The Hillsboro Hops swept the Vancouver Canadians 6-0. It was the first time the Hops had swept a five game-series on the road. Accomplishing that against the Northern Division leader made it even more impressive.
Tyler Keele (W, 3-2) started for the Hops and set the tone for the night earning a win. Over six innings, Keele allowed only one hit and struck out seven. Except for a Brock Lundquist walk in the third, Tyler faced only one batter over the minimum needed for a perfect game for the first five innings. It was the sixth inning that gave false hope to Canadian batters.
Kacy Clemens singled to start the fifth followed by a David Jacob walk to put two men on base with no outs. Tyler Keele regained control retiring the next three batters to get out of the inning.
Matt Peacock and Rafael Pujols each contributed two innings each to control Vancouver’s scoring. Both Hops pitchers allowed just one hit limiting the Vancouver club to three hits on the night. Their four strikeouts added to the eleven total Canadian strike outs for the game.
Compared to last night’s 19-7 whipping, neither team would have done better than the losing effort the previous night. Luckily, it wasn’t needed. Hillsboro’s six runs were enough to control the game with the shut out of Vancouver’s bats. The game’s twelve hits were all singles. After last night’s barrage, there were no extra base hits by either team.
The scoring began in the first inning and the Hops scored two runs each for the first three innings. There was no more scoring for the night. In the first, Camden Duzenack walked and eventually scored off of Yan Sanchez’ sacrifice fly to center. Bryan Araiza scored on a wild pitch by starting pitcher Donnie Sellers (L, 0-1). All six runs were scored against Sellers as he took the loss.
The second inning saw Dan Swain score on Camden Duzenack’s RBI single. Ryan Grotjohn scored on Yan Sanchez single. The third inning started with a pitching change but that did not slow the Hops down. Drew Ellis scored when Ryan Grotjohn walked with the bases loaded. Daulton Varsho came home on Camden Duzenack’s sacrifice fly for the final score of 6-0.
The win completed a five-game sweep for the road team and kept the Hillsboro Hops (20-14) in a first-place tie with the Eugene Emeralds on top of the Southern Division. With five games remaining in the first half, Eugene holds the tie breaker. The Boise Hawks dropped out of a tie and one game behind the leaders. The loss cut the Northern Division lead of the Vancouver Canadians (18-16) over the Tri City Dust Devils to one game.
When this series started, the Hops were four games behind the Canadians who had the best record in the Northwest League. After the sweep, the Hops find themselves one game better and in a tie with Eugene for the best record.
Hillsboro returns home for a five-game homestand with the Spokane Indians. The Indians are currently 14-20, four games out of first place in the Northern Division. Expected pitcher for the Indians will be RHP Tyree Thompson. The Hops starter has yet to be determined.
Hops notes: RHP Cal Becker has been promoted to the Kane County Cougars, a full season single A affiliate. Becker has pitched 16 innings over ten games in relief. He struck out 22 and walked four.
By Greg Stoker