Francis Martinez Slugs Hops Past Volcanoes 6-4
After a game where the bats spoke very softly, a few Hillsboro Hops bats woke up and sang loudly. Francis Martinez led the barrage over the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, 6-4, with three hits and three RBI. Joey Rose followed their first baseman with three hits of his own. Only two others managed a safe hit. In a strange match-up, the winning team (eight hits) was outhit by the losing team (ten hits). The Hops made up the difference with five walks to zero free passes for the home team.
Explosive Beginning – Quiet Ending
The mound turned out to be a sieve for both sides as no pitcher emerged unscathed for the first six and a half innings. But once the runs stopped, they stopped for good. Matt Frisbee and Trevor Horn combined for the home team to shut down the Hops for the last three innings on just one hit. Salem was countered with a two hit shut down by Cristofer Ogando (H, 2) and Chester Pimentel (S, 4).
Despite the complete take over of the game from the mound, the game belonged to those who started the contest. Ryan Weiss (3-R, 3.2 IP) started for the Hops and was relieved by Kenny Hernandez (W, 5-3) who gave up only one run in three innings for the win. Miguel Figueroa (L 1-4) took the loss for the Volcanoes.
Francis Martinez Three RBI
Hillsboro took command by scoring five runs before Salem could get on the board. In the second inning, Francis Martinez doubled home Joey Rose from first base. Martinez followed Joey home on Dan Swain’s ground out. In the third, Andy Yerzy came to the plate with the bases loaded. With a throwing error by first baseman Robinson Medrano, Jake McCarthy scored and the bases remained loaded. Joey Rose followed with a sacrifice fly scoring Jorge Perez and leaving runners at the corners. Finally, Francis Martinez singled LT Tolbert home.
Hillsboro owned the lead at 5-0 and it proved enough for the win. However, the scoring hadn’t stopped. Salem finally scored in the third and added three more runs in the fourth to gain within two runs. After a trade-off of one more run apiece, the gap remained at two runs and held for the rest of the game.
The win for the Southern Division leading Hillsboro Hops (14-8) increased their lead to three games. The loss dropped the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (11-11) another game down the standings but remained in second place. With 16 games left in the second half, the Hops are starting to separate from the rest of the division because of the 7-3 record of the last ten games, all on the road. After this road trip, the Hops return for an eight-game home stand starting Monday.
Both teams will return to Volcano Stadium for another game (#2) of the three game series. The Hops take a 1-0 lead and have a chance for a quick clinch of the series Saturday night. Neither team have announced their starting pitchers.
This Monday, August 20th, will not only see the Hops return home but also the Portland Mavericks as well. Also joining the home team will be 17 veteran alumni from the original Mavericks including players, coaches and front office staff of the legendary team. Read about the event. Even more, show up to cheer.