Hops Broke Thru 4-3 Over Vancouver Canadians
Hops broke the losing streak and vanquished the Vancouver Canadians 4-3. The win came in their fourth game of the six game series at Ron Tonkin Field. But, it took a Hillsboro team record-tying effort to pull it off. First, a helping hand from an old friend of the Hops to get it started.
The Hops received two familiar faces as additions to the team mid-week. Tristan English and Andy Yerzy played for the Hops back in 2019. (In Andy’s case, also 2018.) Two short years that seem a lifetime ago. Both brought an impact in their first game together at their old stomping grounds. In yesterday’s game, their first back in the uniform together, Andy and Tristin hit back-to-back singles twice in the game. Those four hits accounted for four of the five Hops’ hits.
Tonight’s game featured a boost from one of the ol’ spark plugs. In the first inning, Andy Yerzy smacked a two-out solo shot over the fence for the early one run lead. This time, the Hops would not give up their lead. Especially after they padded it with more runs in the seventh. That was when the Hops bats and feet really came back.
The inning started off in much the same fashion as the Yerzy/English special did the night before. Nick Dalesandro and Tra Holmes hit the back-to-back singles to get the ball rolling. Or, maybe bouncing in the outfield. Ricky Martinez and Leodany Perez followed that with back-to-back walks. Still no outs yet in the inning.
Hops Broke Thru to Tie Team Record
If that was all the Hops did, it would have resulted in a Dalesandro score from a Leodany Perez bases-loaded walk. This is where the Hops broke thru and got the monkey off their back. They tied their team record for steals in one inning with six. First, lead-off hitter Nick Dalesandro stole second and third, scoring on Holmes’ RBI single. Then, Tra stole second and third, scoring on a wild pitch from Canadians’ pitcher Cobi Johnson (L, 0-1).
That’s when Ricky Martinez one-upped both: stealing second and home. The score surprised everyone. Johnson held the ball in his hand reading the signs from his catcher when he saw the blur off to the right. The Catcher, Ryan Gold, flashed the sign for the next pitch when he saw the blur to his left. By then, Ricky, who is one of the fastest base stealers on the team, was already halfway home. A quick dart of a throw tried to reach home before Ricky but arrived too late.
Hops Broke Thru: Reputation Getting Around
Opposing teams scouting reports have noticed the league leader in steals this year: HIllsboro. It could be said that the Hillsboro Hops steal bases like the Trailblazers shoot three-pointers – better than anyone else.
Those four runs proved to be needed as the Canadians scored two more runs in a ninth inning rally attempt with Tanner Morris’ two-run homer with Ryan Gold on board. After getting rid of the four game losing streak, the Hops celebrated with pent up energy being released.
Corbin Carroll has had his surgery on his right shoulder and is looking at a reasonable recovery. I’ll update everyone in my next column on Tuesday morning. Until then, you can catch my column from last Tuesday, Hope & Perks, to get the beginning story.
With the loss, the Vancouver Canadians (11-5) fell into a tie with the Everett Aquasox. With the win, the Hillsboro Hops (6-10) gained a step on the league lead and are only five games back. The Canadians now lead the six-game series 3-1. The fifth game is Saturday night at 6:35 PM. It is on MiLB.tv and 620 AM radio. I’ll be there on Twitter giving out half inning updates.