It was the alert base running of Jake McCarthy and his opportunistic scoring of the go ahead run in the eighth that led to the Hillsboro Hops taking the final game of the series, 6-5.
Jake opened the inning with a bunt and Boise catcher Hidekel Gonzalez’ throwing error to first. A wild pitch by PJ Poulin Jr allowed Jake to scoot over to second. Feeling it, Jake tried stealing third and get 90 feet closer to the go ahead run. But, the connecting throw by Gonzalez and third baseman Danny Edgeworth resulted in an error and McCarthy was safe at third. A Dan Swain single helped Jake the rest of the way.
Hops’ pitching Clamps Down in Late Innings
It was also Wesley Rodriguez’ (S-3) time to shine. Wesley came to the mound in the ninth and held the Hawks hitless, earning his third save. The final out came with left fielder Aubrey McCarty striking out. The Hops could exhale the tension after a sizable lead had gone away and all they had to show for it was a tie ball game in the late innings.
Adrian Del Moral started the game for the Hops, allowing Boise’s one run in the first. Then, the Hops four run lead started disappearing in the fifth when the Hawks instantly started erasing the gap. The Hawks almost went around the horn sending eight batters to the plate. Aubrey McCarty doubled home LJ Hatch to start it all. Luke Morgan’s two run triple cleared the bases.
Trevor McKenna relieved Del Moral. With McKenna’s first batter at the plate, a wild pitch brought Luke Morgan home. Then, Luis Castro flew out and Trevor struck out Danny Edgeworth. The inning was over but the score was now tied.
Brian Christian (W, 1-0) returned order to the game. In two innings, Brian struck out three and kept their host hitless, earning the win. Josh Green followed with a scoreless eighth, setting up the finishing touches by Wesley Rodriguez.
The Boise Hawks jumped out of the gate in the first inning scoring the first run of the game. Then, the Hillsboro Hops sprinted out for a 5-1 lead. Boise tied the game up with a four run fifth inning, setting the stage for Jake McCarthy’s heroics. The Hops won the three game series 2-1.
Key factors for tonight’s win included Keyshawn Lynch going 3 for 3 and smacking a two-run home run in the fourth inning. The Hops first run was accomplished by catcher Andy Yerzy doubling and then coming home on a sacrifice by Ryan Tufts. Joey Rose followed, scoring on Dan Swain’s sacrifice. Rose also doubled home Jose Caballero in the third.
Hawks PJ Poulin L, 0-1) pitched the eighth, allowing Jake McCarty’s speeding around the base paths for the winning run and the loss.
The win pushed the Hillsboro Hops (8-6) into sole possession of second place, two games behind Southern Division leading Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. The loss dropped the Boise Hawks (7-7) into third place, one game behind the Hops. The Hillsboro Hops return to Hillsboro Friday night to host the Spokane Indians for three games starting Friday. RHP Tai Tiedemann is scheduled to start for the Indians. Hillsboro has not determined their starter.