Hillsboro Hops Mighty Bats Aquasox 10-1
The Hillsboro Hops mighty bats exploded again but this time they had company as the Hops defeated the Everett Aquasox 10-1 in a not-so-close contest. All ten runs for the visitors came before the host team could reach the scoreboard themselves. By then, it was far too late.
This time, the Hops mighty bats came and so did the pitching. After last night’s slugfest, the Hops bats did themselves one run better and the pitching did themselves eleven runs better mounting to a demolishing of the Aquasox.
With twelve hits, two triples and four doubles, the Aquasox had no chance to keep up. It started with the fourth. Before that, mounds on both sides kept the bats in check. But, Aquasox starter Juan Then (L, 0-3) faced a brutal inning pitching to seven batters with no relief in sight.
Big Hits, Big Scores
The fourth inning barrage started with Jesus Marriaga tripling home Tristin English. It continued with Liover Peguero doubling Marriaga across the plate. Corbin Carroll copied with his double bringing Peguero all the way. It ended with Carroll finishing the circuit on Joe Gillette’s sacrifice fly. By the end, the 21 pitches gave Then a premature 71 pitch count, thus effectively ending his night. The 4-0 deficit for the Aquasox didn’t help either.
The Hops mighty bats weren’t even halfway done. In the sixth, Gillette doubled English and Marriaga onto the scoreboard. The eighth saw Carroll triple home Peguero and then score himself off of Gillette’s single. With the score at 10-0, the Hops were done for the night. Just for good measure, the Aquasox finally got on board in the bottom of the inning when Utah Jones scored from Cade Marlowe’s sac fly.
Tyler Holton Promising Performance
Tyler Holton (W, 2-0) started for the Hops and mastered the plate from the beginning. Going the full five innings and now up to a 51 pitch count, the ace allowed just one hit and struck out eight batters. Only twelve of those pitches failed to cross the plate for a strike. In addition, not one batter walked to first base.
Since being promoted from the AZL D-backs on July 16th, Holton has shown a steady increase that makes it hard to hold him to the pitch count progression normally assigned to young pitchers. Usually, a young pitcher will get a couple of one inning outings to work his arm up to strength. In Holton’s case, he went two innings in his first game, three innings in his second and four in his third.
Holton hit a bump in the road for his fourth game when he allowed five runs in two short innings but got back on track tonight with five innings. The one stat that speaks the loudest is his strikeout totals. In only 16 innings, Holton struck out 25 batters. At this rate, he should be allowed a 75 pitch count and however many innings that will take him in a game or two.
The win maintained the Hillsboro Hops (11-6) one game lead over the Eugene Emeralds for first place in the Southern Division. The loss dropped the Everett Aquasox (7-10) to two games behind the Northern Division leading Spokane Indians.
Both teams return Monday night for game two of the three game series. 2019 All-Star Deyni Olivero (7-1) starts for the Hillsboro Hops. Olivero leads the league in wins and ERA (1.76). In his last outing, a week ago Sunday, Olivero pitched a scoreless third inning for the win.
Damon Cassetta-Stubbs (3-1) starts for the Aquasox. His last start, on July 30th, Cassetta-Stubbs lasted four innings, giving up two runs on three hits for the loss. Game time is 7:05 PM.
After that, stay with the Minor League Sports Report for game recaps throughout the season. Follow me on Twitter for half inning updates on all Hops home games.