Andy Yerzy’s second inning solo shot started the scoring but it was the fifth inning that blew a tight, low-scoring game wide open when the Hillsboro Hops scored six runs and went on to defeat the host Vancouver Canadians 10-1. The victory also cemented the Hops firmly in the playoffs by earning the first half crown for the Southern Division.
One of the major stars for this game would be the pitching staff. Jackson Goddard started for the Hops and went two short innings on limited duty. Bryan Lizardo scored on the starter when Christopher Bec launched a sacrifice fly to right fielder Zach Hoffpauir. The run tied the game at 1-1. The Canadians were scoreless the rest of the way.
The win went to Andy Toelken (W, 1-0) who followed Jackson. The last five innings, the home team was near hitless as well, swatting only one more hit for the night. Jake Polancic, Kai-Wei Lin and Josh Green combined for those five innings of relief.
Andy Yerzy Solo Home Run
Hops batters controlled the plate as much as their pitchers. The bats were led by Andy Yerzy going 3 for 5 with three runs and two RBIs. Andy also hit the game’s lone home run, a solo shot in the second that was the first score of the game. His fellow teammates joined Andy as all nine either got a hit, a walk or both. Tra Holmes and Ryan January each scored two runs. Jake McCarthy and Tra joined Andy by getting two hits apiece. Joey Rose and Jake also joined Andy with two RBI. Jake added the only other extra base hit with his RBI double in the sixth.
It was the sixth inning that blasted the doors wide open. All nine batters came to the plate. With one out, pitcher Denis Diaz walked Jose Caballero with the bases loaded. Andy Yerzy singled home Tra Holmes with his line drive to center. After a pitching change, Ryan January scored on a wild pitch by Joey Pulido. Caballero then scored on Joey Rose’ sacrifice fly. Jake McCarthy doubled home Yerzy. Finally, McCarthy stole third base and added home to his list when Pulido threw wide to third. The Hops scored three more runs in the ninth while sending eight batters to the plate.
Hillsboro Wins Crown
The news of the night came with September in mind. With this win, The Hillsboro Hops (23-12) clinched the first half crown of the Southern Division. They not only will be going to the playoffs in a little over a month from now, they have also tied a league record by going for the fifth consecutive year. The Hops have now made the playoffs in five of the six years that the team has been playing in Hillsboro, since their move from Yakima in 2012.
The Vancouver Canadians (17-18) still have a chance to win the Northern Division crown, sitting only two games behind the division leading Everett Aquasox (19-16). The Tri City Dust devils stand tied with Vancouver in second place. In a close division race, the Spokane Indians (16-19) still remain in the hunt three games behind the leader. The first half will end Monday night.
Both teams will return Saturday night for game three of the five game series. The teams have split the first two games. RHP Ryan Weiss (0-0) is scheduled to start for Hillsboro. RHP Jose Espada (1-3) is expected to take the mound for Spokane.
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