Hops Swept Six Games by Eugene Emeralds, Final Game: 7-5
Hops swept in a six game series was not at the top of the list for expectations at the beginning of the week. Even if the series was against the Eugene Emeralds who currently lead the NW High A West league by a game and a half. But, the Hops were swept. The final game: Eugene Emeralds 7, Hillsboro Hops 5.
What a Difference
The first time these teams met this season, the six game series split evenly down the middle three games a piece. What a difference a month makes. The scores were not blow outs. The Hops lost by an average of 8.16 to 5.16. This game was no different at 7-5.
The game started with the Ems copying the Hops. The Hops’ Andy Yerzy homered in the second. The Ems’ Franklin Labour homered in the second as well. The Hops’ Tristin English homered in the fourth. The Ems’ Armani Smith homered in the fourth too. The only difference came when Yerzy followed English with a walk and scored on Tra Holmes’ RBI single making the score 3-2, Hillsboro. After that, the wheels fell off.
Hops Swept by Explosion in Seventh
Eugene took the lead, both literally and figuratively, in the seventh when they erupted for four runs giving them the lead for good at 6-3. The eventual game winning run came with Will Wilson’s solo shot towards the end of the inning. But, first, the game needed to be tied as the Ems were still three runs behind. The inning opened with walks from Tyler Fitzgerald and Labour. Two strikeouts later, Brandon Martorano brought them all home with his three-run homer. Then Wilson’s go-ahead shot-to-be. Fittingly, the scoring opened with back to back walks and ended with back to back homers.
Both teams added a single run later to make the final score 7-5. First, in the eighth when the Ems’ Smith opened with a single and came home on Heath Quinn’s RBI single. The Hops’ scored in the top of the ninth when Leodany Perez opened with a walk and scored on Buddy Kennedy’s RBI single.
Hops Swept Under Rug
Surprisingly, with the score of this size, the game belonged to the pitching staff on both sides. Connor Nurse started for Eugene and made it through the first five innings on 85 pitches. He gave up the Hops’ first three runs but left the game with only a 2-3 deficit. After that, four different pitchers followed Nurse taking care of four different innings. Both Travis Perry and John Timmons (W, 2-0) kept the Hops scoreless and hitless for two innings. Solomon Bates (H, 5) allowed one run in the eighth and Chris Wright (S, 3) allowed two more runs in the ninth.
On the other side of the mound, Kenny Hernandez started for the Hops lasting over five innings. In 78 pitches, Hernandez allowed two runs on only two hits (both home runs) and left the mound with a 3-2 lead. Mitchell Stumpo (H, 1) came on to finish the sixth with a groundout and a strikeout. Wesley Rodriguez closed the game with one run on two hits. The trouble hit reliever Nick Snyder (L, 1-3) in the seventh when he gave up two home runs and four runs total.
The six game winning streak helped vault the Eugene Emeralds (26-15) into first place of the NW High A West league over Everett who now sits a game and a half back.
Conversely, the six game skid affected the Hillsboro Hops (16-24) greatly. The Hops started the week in fourth place near .500 with a 16-18 record. Six losses later, the Hops sit in fifth place, 9.5 games back from the lead and eight games under .500.
Both teams start a new six game series on Tuesday. Eugene stays home to host the Vancouver Canadians who sit in third place, two and a half games back. Hillsboro travels back home to host the Spokane Indians who used the week to leapfrog the Hops into fourth place with a 19-23 record.
Tuesday also marks my return to half inning updates for home games. You can catch the game on MiLB.tv, listen to it on 620 AM radio or follow me on Twitter for half inning updates. The game starts at 7:05 PM.
Finally, Tuesday morning also marks my weekly look back, this time at the just finished week seven. This time I go over the usual weekly stuff but I also look at the teams scoring differential. Heading into the playoffs (a long way off) would you rather be the team who wins the close games or the team that blows the other team away? Does it make a difference? It also tells me where each individual team is the strongest.
But, until Tuesday morning, check out my look back at week 6.