Ryan Dobson scored from third on Jose Caballero’s ground-out to take the lead in the tenth inning. The Hillsboro Hops held on for the 5-4 victory over the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes in extra innings.
The game started with plenty of scoring for the host Volcanoes, punctuated by David Villar’s two-run blast. The visiting Hops finally got on the scoreboard in the third inning with Ryan Dobson and Tra Holmes’ back to back doubles.
It was in the fifth where the Hops’ bats woke up for the lead. After Jake McCarthy walked, Ryan January’s RBI double started the scoring. Tra Holmes was then hit by a pitch to set the stage for Jorge Perez’ two-run double. The three runs gave the Hops the lead for the first time of the night. The lead held up until the eighth when the Volcanoes’ Christopher Burks scored on David Villar’s RBI single and tied the game.
Pitching hit/miss for night.
Ryan Weiss started for the Hops and was relieved after the three run first inning. The pitching staff limited S-K to one more run for the rest of the game, that being the tying run in the eighth. Wesley Rodriguez (W, 3-0) was the pitcher of record when the Hops went ahead in the tenth for the win. Kai-Wei Lin (S, 1) earned his first save of the season. Kenny Hernandez took the lion’s share of innings covering the second through one out in the sixth. Kenny allowed no runs on five hits, three strike outs and one walk.
The Volcanoes started Sean Hielle who pitched a respectable first inning. Sean gave up only Jose Caballero’s lone single. Jesus Tona (L, 0-1) pitched the ninth and tenth, giving up the go ahead run for the loss. Both teams combined for 17 strike outs.
The Hillsboro bats were alert enough for eight hits. Tra Holmes led with two hits, going 2 for 3. Tra also had one of five doubles for the Hops. Jorge Perez, Jake McCarthy, Ryan January and Ryan Dobson also doubled.
Diego Rincones led the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes with three of the team’s eleven hits. Along with David Vilar’s first inning home run, the Volcanoes were also powered by Ricardo Genoves’ double and Jose Layer’s triple.
With the win, the Hillsboro Hops drew into a tie with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes for first place in the Southern Division. Both team meet again Friday for the rubber game. RHP Matt Tabor (1-1) will take the mound for the Hops. RHP Gregory Santos (2-0) will start for the Volcanoes.
New Rule For This Season
The game featured for the first time a new rule in extra-inning games. Both teams start the inning with a runner placed at second base with no outs. For the Hops in the tenth, it was Ryan Dobson. Wander Franco took the head start for the S-K Volcanoes.
“We believe these changes to extra innings will enhance the fans’ enjoyment of the game and will become something that the fans will look forward to on nights where the game is tied late in the contest,” said Minor League Baseball President Pat O’Conner. “Player safety has been an area of growing concern for our partners at the Major League Baseball level, and the impact that lengthy extra innings games has on pitchers, position players and an entire organization was something that needed to be addressed.” According to the MiLB website.
The extra runner is the batter previous to the normal lead-off hitter. The reasons for these changes are three-fold. It will help alleviate the shortage of pitchers after an extra innings game the night before. It will also help from using a position player in times of shortages or the transferring of pitchers from other levels to fill in for the shortage.
Rafael Pujols assigned to the Kane County Cougars on Thursday. In his two days Pujols with the Hops, Rafael did not make an appearance. The right-handed pitcher did appear in three games for the Hops earlier in the season, averaging one strike out per inning.