Hillsboro Hops Blast Tri-City Dust Devils 9-1
The Hillsboro Hops struck early and often on the night, leaving the Tri-City Dust Devils behind, 9-1. On the day that the Hops reached an agreement with the parent club Arizona Diamondbacks to extend their working relationship two more years through 2018, the Hops said thank you with a decisive win.
On the night, all but one of the starters hit safely in the game going 13 for 33 as a team. Stephen Smith went to town going 3 for 4 on the night, scored, had a double and an RBI. Justin Chigbogu went 2 for 4, scored twice and hit a solo home run when he led off the fifth. It was Chigbogu’s team leading third homer of the season and tied Luke Lowery, who took tonight off, with a team leading eight RBIs
Marcus Wilson went 1 for 3 scoring off of Steven Smith’s ground rule double to center in the second and knocked in Alexis Olmeda in to score with his sacrifice fly to center field in the fifth. Josh Anderson went 2 for 5, having a big inning in the third when he doubled home Anfernee Grier and Jason Morozowski and later scored in the inning off of Alexis Olmeda’s sacrifice fly to center.
Anfernee Grier, Jason Morozowski, Alexis Olmeda and Marcus Wilson hit safely in the game. Eight different batters scored in the game while Justin Chigbogu scored twice. Josh Anderson and Marcus Wilson led the Hops with two RBIs each. Grier. Chigbogu, Olmeda, Stephen Smith and Sergio Alcantara also knocked in a run. Overall, the hits, runs and RBIs were spread out pretty evenly amongst a team that was hot tonight.
The Hops pitching was just as convincing as the Hillsboro bats. Colin Poche started for the Hops going three innings of scoreless ball with three hits and four strikeouts. Trevor Simms (2-1) relieved Poche for the next three innings allowing no runs on one hit for the win. Palmer Betts followed in the seventh and allowed Tri-City their lone run on two hits. Jake Winston closed out the eighth and ninth innings allowing no runs and just one hit. All together, Hops pitchers allowed one run on seven hits with nine strike outs.
Dust Devil starter Joey Luchessi (0-1) went two innings before leaving with two runs and three hits on the scoreboard for the loss. Braxton Lorenzini followed with two more innings where he allowed seven runs on seven hits. Jesse Scholtens and Dalton Erb finished off with two scoreless inning each.
Tri-Cities lone run came in the seventh when Carlos Sosa scored on a Boomer White line drive to left. Nate Easley was thrown out at the plate trying to score on the same play.
The Hillsboro Hops (9-11) gained a game on South Division leading Eugene and remained tied with Salem-Keizer in second place, five games behind. The Tri-City Dust Devils lost a game of their lead over the Everett Aquasox who are now only one game behind the North Division leaders.
Both teams return Thursday night for game four in the five game home stand for the Hops at Ron Tonkin Field. Hillsboro leads the series 2-1.
By Greg Stroker