Collin Sullivan Sails Through Hillsboro Hops Win Over Ems, 7-2
Collin Sullivan clamped down on the Eugene Bats while his teammates used their bats to break free. The Hillsboro Hops used offense and defense to hold the Eugene Emeralds down for a 7-2 shellacking.
The Morning After
After everyone wakes up the next morning, fans will remember Collin Sullivan (W, 1-2) using seven strikeouts and fine ball control to keep the Ems guessing as sliders touched outside corners. Most fans will also remember AJ Vukovich slamming his second home run as a Hops or Ronny Simon’s two doubles in back to back innings. But most fans won’t remember the defense.
One image that might carry over to tomorrow is the sight of Jorge Barrosa in the first inning. As he caught Armani Smith’s long shot to the fences just before crashing into the chain link and bouncing off with ball in glove for the last out of the inning.
Another image might be Blaze Alexander rushing up to grab Marco Luciano’s grounder bare-handed. Then quickly throwing to first in one motion before Luciano could bring his foot down on the bag. Again, the final out of the inning, this time in the second.
Defense Backs Collin Sullivan
But, more importantly, the game was filled with fine defensive moves from all positions during the game. Moves that might seem routine to the average fan, but the trained eye would recognize the crispness of the throws and quick releases to keep the Ems’ base runners on their toes. Both teams would commit one error on each side of the score sheet but for the most part, the game was sharp.
Collin Sullivan’s Break Through
However, this was Collin Sullivan’s game. The young lad started his third game for the Hops, still looking for his first win in Hillsboro. His first two attempts were fraught with trying to control the plate. At times, his efforts showed his potential trying to break through. Other times, he looked like the victim trying to figure it out. This time, it was all Collin on the mound breaking through the Ems’ bats for the win. Along the way, he controlled seven strikeouts in five innings.
Wesley Rodriguez and Liu Fuenmayor (S, 2) followed to finish the game allowing only one more run from the Emerald’s bats. Unlike last night, this time the Hops silenced the Ems’ bats and prevented a last minute comeback. Both relievers allowed only one hit apiece. Not enough for the Ems to make a dent.
Hops’ Bats Come To Play
The Hops offense deserves their credit as well. AJ Vukovich started it off with a one-out homer in the second followed by two singles by Axel Andueza and Nick Dalesandro. Newcomers Elian Miranda and Elijah Greene brought both home. Blaze Alexander took a more painful route in the third. He was hit by a pitch to get on base. Luckily, he shook it off and scored on Andueza’s sac fly.
There was more to come. Tristin English singled and came home on Andueza’s single in the fifth. Axel must be the travel secretary for the team as he is pretty good at getting people home. Finally, Dalesandro and Miranda walked and singled to get on base in the eighth. Barrosa brought Dalesandro home with a ground out. Ronny Simon hit a double for the second inning in a row to bring Miranda home for the final score.
Rivalry Stays Strong
Eugene deserves some credit as well. Ricardo Genoves and Logan Wyatt teamed up in the third for back to back doubles for the Ems’ first score of the game making it 3-1. Brett Auerbach walked and scored on Jairo Pomares (one of last night’s heroes) RBI single making it 5-2.
Blake Rivera (L, 0-2) started for the Ems and gave up four runs on six hits in three innings. Nicholas Avila covered the next three innings for another Hops run. Solomon Bates closed the last two innings for the last two runs for the Hops.
The win helped the Hillsboro Hops (46-57) to gain a game on Vancouver who lost tonight and are one and a half games behind the Canadians and fourth place. The Hops also distanced themselves away from Tri City. Four and a half games now separate the two.
The loss dropped the Eugene Emeralds (59-46) and they flipped places with Everett who won tonight. The Ems are now a half game behind first place. Spokane gained a game on Eugene and are only a half game behind second place.
Both teams meet again Thursday night at 7:05 PM for game#3. The Hops tied the series at 1-1. The game will also be College Information Night hosted by Pacific University MBA. If you can’t make the game, you can watch it on Root Sports or MiLB.tv, listen to it on 620 AM radio or follow me on Twitter for half inning updates. You will find my Twitter handle below