Josh Anderson’s Grand Slam Gives Hillsboro Hops 11-8 Win, Playoff Berth
The Hillsboro Hops blasted to an 8-0 lead in just the second inning but had to add more to defeat the Boise Hawks 11-8. In doing so, the Hops have clinched a playoff berth for the third year in a row. While they are still two games in back of the South Division leading Eugene Emeralds, the Hops have clinched the second best overall record which awards them the second playoff spot if Eugene wins both the first and second half. Salem-Keizer is eliminated and the Boise Hawks can still mathematically tie the Emeralds but Eugene holds the tie breaker.
Junior Garcia (W, 4-1) started for the Hops and pitched well over six innings allowing two runs on four hits and striking out four, leaving the game with the score 8-1 and the win. Recent arrival Ethan Elias struggled to start off the seventh. Facing only five batters, he gave up two singles, two walks and hit the fifth batter with a pitch. All five ended up scoring. Jake Winston and Tommy Eveld did their normally great job of keeping the opponent scoreless for a couple of innings allowing only one hit between the both of them. The Hawks managed to get one run off of Curtis Taylor in the ninth but it was too little, too late.
The second inning scoring featured a Josh Anderson grand slam and the Hops were only halfway done. Jason Morozowski sacrificed Connor Owings home before Anderson’s fireworks. After the bases were emptied by Anderson, Luke Lowery followed with a solo homer of his own. Connor Owings, making his second appearance in the inning, sent his own two run shot over the right field fence. But, the Hops would have to add at least one more before winning the game.
The Hawks gave an eruption of their own in the seventh sending ten of their own to the plate and scoring five runs to bring them within one of the Hops.
A few minutes later, the Hops would extend their lead. Adam Walton sent an RBI line drive to right scoring Connor Owings for what would prove to be the winning run. Jason Morozowski added an insurance run in the same inning by sacrificing Ben DeLuzio home. In the eighth, Josh Anderson doubled and came home on a Stephen Smith triple for an 11-7 lead that would hold up.
The Hops smacked ten hits on the night along with eight walks. Josh Anderson had another strong game going going 2 for 4 with two runs, a double, a grand slam and one walk. Connor Owings was right there with Anderson going 2 for 3, scored three times, homered, two RBIs and a walk. Luke Lowery had his solo shot in the second. Stephen Smith had an RBI triple and scored once.
Robert Tyler (L, 0-2) took the loss by starting and being chased in the second inning with the bases loaded and no outs. All three base runners would score. Austin Moore added to the hurt by finishing the second and allowing five more runs including Josh Anderson’s grand slam. Mike Bunal seemed to settle the Hops down for four innings allowing three hits but no runs. George Thanopoulos allowed three runs of his own to score in the seventh and eighth. At the plate for Boise, Jacob Bosiokovic had an RBI triple in the ninth. Several players had multiple hits.
The win clinched a playoff berth for the Hillsboro Hops. The first game will be played at Ron Tonkin Stadium on September 7th against the Eugene Emeralds. Tickets go on sale Monday at noon, August 29th. With the loss, the Boise Hawks were basically eliminated with Eugene holding the tie breaker. Hillsboro took the series 2-1.
The Hops will take to the road for the season’s final road trip, this time will be five games against the Spokane Indians. The Hawks will return home for a five game stand hosting the Everett AquaSox.
Photography by Portland Oregon Photographer Craig MItchelldyer
By Greg Stoker