Ryan Dobson seemed everywhere on the base paths while the Hillsboro Hops left the Tri City Dust Devils at the starting gate 11-0. At times, Ryan even seemed to be his own reflection. In the first inning, Ryan singled up the middle. When pitcher Adrian Martinez threw a wild pitch, Ryan immediately set off for second. Catcher Blake Hunt recovered and threw a wild throw of his own that bounced into center field. Dobson ended up on third and came home for the game’s first score on Andy Yerzy’s double.
Then it was Déjà vu, Ryan Dobson all over again
Ryan Dobson stepped up for his second plate appearance of the game in the third inning. Ryan’s second single of the night parked him at first. When Adrian Martinez tried to pick Ryan off first base, his throw went wild and bounced down he right field line. Ryan ended up at third where Jose Caballero singled Dobson home, doubling the score 2-0.
The Hops Weren’t Done
By now, there was a pattern becoming evident. In the fifth inning (another odd numbered inning), Ryan Dobson led off with a single. In a crafty move, Ryan took off on a hit and run as Jose Caballero grounded out to short. But, Ryan’s head start saved the Hops from a double play and Ryan made it to second. This time, it was Joey Rose’s turn to bring Ryan home with his double. Added to that, Joey came home on Jake McCarthy’s single. For the third odd inning in a row, the Hops doubled their score to 4-0.
The Irony Of It All
In the seventh inning (yes, another odd inning), Jose Caballero led off with his second homer of the year. Later in the inning, Jorge Perez came to the plate with the bases loaded. Jose’s double split the gap between center and right field and made it to the fence, clearing the bases. For the fourth consecutive odd inning, the Hops doubled the score to 8-0. The irony is that Ryan Dobson did not come to the plate. Ryan was the only Hops not to come to the plate.
The next inning, the pattern was broke. The Hops scored three runs in an even numbered inning. Maybe because they realized they wouldn’t be coming to the plate in the ninth. Either way, Ryan Dobson led off the eighth with a double. Dobson’s hit should have been a single but Ryan stretched it to two bases on pure hustle. He later scored on Andy Yerzy’s double. Joey Rose followed with a ‘no-doubt’ homer that sailed over the left field fence. The blast was measured at 427 feet and an exit speed of 104 MPH.
All of the offense could not be contributed to just one man. Every Hops batter got at least one hit. Together, they smacked five doubles and two home runs. All but two Hops batters scored a run, including Ryan Dobson with four. The team amassed 18 hits. Enough for each batter to have two hits each. The team batted .439 for the night.
Offense is only half of a winning formula. Gloves sparkled throughout. Jose Caballero covering third gave two back-to-back gems in the top of the second. In the fifth, after a sharp double play, Keyshawn Lynch leapt high to snare Reinaldo Ilarraza’s darting line drive over his head to end the inning. The defense was as sharp as the offense.
Just as amazing, the pitching was top notch. Five different pitchers picked up the ball and kept zeroes lining across the board. Ryan Weis started and pitched the first inning. Kenny Hernandez (W, 2-1) followed with five innings for the win. Luis Castillo, Trevor McKenna and Kai-Wei Lin wrapped up the game. It was this team that did not allow one single run for the visiting team. Amazingly, the Dust Devils managed five hits on the night, one from each Hops pitcher
The win maintained the Hillsboro Hops (18-8) lead on top of the Southern Division of three games over the Boise Hawks (15-11). With the loss, the Tri City Dust Devils (13-13) are now in a three-way tie atop the Northern Division with the Vancouver Canadians and the Everett Aquasox.
Both teams will continue their five game series with game#2. RHP Ryan Weiss (0-0) is scheduled to start for the Hops. Adrian Martinez (0-1) will start for the Dust Devils.