The Hillsboro Hops did it again. Thursday night was not an echo of Wednesday nor a mirror image of the past. Yet, it was still the Hops over the Boise Hawks, 6-1, again. The Hops slowly built a lead through out eight innings before Boise got on the board with a Hidekel Gonzalez solo shot over the left field fence with one out to stop the shutout.
Again, a Hops pitcher started seven quality innings. This time it was Riley Smith (W, 4-3) who limited the Hawks to no runs on two hits while striking out seven. Matt Peacock pitched the final two innings allowing Gonzalez’ home run and one other hit.
Garrett Schilling started five innings for the host team keeping the Hops scoreless on two hits. It seemed while the starters were on the mound, runs would be scarce and who ever managed to cross the plate would win. That all started to change in the sixth when Brian Browning (L, 0-1) took the mound.
Eudy Ramos and Drew Ellis singled to set up the bases for a Daulton Varsho double to bring them home. That would be enough for the win yet Varsho came home on a Tra’Mayne Holmes sacrifice fly to right just in case. At the end of the sixth, score Hillsboro 3, Boise 0.
Yan Sanches singled with one out and scored from second on Eudy Ramos’ RBI single up the middle in the seventh. Score Hops 4, Hawks 0.
Finally, in the eighth, Tra’Mayne Holmes reached base on a fielder’s choice, stole second and scored on Ryan Tufts double. Tufts came home on a Yan Sanchez double. Score 6-0, Hillsboro.
Yan Sanchez shined in the Idahoan night going 4 for 5 with a double. Five other Hops batters hit safely including Eudy Ramos and Daulton Varsho with multi-hit games. Varsho and Ryan Tufts had doubles for the other two Hops’ extra base hits.
With offensive support very much appreciated by the pitching staff, it was the Hops pitching that kept the game under control. The Hops have allowed two earned runs in the last two games. Tonight, they struck out nine and allowed only one walk. With that effort, the Hops swept Boise in the three-game series.
The Hawks were limited to four hits all night. Two were by JB Moss, a single in the first and another single in the ninth. The other two were Hidekel Gonzalez solo shot in the eighth and Cole Anderson’s single in the sixth. Gonzalez’ home run was the only extra base hit for the Hawks.
The win vaulted the Hillsboro Hops (3-1) into sole possession of first place in the Southern Division. Salem-Keizer lost and dropped back into a second-place tie with the Eugene Emeralds one game behind. The Boise Hawks (0-4) are now three games behind the division leader.
The Hops will travel to Eugene for a three game-series that will lead them up to the all-star game. The Hawks will remain home to face the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes for a three-game series of their own.
Photos by Craig Mitchelldyer-Hillsboro Hops
By Greg Stoker