Hops Built Lead, Hillsboro Over Canadians, 5-1
Hops built their lead over the Vancouver Canadians while their pitching staff kept the Canadians guessing at the plate. Eventually, the lead grew to 5-1 and Vancouver was still swinging back in the first inning.
Five Hops Pitchers Combine, 1-Run, 3-Hit Game
The Hops used a contingent of pitchers with no one staying longer than two innings or 33 pitches. Starting pitcher Kyler Stout spread out 19 pitches (lowest among the staff tonight) over the first two innings giving up the Canadians only run of the night. With two outs, Orelvis Martinez belted a solo shot for the game’s first score.
After that, the board filled with zeroes as the relief staff took over. Josh McMinn (W, 1-1) got the most pitches for his money (33) and allowed two runners without a hit. Kai-Wei Lin (H, 3) showed a minimalist touch as he retired all six batters he faced. Nick Snyder (H, 6) followed by loading the bases before he could get Zac Cook to ground out to second for the final out. Finally, Wesley Rodrigues closed out the eighth and ninth with three Ks and a single never reaching second base.
Hops Built Lead with Bats
Meanwhile, on the other side of the mound, the four Vancouver pitchers worked hard for their ERA. But, those five runs built up slowly. Before they knew it, their team was behind by four runs and only six more outs to do anything about it.
A quick answer to Martinez’ homer in the first, Tristin English hit his lead-off homer in the top of the second. The Canadians didn’t hold their lead for very long but they did have one for the period of one out.
Hops Built Foundation
The next increment came in the fifth but that didn’t mean the Hops weren’t busy prior to that. In fact, they attacked with three singles of their own over two innings but two double plays took care of that. The fifth started with Nick Dalesandro’s double. Nick didn’t stay there long. Dalesandro, who doesn’t need much for an opening, scored from second on Leodany Perez’ RBI single.
The sixth doubled the score to 4-1 and it started with an innocent walk for Tristin English to first base. I say innocent because that revealed a triple from Danny Oriente that pushed Tristin all the way home. Danny scored next on AJ Vukovich’s RBI single.
Finally, Danny Oriente led off the eighth with a single and moved to third on Leodany Perez’ single. From there Danny scored again, this time from a passed ball by Canadians’ catcher Andres Guerra.
Canadians Pitching Saw Lead “Nevermore”
Alex Nolan (L, 0-2) started the game for Vancouver. He pitched five full innings and left the mound behind by only one run, 2-1. However, the Canadians would score no more “quoth” the Hops’ pitching staff. Brian Rapp relieved the sixth and two runs were quickly scored before he recorded an out.
Hayden Juenger was the only Canadians’ pitcher who was able to shut down the Hops, even if briefly. During his lone hitless and scoreless inning, Hayden struck out two batters and faced the minimum of three.
Justin Maese took over for the last two innings. Justin did fine striking out five of his six outs but one run still leaked home for the final score, 5-1.
The win helped the Hillsboro Hops (36-44) to gain another game on this week’s opponent, the Vancouver Canadians (37-44) and are now a half game back again. They also stretched their lead over Tri City to four and a half games. The Hops even gained a game on the leader Everett who lost tonight. Vancouver, meanwhile, slipped another game on Spokane and are now three games back.
Last week’s winning record (4-2) moved the Hops into fourth place.
Both teams meet again Friday night for game#4 between the fourth place/fifth place teams. With a win, Hillsboro could flip places again with Vancouver and take back fourth place. Or Vancouver could distance themselves away from the Hops a little bit more. You can listen to the game on 620 AM radio if you can’t make it in person (Ron Tonkin Field).