Eugene Emeralds, Aramis Ademan Blister Hillsboro Hops, 11-2
It was going to happen sooner or later as the Hillsboro Hops weren’t going to win every game of the second half. They were blown out by the home team Eugene Emeralds, 11-2. Prior to that, the Hops entered Saturday’s games on a nine-game winning streak on the road. They had swept the Vancouver Canadians to win the first half championship and swept the Boise Hawks to start off the second half. Their ninth win came against the Emeralds Friday when they started the three-game series with their perennial foe down south.
The scoring blitz started early and came hard at the Hops. The Emeralds scored two runs in the first, three runs in the second and five runs in the third to lead their visiting opponent 10-2. The lone Hillsboro scoring came in the third and was a drop in the bucket.
Ryan Dobson, who was called up earlier in the day, made his Hops debut batting eighth in the line-up with a single to start the third. Jorge Perez followed with another single and both runners scooted into scoring position on a wild pitch. Yan Sanchez filled the bases with a walk. In fitting fashion for the night, Hillsboro’s first run of the game came on a run scoring double play that reduced bases-loaded with no outs into a man on third with only one score and two outs.
The Hops second and final run came on a wild pitch by starting pitcher Javier Assad (W, 2-4) when Jorge Perez came home a few minutes later. Assad lasted six full innings limiting the Hops to those two runs on only two hits, striking out five for the win. Erick Uelmen and Jake Steffens followed with three innings of scoreless two-hit ball and struck out another six batters for a total of 15 Hops strikeouts.
Tyler Keele (L, 3-4) lasted 1.1 innings before being mercifully pulled in the second. Keele left after the score grew to 5-0 and two men were on base with one out. Yeison Santana came to the mound and struck out Austin Filiere for a quick second out. Before he could finish off the next batter, Gustavo Polanco, Brandon Hughes was caught trying to steal second base and the second inning was over.
Santana went three more innings allowing five more runs on seven hits. Jose Martinez and Kevin Ginkel had the only Hops success on the mound limiting the Emeralds to one more run on zero hits for the last three innings of the game. By then, it was too late for the Hops.
The Hops managed four hits on the night, all singles, two of them by newcomer Ryan Dobson. Daulton Varsho and Jorge Perez had the other hits in the game. Dobson and Perez scored the lone runs for the road team.
It was the Emeralds batting that lit up the night. Eleven runs on twelve hits fueled the efficient scoring of the home team. Five of those trips to first were doubles extending to second. Austin Filiere’s two-run homer in the first opened up scoring for the game after Brandon Hughes doubled. Gustavo Polanco had the hottest bat going 3 for 5. Aramis Ademan did the most damage going 2 for 4 with two doubles and four RBI. Chris Carrier had two hits.
Despite the loss, the Hillsboro Hops maintained their one game lead over the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes and first place in the Southern Division. The win propelled the Eugene Emeralds into a second-place tie with Salem-Keizer, tightening the early race for the second half championship.
Both teams return to PK Park for the third and final game, a rubber match with both teams tied at 1-1 for the series.
Hops notes: Ryan Dobson was promoted from the AZL D-Backs Saturday. Dobson was a 30th round draft choice of the Arizona Diamondbacks in this year’s draft. The Fresno State Bulldog infielder is 6’0” and 175 lbs. During his four-year college career, Ryan played in 181 games, He went 120 for 450 and a .267 batting average. Ryan made his debut in a Hops uniform as the designated hitter going 2 for 3 and scoring a run.
By Greg Stoker