Eveld Saves Hillsboro Hops 8-6 Win over Boise Hawks
The Hillsboro Hops jumped out to an early 8-1 lead and held on for the 8-6 final as the Boise Hawks did their best to make up the difference, coming up short in the ninth.
Both teams kept it close in the early going. Hillsboro struck first when Alexis Olmeda doubled to lead off the second and scored on Marcus Wilson’s grounder up the middle.
Boise followed suit in the bottom. With two outs, Bobby Stahel doubled to center field and moved to third on Wilkyns Jimenez’ infield single. Stahel easily came home on Wesley Jones double down the right field line.
The Hops scored again in the next inning and took the lead, never to relinquish it again though the Hawks would make the Hops sweat before it was all over. Josh Anderson singled up the middle and move to second on a passed ball. Anderson scored on a Luke Lowery line drive single to right. Score: Hops 2, Hawks 1.
Hillsboro would score in four consecutive innings to build the lead. They next exploded for five runs to take a commanding lead in the fourth. They were helped by the Hawks committing four errors and two wild pitches. The only two Hops hits in the inning were singles by Stephen Smith and Alexis Olmeda.
The last run for the Hops would be Stephen Smith doubling and then coming home on Sergio Alcantara’s single to center in the fifth. Score was 8-1 and the lead felt secure.
Boise came back to almost prove them wrong. The Hawks scored their second run when Wesley Jones scored on Daniel Suero’s single making it 8-2. There was one play that seemed to sum up the night for Boise. Luis Castro hit what he thought was a foul ball. Third baseman Josh Anderson scooped it up and threw to first without Castro leaving the batter’s box. Randy Wilmes, who stood behind the plate, called him out. Hawks manager Andy Gonzales came out of the dugout arguing the call. Both he and Castro claimed the ball was off of Castro’s foot and therefore foul. No appeal was made and Castro remained out. For his efforts, Gonzales was ejected from the game.
But, that seemed to ignite Boise. The Hawks scored two runs apiece in the seventh and eight innings. Daniels Suero tripled home two of the runs, scoring Wilkyns Jimenez and Garret Hampson in the seventh. Two more runs in the eighth were Willy Abreu scoring on Wilkyns Jimenez single and Bobby Stahel coming home on Wesly Jone’s force out, 4-3.
The Hawks came to the plate in the bottom of the ninth fully intending to continue and tie the game but Hillsboro brought in reliever Tommy Eveld to keep that from happening. Eveld (S, 1) forced the Hawks to pop out to first, ground out to the pitcher and strike out swinging to save the game.
The Hops swung ten hits for the evening to score their eight runs. Luis Veras, Josh Anderson, Alexis Olmeda and Stephen Smith (who got his first professional hit tonight) all doubled. The Hawks did more damage with thirteen hits but only produced six runs.
Anfernee Benitez (2-2) started for the Hops and went five innings, allowing two runs on eight hits for the win. He was aided by several sharp plays in the field and catcher Luke Lowery picking off two runners on base.
Hawks Michael Zimmerman (0-4) started and went six innings allowing eight runs (two earned) on nine hits and six walks for the loss. Zimmerman was hurt by four errors in the five-run fourth alone.
The Hillsboro Hops (7-9) maintained five games behind South Division leader Eugene and moved into sole possession of second place. The Boise Hawks (5-11) dropped one game in the standings and are seven games in back of first.
Both teams face off tomorrow night at 6 pm at Memorial Stadium for the third and final game of the series. Both teams have won one game. RHP Tyler Mark will start for the Hops.