Hillsboro Hops Hold on for 5-4 Win, Take Division Lead
The Hillsboro Hops made a one run lead over the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes last seven innings for the win, 5-4. The winning run was scored in the third inning when Stephen Dezzi led off with a walk followed by a Nate Irving grounder that bounced over short stop CJ Hinojosa’s head to put runners at the corners. Jake Peevyhouse hit into a 6-4-3 double play that scored Dezzi and gave the Hops a 5-4 lead. It was not expected to be the winning run but neither team would score again the rest of the way.
The game was expected to be a pitcher’s duel, and it was. But, not until after the second inning and not until after the starting pitchers were chased off the mound by relentless bats in the first two innings. The Hillsboro Hops pounded Volcano pitcher Andrew Leenhouts with four runs on five hits before the first inning was over. Leenhouts was chased after two-thirds innings with the Hops leading 4-0. The Hops Cody Reed lasted a bit longer. Reed pitched two full innings but also allowed four runs but on seven hits. Both pitchers entered the game with sub-2.00 ERAs. Of Reed’s seven hits, five were for extra bases: three doubles and two home runs.
Then the pitching duel started. Volcanoes pitching allowed one run on seven hits over the next seven innings but it would not be enough. Hops pitchers allowed no runs on four hits for the last seven to win the game, 5-4. Will Landsheft (2-2) came on in the third to relieve Cody Reed for the win and started the chokehold that Hops pitching would hold over the Volcano bats. Kirby Bellow and Taylor Clarke set up the plate for closer Brody Greer (S-2) to earn the save.
Jarret Leverett (0-2) pitched the third inning for the Volcanoes, allowing the winning run and received the loss. Eric Sim, David Owen, Corey Taylor and Ryan Halstead combined for over seven innings of shut-out relief but it was too late.
The first inning for the Hops was an eruption as they sent all nine batters to the plate. Alexis Olmeda drove a line drive over short stop CJ Hinojosa’s head to score Fernery Ozuna from third. Nate Irving smacked a grounder up the middle that scored Olmeda after Alexis stole second to put himself in scoring position. After Trevor Mitsui walked on a full count, Jake Peevyhouse poked a single through the right side hole to score both Irving and Mitsui.
The Volcanoes were able to tie the game quicker and easier than expected by the Hops. In the first inning, Richard Amion and Ronnie Jebavy hit back to back doubles to score Amion. The second inning proved brutal for the Hops. Fernando Pujadas doubled to the deepest part of center field just before CJ Hinojosa (2) powered a blast over the left field fence for a two run homer. Before the inning was over, Julio Pena hammered his fifth home run of the season over the same left field wall to tie the game.
For the Hops, Alexis Olmeda and Nate Irving both went 3 for 4, scoring one run and a RBI. Olmeda upped his team leading BA to .358 while Irving brought his up to .298, good for second on active players.
The Volcanoes were led by CJ Hinojosa who went 3 for 4, scored a run and had two RBIs. CJ was short only a double for the cycle hitting for a single, triple and a homer in the game.
The Hillsboro Hops (8-4) have raised themselves to sole position of first place in the South Division, one game over the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (7-5). The Hops are on a six game winning streak. When they started the streak, the Hops were alone in last place. They have now elevated all the way to the top.
Both teams will meet Tuesday night for the final game of the three game series. The Hops lead it 2-0.
Note: Zach Nehrir will “likely to be out the rest of the season” due to the wrist injury per Hops radio. The Hops are down to just four outfielders on the active list. It is yet to be known if or when they are bringing in another outfielder to the roster.
By Greg Stoker