Lead-off hitter Tra Holmes magic number was two. Tra scored two runs with two RBIs and had two hits, one of which was a double. But that was only a part of the power of the Hillsboro Hops as they made up for the night before, beating the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 12-2.
What proved to be the winning run was in a three run barrage by the Hops in the bottom of the first. Center fielder Tra Holmes opened with a walk and stole second under a high throw. Moments later, Tra stole third by avoiding the tag when the ball arrived just a split second before he did. Then, he scored when third baseman Joey Rose slapped an RBI single off of pitcher Miguel Figueroa’s glove and dribbled to second baseman Kevin Rivera too late to make a play. First baseman Francis Martinez powered a double over center fielder Jose Layer’s head to score Rose from first. Finally, left fielder and the Hops’ 2018 first round pick, Jake McCarthy, bounced a single into center field to score Martinez.
That 3-0 score would be enough for the game but the game was far from being over. The game was silent, scoring-wise, through the fifth inning. Then an even larger eruption of four runs came in the sixth.
Right fielder Jorge Perez hit a sharp grounder into the outfield before Rivera could react scoring McCarthy and Keyshawn Lynch. Joey Rose hit into a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded scoring designated hitter Ryan January. To complete the inning, catcher Andy Yerzy, who came in to replace starting catcher Jose Herrera, hit a ground-rule double over the center-right gap scoring Perez. The Hops had batted around the order. Hops were up 7-0.
The Hops had so much fun, they decided to do it again, sending another nine batters to plate for the seventh. Tra Holmes hit a two run double to center field with the bases loaded scoring McCarthy and Lynch. Shortstop Ryan Dobson followed with another double, this time down the right field line, scoring Perez and Holmes. Then, Rose singled to center scoring Dobson.
It wasn’t all Hops. The Volcanoes scored a single run in the seventh and eighth to ruin the shutout. But, the Hops pitching was just as impressive as the bats.
Pitching was more by committee this night. Lane Ratliff started the game and went three scoreless innings allowing just two hits and struck out three. Ratliff made his Hillsboro Hops debut. He is on a rehab assignment from the Kane County Cougars.
Cole Stapler (W, 1-0) continued with three more scoreless innings allowing four hits and striking out four. Since Ratliff was on a pitch count limit, Stapler was the pitcher of record for the win. Kyler Stout pitched a perfect ninth striking out two of the three batters he faced.
Starting Volcano pitcher, Miguel Figueroa (L, 0-2), was saddled with the loss, going 3.1 innings and gave up the first inning barrage of three Hops runs for the loss.
Volcano bats were led by Trevor Abrams who went 3 for 4, including triple. Jose Layer and Robinson Medrano both went 2 for 4.
The win brought the Hillsboro Hops (5-5) into a three-way tie for second, two games behind the Southern Division leading Salem-Keizer Volcanoes( 7-3). The three game series between the two teams is tied 1-1. The final game will be played Monday night at Ron Tonkin Stadium. Kenny Hernandez (1-1) is scheduled to start for the Hops. Salem-Keizer has yet to determine their starting pitcher.
Tonight and every Monday night of the season will be dedicated to the Hispanic community. The Hops will wear uniforms renamed “Los Lupulos de Hillsboro” in honor of the five game event. To learn more, read the article: Hillsboro Hops Take Part in Copa de la Diversion.