Hops Flew Then Hold On For 5-4 Win Over Emeralds
The Hillsboro Hops flew to a large lead and then held on against the Ems attack, ending the losing streak at three games to get back on track by defeating the Eugene Emeralds 5-4. The Hops and Ems are historically very competitive teams against each other no matter what the overall record — even in the playoffs. The Ems took this three game series 2-1, but the total scoring was a tight 11-8 in favor of the home team Emeralds.
Hops Flew to Early Lead
In this game, the Hops flew early and developed a 5-0 lead over the first three innings. Jorge Barrosa homered to lead-off in the first on the second pitch of the game. His blast sailed over the right-center field fence as if telling his teammates, “We’re starting — now!”
And start they did. In the second, Jesus Marriaga, the sixth Hops batter of the inning, singled home David Garza and Jorge Barrosa. Kristian Robinson followed with an RBI double to score Steven Leyton. Score 4-0 Hops.
Finally, in the third, Ryan January scored from third base on a wild pitch by Blake Whitney. With six innings left to play, the Hops didn’t know it, but they were done scoring for the night. Score 5-0. The Hops flew nevermore.
Hops Wings Clipped
Then, the momentum reversed as if the wind had changed. Zac Taylor singled home Darius Hill and Chase Strumpf in the fourth. The Ems were finally on the scoreboard. In the fifth, the perennial clutch Fernando Kelli doubled home Caleb Knight and Jake Washer to make it a one run game, 5-4.
From that point onward, with four innings left to play in the game, neither side scored. In fact, there would be only one more hit in the rest of the game for both sides total. That hit belonged to Chase Strumpf, his only hit of the night. Strumpf led off with a single with his team down one run. In the bottom of the ninth, it was their last chance to tie the game or win with a walk off.
That is as close as the Ems got in sending the game into extra innings. On first base, Chase Strumpf watched a pop up and two strike-outs by his teammates. Strumpf, the tying run at first, never made it to second.
Erin Baldwin (W, 2-1) pitched two hitless innings in the seventh and eighth for the win. Bryan Menendez (S, 5) closed out the ninth allowing Strumpf’s hit and striking out two for the save. Josh Burgmann (L, 0-1), who was chased in the second inning after walking Steven Leyton to load the bases, took the loss.
The win helped the Hillsboro Hops (21-14) keep pace two games behind the Southern Division leading Salem-Keizer Volcanoes by two games with three left to play in the first half. The loss dropped the Eugene Emeralds (16-19) to five games behind the Hops. The Ems and Boise have been eliminated from the first half championship contention. Only the Hops can reach the Volcanoes but time is growing short.
Therefore, both teams will travel to Hillsboro to continue the rivalry in the last part of the home and home series. Chris Clarke will take the mound for the visiting Emeralds. This year’s fourth round draft choice for the parent Chicago Cubs will make his third mound appearance for the Ems. During his last appearance on Sunday, Clarke pitched two hitless innings with one strikeout for the no decision. The Hops have yet to determine a starter.
Above all, stay with the Minor League Sports Report for game recaps throughout the season. Consequently, follow me on Twitter for half inning updates throughout all home games. As a result, my next Twittercast will be tomorrow night for the next Hops/Emeralds match up.