Hillsboro Hops Outhit and Lose to Emeralds 2-1
The Hillsboro Hops outhit but could not outscore the Eugene Emeralds. The Hops fell in a tight game throughout 2-1 to the Ems for their third loss in a row. Much, for the same reasons as they lost two days ago. The reason why the Ems won had little to do with the number of hits at the plate. But, the number of runs scored had everything to do with what happened at the plate.
Nick Dalesandro singled in the second inning but was followed by a fielder’s choice and two strike-outs. In the fifth, the Hops erupted with three singles which scored David Garza who had the first single of the inning. And, that was the rub. There were no more hits besides those four singles.
Singles can be very hard to score. A home run scores immediately along with anyone else who happened to be on base. A triple will clear the bases and the runner will usually score later in the inning. Two doubles will generate a run. But singles? Singles usually take three hits to score one run. The least efficient hit on the diamond.
That is not to take anything away from the glorified single. It has its place in the Hall of Fame as do the other hits. But, someone has to get on base to set it up. A runner needs to be in scoring position. That is why the Hops needed three singles in the fifth to score their only run of the night. With no extra base hit to precede or follow the single, the hit had little effect in the vacuum of being by itself.
…Trumped by Home Run and Double
So, did the Hillsboro Hops outhit the Emeralds or were the Hops outhit by the Emeralds? Eugene only had two hits compared to the Hops four. But, they scored twice as many runs. In the fourth, Jake Slaughter slugged a home run but he was surrounded by a ground out and two strike-outs. Luckily, the home run did not need any help to score a run.
Finally, Luis Vasquez slugged a ground-rule double in the eighth inning. The difference between that hit and a single was that it was preceded by a walk where the runner went to second on a wild pitch. Automatic run because of the two bases awarded from the double.
There you have it. The Ems had only two hits the entire game. But, they also had two runs. How? Their two hits were a double and a home run. Six singles condensed into two swings of the bat.
Pitching Rules in Vacuum of Offense
However, you cannot have low scoring without good pitching, this time from both sides. A combined nine pitchers allowed only three runs. Missing only the bottom of the ninth since the Ems were ahead, that calculates out to a .176 ERA.
The brightest stars of the mound tonight were Chris Katchmar (W, 3-0) and Riley McAuley (S, 5) for the Ems along with Ryne Nelson, Nick Snyder and Eduardo Herrera for the Hops. All five pitchers not only kept their batters without a score but hitless as well covering 7.1 innings. Trevor McKenna (L, 1-2) allowed the ground rule double scoring the eventual winning run, tagging him with the loss.
The loss dropped the Hillsboro Hops (20-14) to two games behind the Southern Division leading Salem-Keizer Volcanoes with four games left to play in the first half. The win pulled the Eugene Emeralds away from the Boise Hawks and hold third place alone, four games behind the Hops.
The Emeralds win the three game series with still one game left to play. Both teams meet in PK Park tomorrow night for the third and final game. The Hops have a chance to avoid the sweep. Tyler Holton (1-0) will start for the Hops.
Josh Burgmann (0-0) will start for the Ems. The 2019 fifth round draft choice will make his third appearance for Eugene. So far, Burgmann has allowed one hit and no runs in three innings for a 0.00 ERA.
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