Joey Rose led off the ninth inning, down by one run. With his second double of the night putting him in scoring position, Joey came around the bases and tied the game on Francis Martinez’ RBI single. That set the stage for Jorge Perez to come to the plate with Francis on second and two outs. Jorge’s game winning RBI single sailed over the outstretched glove of the Spokane Indians second baseman Cristian Inoa’s glove. Martinez motored home in fourth gear before the throw could beat him to the plate. The Hillsboro Hops won with a walk off single, 3-2.
Ryan Dobson was with his teammates in the dugout. They were able to watch Joey Rose smack his second double of the night. Knowing what he did with his first double of the night, they waited patiently to see if he would do it again. “It was exciting.” Dobson said. When Jorge Perez brought Francis Martinez home a few minutes later, the team erupted out of the dugout in celebration.
Pitching Ruled the Game
The overall game was one controlled by the pitchers with a run or two poking through the moments of offense. Ryan Weiss started the game for the Hops but was limited to one inning pitched. The last four innings held the visiting Indians to no runs and no hits, effectively clamping any effort to break away from the home team. Kai-Wei Lin, Brian Ellington and Josh Green teamed up for those four innings of no-hit ball.
Josh Green (W, 1-0) earned the win with a blank stat line except for the two strike outs he added to the Hops total. Josh is a fourth round draft choice this year for the parent Arizona Diamondbacks and he is doing well. In six games, he has pitched 7.2 innings with an ERA of 1.17, mainly in relief work. His only earned run allowed came in his first pro game back on June 16th.
Emmanuel Clase (L, 0-1) took the mound late in the eighth, giving up the tying and winning run, for the loss. As a whole, the Spokane Indians struck out twelve Hops batters.
Ryan Dobson Steals His 5th and 6th
Amid the activity, Ryan Dobson did not wait patiently. Ryan added to his recent upsurge of stolen bases bringing him one behind team leader Tra Holmes’ seven. Ryan explained what he looked for.
“Both times, the count was 2-0. We knew to expect an off-speed pitch after that.” Ryan said. Our batters “do a good job of controlling the zone.” When I saw “the high leg kick from the pitcher”, I had “the feeling”.
The game’s initial scoring came from the Hops in the second. Joey Rose led off with his first double of the night and came home on Jorge Perez first RBI single. The Hops took the lead, for a short time.
In the top of the next inning, Spokane answered back with their tying and go ahead run. Jonah McReynolds led off with a ground rule double and then waited patiently through the next two batters. Curtis Terry then stepped up with two outs and Jonah at second. Terry sent a blast 421 feet over the left field fence for the lead.
Fortunatey, the Hops offense was just a bit better. Joey Rose hit two doubles, both to lead off an inning and both precipitating Joey’ score. Joey scored the first go ahead run, 1-0. Second double and score was the game tying hit of the ninth.
Jorge Perez was right there behind him. His first RBI single brought Rose home in the second inning. His second RBI single, was the walk off game winner.
Tied For First Place
The win brought the Hillsboro Hops (10-6) into a first place tie with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes in the Southern Division. When I told Dobson, he already had a smile on his face so it was hard to tell how much it increased with the news. He simply said, “It’s exciting. We can only control our winning. All we can do is keep winning and see how the season ends.” His smile added more to his words. It was obvious to me that winning is fun.
The loss dropped the Spokane Indians (6-10) into last place, three games behind the Everett Aquasox (9-6). Both teams meet Monday for game three on Portland Mavericks night.