Hillsboro Hops Bomb Vancouver Canadians, 7-0
What a difference a day makes. Last night, the Hillsboro Hops made six errors in giving away the game in a 6-2 loss to the Vancouver Canadians. Tonight, the tables were flipped upside down as the Hops took the Canadians 7-0 behind the dominating pitching of Jared Miller, and the generosity of Vancouver’s defense.
The scoring started in the top of the first. Zach Nehrir slapped a deep grounder to third baseman Ryan Metzler for an infield hit as the throw wasn’t in time. Luis Veras punched another single past Metzler putting men on first and second. Trevor Mitsui came to the plate. As starting pitcher Evan Smith released the pitch, both Nehrir and Veras took off for a double steal. Mitsui knocked the pitch to Metzler as Nehrir neared third but Metzler bobbled the ball for an error. Nehrir headed home.
Luis Veras rounded third as shortstop Rolando Segovia gathered up the errant ball and threw home to try and catch Veras. The throw went high and Veras was safe at the plate. Trevor Mitsui went to third on the error. The final damage was when Dane McFarland sacrificed to center field bringing Mitsui home. Hops led 3-0.
The top of the third inning was a repeat. Luis Veras left no suspense when he homered to left to start things off. Trevor Mitsui reached first on a wide throw by Rolando Segovia. Mitsui took second on the error. Dane McFarland then knocked Mitsui home from second with a double. The Hops next two batters struck out bringing Alexis Olmeda to the plate with two outs. McFarland promptly stole third with no effort from the Canadians to stop him. Olmeda singled up the middle scoring McFarland. The Hops lead 6-0.
The Hops added one run in the top of the sixth. Joey Aquino relieved Brandon Hinkle to start the inning. Aquino was the third of six pitchers the Canadians would use tonight.
Alexis Olmeda looped a single into center field. Fernery Ozuna followed with a grounder to first baseman Gabriel Cenas. Olmeda was thrown out by Cenas’s quick thinking throw to shortstop Rolando Segovia but the throw back to first was not in time to catch Ozuna in a fielder’s choice. Zach Nehrir came to bat. Ozuna promptly stole second. Nehrir hit a deep liner to right fielder Juan Tejada, dropping in for a hit. Ozuna scored from second base. Hops went up 7-0.
Jared Miller has been strong in this early season. Miller pitched eight strong innings allowing three hits and no runs. He walked two batters and struck out one. Miller brought his ERA down to 0.90 for the season. Ryan Burr came on to close the ninth inning in near perfect relief striking out two of the three batters he faced for no hits and no runs.
The Hillsboro Hops (6-6) climbed into a first place tie with the Eugene Emeralds while the Vancouver Canadians (6-6) fell into a second place tie with the TriCity Dust Devils, three games behind the Everett Aquasox. Both teams continue tomorrow night with the last game of the five game series. Vancouver leads it 3-1.
By Greg Stoker