Hillsboro Hops Relief Smothers Emeralds, 7-4, Taking Series
The Hillsboro Hops took the three game series over the Eugene Emeralds with a 7-4 win Monday night. Plenty of Hops bats saw action tonight but it was the stellar pitching of Hillsboro’s relief crew that pinned back the Emeralds.
Hops starting pitcher Max Duvall left after two innings due to an undisclosed ailment. Duvall allowed three runs on three hits and left with the Hops behind, 3-1. For the game, there was nothing to worry about.
Trevor Simms relieved and went nearly four innings before stepping down for Palmer Betts and Jake Winston. The three pitchers combined for seven innings of one hit/one run relief that allowed the Hops to breathe easy. Betts (1-0) got the win and Winston (S, 1) earned the save.
Hillsboro struck first in the starting inning. Anfernee Grier continued to shine at the lead off spot with a ground rule double and stole third, waiting for Justin Chigbogu’s single to score.
Eugene came back the next inning with three runs of their own and temporarily took the lead. Kevonte Mitchell doubled and went to third on a passed ball, scoring on Connor Myers single. Tyler Payne walked and moved to second on Myer’s single. A wild pitch sent Payne to third. Tyler and Myers scored on DJ Wilson’s double.
Eugene held the lead for a few innings but the Hops took it back with three runs of their own in the fifth. Except for Josh Anderson’s single with one out, the rest of the damage was done with two outs. Luke Lowry doubled Anderson home. Manny Jefferson’s single brought Lowry and Marcus Wilson home to regain the lead.
The lead was momentary since the Emeralds tied it up the following inning with Kevonte Mitchell working his way around the diamond with a fielding error, a stolen base, a throwing error and a Tyler Payne single.
That was it for Eugene. Hillsboro used the seventh, eighth and ninth innings to add one insurance run a piece for the final score of 7-4. Josh Anderson scored from third on a double play. Anfernee Grier doubled and came home on Josh Anderson’s single. Marcus Wilson walked and worked his way around the bases for the final score.
Everyone in the Hops batting line up hit safely at least once, with a couple of hitters doing more damage. Josh Anderson continued his torrid pace going 3 for 5 and upping his average to .317 with one RBI and two scores. Anfernee Grier, who is becoming clutch, went 3 for 5 with two doubles and two scores. Marcus Wilson scored twice and Manny Jefferson knocked in two runs. Jason Morozowski, Justin Chigbogu, Luke Lowry, Connor Owings and Sergio Alcantara completed the perfect line up.
The Emerald batters managed four hits on the night. Kevonte Mitchell scored twice and had one hit. DJ Wilson, Tyler Payne and Connor Myers also hit safely.
The Hillsboro Hops (12-13) gained another game on the Eugene Emeralds (17-8), climbing to within five games and taking the series 2-1.
The Hops take Tuesday off and come back home to start a five game series with the Everett Aquasox Wednesday night at 7:05 on Ron Tonkin Field. The night will feature the world famous San Diego Chicken. The Emeralds also take Tuesday off and head out on the road for their own five game series at Tri-Cities.
By Greg Stoker