Eric Rivera Singles Home Go Ahead Run, Vancouver Canadians Over Hops, 6-4
Eric Rivera reached base all four times he was at the plate. It was his third time, another single, that brought home Rafael Lantigua from second base that mattered the most. At the time, it only gave the Vancouver Canadians a 5-2 lead but it would prove to be the game winning run after the Hillsboro Hops scored two more runs. Final score: 6-4, Vancouver.
Scoring Small Chunks
For the most part, scoring would come one run per inning at a time. The first run came from the Hops when Blaze Alexander walked in the second inning, stole second and scored on a single by Axel Andueza and an error on Canadians shortstop Luis De Los Santos to become an unearned run. It would be the only time the Hops would have a lead.
Eric Rivera Ties Game
The next run came a half inning later in an eerily similar fashion. Eric Rivera walked, stole a base and came home on Zac Cook’s single and a Hops error by second baseman Cam Coursey, also an unearned run. The run scored by Eric Rivera tied the game.
Eric Rivera Part of Big Explosion
Then came the big explosion. Vancouver sent eight men to the plate in the fourth. Three runs crossed the plate. All of the offense came with two outs. Ryan Gold walked and scored on Rafael Lantigua’s RBI double. Phil Clarke walked and scored on DJ Neal’s RBI single. Finally, Lantigua scored on Eric Rivera and his RBI single. The 4-1 lead seemed probably safe but it wasn’t.
Eric Rivera Pushes Lead Back to Three
The Hops chipped one run off the lead in the bottom of the inning when Eduardo Diaz doubled and scored on Nick Dalesandro’s RBI single. However, Rafael Lantigua answered back in the sixth. He led off with a walk and scored on Eric Rivera and his single. The score not only pushed the lead back to three runs but would become the winning run at the end of the game.
Being pesky little Hops, they immediately scored another run to cut the lead down to two runs again when Spencer Brickhouse hit his second homer in back to back nights. This time, it led off the inning with no one aboard.
The night was not done. In the seventh, Sebastian Espino led off the inning with a single and came home on Phil Clarke’s RBI single. The lead grew back to three runs. In the eighth, Dom Canzone led off with a walk and scored on Eduardo Diaz’ RBI single. The lead shrunk back to two and became the final score.
Twelve Pitchers Used in Game
Despite the average score, both teams went through twelve pitchers combined. Starters Luis Quinones for the Canadians and newcomer Josh McMinn did not last through five innings to qualify for a decision. The Big difference was the three-run inning that gave the Canadians the lead for good. Every time the Hops inched closer, the Canadians would put another inch on the scoreboard. Those three runs made the Hops’ Wesley Rodriguez (L, 1-2) take the loss. Normally a very dependable middle relief/near closer, the combinations of two walks, a double and two singles to go along with near efficient base running was too much. Vancouver’s Adrian Hernandez (W, 3-1) earned the win and Parker Caracci closed the ninth for his league leading seventh save (S, 7).
Vince Harrison Argues Strike Zone
Another hurdle for the night was the apparent disagreements in the strike zone. It culminated in a boiled over frustration by Hops manager Vince Harrison when he bolted out of the dugout over one of the calls. In the bottom of the eighth, Andy Yerzy struck out on a disputed call with two outs, three men on base and behind by two runs. With Yerzy at 6’3”, Vince thought the strike was below Andy’s strike zone. Manager Vince Harrison was ejected almost immediately by home plate umpire Steven Rios, Jr. when he stormed out of the dugout and got in Rios’ face.
Fellow umpire Ray Patchen had to get between the two to get a hold of the situation. Vince’s failure to leave in a timely manner may lead to a fine, suspension or both. Either way, the strike calls were less debated after that.
The win kept the Vancouver Canadians (32-34) on pace with Everett who also won tonight. They are still eleven games behind the league leader. Vancouver also gained a game on the team behind them, Spokane, and now have a two game lead over the fourth place Indians.
The loss dropped the Hillsboro Hops (28-36) to 14 games behind Everett. But, the Hops take the series 4-2. Next week, the Hops travel to Eugene to take on the Emeralds. Vancouver stays home at the Tonk to host league leaders Everett Aquasox.