Hops their third championship trophy in their short six year history.
With a close game, the home crowd hoped the legend would grow. The home crowd almost got it.
Second Inning Teaser
Yerzy led off with a single and moved to third and Tristan English’s following single. A sacrifice fly by Spencer Brickhouse and the Hops took the early lead. It would hold for two innings. Until the visiting Canadians tied the game in similar fashion. Cameron Eden led off the inning with a single and later scored on a throwing error by Hops’ first baseman Brickhouse.
Going For a Canadians Walk
Then the walking started. The first walk to Vancouver was already issued at the top of the second. Two more walks came the Canadians way in the third. Along the way, Cameron Eden singled and scored his run on the throwing error to tie the game. In the fifth, three walks loaded the bases. A double play ended the inning before any runs could score.
The game settled down for both teams after that. Luis Frias, who added the last two walks to load the bases, had thirteen and fourteen pitch innings to breeze by the visiting batters. It looked like the game might go into extra innings.
But, before that could happen, Andy Yerzy hit his second single of the night and was followed by another single by Tristan English. The fans and teammates could smell scoring in the air. However, the inning ended in a double play.
Canadians Walk the Walk
Top of the ninth held the answer to the game. Spencer Horowitz led off with a walk. After two outs, DJ Neal walked, moving Spencer to second. Sebastian Espino came into the game as a pinch hitter and… you guessed it… walked forcing Spencer to third. Finally, Rafael Latigua turned a full count into a third walk in a row and fourth of the inning to force Spencer home and take the lead.
Kai-Wei Lin came in to relieve Nick Snyder on the mound and threw a three pitch strikeout to stop the bleeding.
One Final Chance
The Hops had three more outs to tie the game again. Andy Yerzy was slated for the fourth spot in the inning. He would come to the plate if someone could reach base, Reece Hampton singled and on the first pitch to Blaze Alexander, stole second. Yerzy came to the plate with two outs and a runner in scoring position. On his second pitch, Yerzy slapped a grounder to first baseman Ryan Gold and Ryan stepped on the bag for the final out of the game.
There were two competing stories and only one could find an ending. The Canadians finished their story of walking before the Hops could repeat history.
Standings – Canadians walk into first place
With the win, the Vancouver Canadians (11-4) took sole position of first place with the Eugene loss. The Hillsboro Hops (5-10) fell to six games back of the lead with the loss. Both teams will meet again for game four of the six game series Friday night at 6:35 PM. Vancouver leads the series 3-0.
You can catch tomorrow night’s game on MiLB.tv or listen to it on 620 AM. Otherwise, you can follow me on Twitter for half inning updates.
In other news, Corbin Carroll had his season-ending surgery. I’ll update more of the story in next week’s column on Tuesday morning. Until then, catch the story of what led up to the surgery in my last column, Week 2: Hope & Perks.