After two high scoring games, the Hillsboro Hops were able to slice by the Everett Aquasox 2-1 behind two RBI by Trevor Mitsui. His second drove in an insurance run in the top of the ninth and proved to be the game winner.
Cody Reed (2-1) started for the Hops and pitched six innings of scoreless ball with only three hits to earn the win. Reed was also in control with ten strikeouts tying the individual record for the Hops in a game this season. Myles Smith (S-3), who allowed a late inning home run by Logan Taylor, struck out pinch hitter Adam Martin to end the game and get the save.
Lane Ratliff (0-2) started for the Aquasox and pitched 6.2 innings. Ratliff gave up one run on two hits and six strike outs but earned the loss.
The scoring started in the second inning. To lead off, Trevor Mitsui smacked his third homer of the season to right field. Little did anyone know that almost proved to be enough after two nights where the Hops scored eight and eleven runs respectively. The Hops would not get another hit until the seventh inning when Zach Hoffpauir lined a single to center field.
The Hops winning run came in the ninth. With one out, Fernery Ozuna grounded to third baseman Connor Hale, but was fast enough to beat the throw to first. After a groundout by Luis Veras that moved Ozuna to second, Trevor Matsui stepped to the plate. At that time he was the only player in the game with an RBI. He added his second when he lined a shot into the left-center gap for a stand up double. Fernery sped home to give the Hops the insurance run they would need to win the game. Mitsui’s night ended when Jeff Smith was brought in to be a pinch runner. He never got past second base.
The Aquasox came up to the plate for their last chance. Myles Smith was brought in for the Hops to close out the game. Logan Taylor drove his second home run of the season to left-center field. Ryan Uhl followed with a walk. Yordi Calderon pinch ran for Uhl. Adam Martin came to the plate, pinch hitting for Connor Hale. Calderon then stole second putting the tying run into scoring position. Smith struck out Martin for the final out.
Fernery Ozuna went 1 for 3 and scored the winning run for the Hops. Trevor Mitsui went 2 for 4 with a double and a home run with both RBIs.
Logan Taylor went 2 for 3 and scored the only run for the Aquasox with his home run in the ninth. Arturo Nieto went 2 for 4. Jordan Cowan, who relieved Rafael Fernandez in the sixth, went 1 for 2.
The Hillsboro Hops (11-8) maintained their tie with the Eugene Emeralds for the lead in the South Division. The Everett Aquasox (11-8) had their North Division lead over the Spokane Indians cut to one game. The Hops, Emeralds and Aquasox are tied for the league’s best record.
The Hops and Aquasox again meet Tuesday night for the fourth game in a five game series. The Hops lead it 3-0.
By Greg Stoker