Jason Morozowski Slams Game-Winning Homer in Hillsboro Hops 6-5 Win
Jason Morozowski slammed a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth to break the tie and hand the Hops an exciting win over the Vancouver Canadians, 6-5. Morozowski was the first batter up in the inning and the Hops were looking to avoid extra innings if they could score a run.
The Canadians had tied the game in the seventh with two runs of their own when Cavan Biggio tripled with runners at second and third. Despite the quick start by the Hops in the early part of the game, Vancouver stayed pesky enough to keep the game close.
That early start was nice to see for the Hops who started by putting three hits together and taking advantage of the Canadians’ mistakes. Jason Morozoswki not only scored the last and winning run, he also scored the game’s first. Jason led off the bottom of the inning with being hit by a pitch from Dalton Rodriguez and took second on Mark Karaviotis’ walk. A wild pitch gave him a chance to scoot over to third and then come home on Josh Anderson’s RBI single. Luke Lowery singled home Karaviotis at the next at bat. Alexis Olmeda with the Hops third single of the inning, brought Anderson home to make the score 3-0.
As a team, the Hops bats went 11 for 33 for a .333 average. Besides Jason Morozowski’s game winning home run, Mark Karaviotis and Alexis Olmeda doubled for the Hops other extra base hits. Eight bats of the starting line up hit safely. Karaviotis, Olmeda and Adam Walton had multi-hit games for the home team.
Mack Lemieux started for the Hops and went three innings before Wei-chieh Huang took over in the fourth. Both pitchers struggled to keep Vancouver off the board. Riley Smith took the mound in the seventh with one out and two men on base. Smith quickly got Jacob Anderson to strike out but gave up Cavan Biggio’s triple that tied the game. Riley struck out Nash Knight to get out of the inning.
It was Tommy Eveld (W, 2-1) with the win as he came on for the ninth going three up and three down to set the stage for Jason Morozowsky’s fireworks. Jackson McLelland (L, 1-3) pitched only to Morozowski in the game, giving up the homer and taking the loss.
The win let the Hillsboro Hops (11-8) maintain their three game gap behind South Division leading Eugene who won their twelfth straight game tonight. The loss dropped the Vancouver Canadians (7-12) to six games behind North Division leading Everett and one game behind third place Tri City. Vancouver took the five game series, 3-2.
The Hops will now take to the road to visit Salem-Keizer for a three game series starting Wednesday night at Volcanoes Stadium. The Canadians will go home for the start of a long home stand beginning with three games against Spokane.
Hops notes: Saturday’s home game against Spokane has been moved back to 7:05 pm due to expected hot weather.
RHP Jeferson Mejia has been promoted to the Kane County Cougars just one day after fellow teammate Stephen Dezzi got the same assignment. Mejia came to the Hops in 2015 and was part of the championship ball club. The 6’7” native of Puerto Rico had a combined 10-6 record with the Hops over the last two seasons.
RHP Matt Pobereyko has been assigned to the Hops from the Visalia Rawhide. Matt was signed as a free agent by the Diamondbacks last month.
Dansby Swanson will become the fifth former Hops to make it to the majors. Dansby was drafted first over all in the 2015 draft and started his pro career with the Hillsboro Hops on August 12th, 2015. Swanson was traded to the Atlanta Braves organization during the off season along with former Hops Aaron Blair. With the Braves likely to not make the postseason, it is expected for Swanson to get a long look at short stop for the Braves.
Earlier this year, Aaron Blair was the first former Hops to make it to the big league game, also with the Braves. Zac Curtis, Mike Freeman and Braden Shipley have also appeared in a major league game this season.
By Greg Stoker