Brett Shanklin pitched eight near perfect innings and the Hillsboro Hops needed it to win a tight one over the Vancouver Canadians, 1-0. Shanklin (1-0) pitched a two-hitter and struck out seven for the win. Cameron Gann (S-2) came on for the final inning, retiring the side on eleven pitches for the save. Shanklin brought his ERA down to 0.64.
It wasn’t just the pitching that kept the Canadians away from home. The Hops had several instances of fine to great fielding. In the top of the fourth, after Andrew Guillotte walked to open the inning, Ryan Metzler singled down the first base line moving Guillote to third. Metzler tried stretching his hit into a double but right fielder Luis Veras quickly got the ball back to the infield catching Metlzer between bases. Metzler was tagged out in the run down. Justin Atkinson came to the plate next and slapped a grounder to third baseman Josh Anderson but, instead of throwing to first, Anderson gunned down Guillotte at the plate. The Canadians went from having a runner on third with no outs to a runner at first with two outs.
The Canadians pitched well but not enough for the win. Francisco Rios (2-5) started the game and went six innings allowing one run on three hits for the loss. Rios struck out seven. The Hops were only allowed four hits the entire night.
The only scoring came in the fourth inning. With two men out, Josh Anderson ripped a hard line drive into the left-center gap and to the fence for a stand up double. Luis Veras followed with a single up the middle on the next pitch and Anderson hustled home for the game’s only score.
Even for a game that featured only one run and six hits from both teams combined, there was action on the field. In the bottom of the third, with one out, Galli Cribbs, Jr., was hit by a pitch from Francisco Rios to gain first base. When Fernery Ozuna came to the plate, Cribbs stole second ahead of the throw. Short stop CJ Cardenas couldn’t get the handle and the throw bounced into center field. Cribbs scooted over to third but he would not get any further. Ozuna struck out and new Hops Dansby Swanson grounded out to second.
One more Hops runner would reach third base that night without scoring. In the bottom of the fifth, Stephen Dezzi led off with a hard hit to the left centerfield gap and bounced to the fence. Dezzi would slide into third for a triple with no outs and three batters with a chance to bring him home. BJ Lopez struck out swinging on the fifth pitch. Galli Cribbs, Jr., struck out on his fourth pitch. Fernery Ozuna sent his fourth pitch to second baseman Ryan Metzler for the force out.
Josh Anderson went 2 for 3 with a double and scored the Hops lone run. Luis Veras and Stephen Dezzi both went 1 for 2 getting the Hops other two hits. Veras’ single brought home the lone RBI in the game.
For the Canadians, Gunner Heidt went 1 for 3 getting the Vancouver’s second hit of the night. The first hit came from Ryan Metzler in the fourth.
The Hillsboro Hops (10-5) maintained a tie with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes for the lead in the South Division. The Vancouver Canadians (6-9) fell to three games behind the North Division leading Everett Aquasox.
Both teams play Friday night for the third game of the five game series. The Hops lead it 2-0.
By Greg Stoker