Josh Anderson’s Line Drive Helps Hillsboro Hops Nip Dust Devils in 11
The Hillsboro Hops lasted through eleven innings to beat the Tri-City Dust Devils with a walk off single by Josh Anderson. Anderson came to the plate with the crowd sitting on the edge of their seats and the bases loaded. A long line drive to center field easily scored Sergio Alcantara from third and the winning run was greeted by a bunch of dog-tired teammates who were relieved and excited at the same time.
Both teams persevered through a long night, never giving an inch to the other team without making it a hard earned step. Hops starting pitcher, Tyler Mark lasted into the eighth inning before taking a seat for the night. Mark left the mound with the score tied at one. Little did the Hops know those extra innings would be needed as the end was still three innings away. Taylor Wright finished the inning on no hit ball. Jake Winston pitched the ninth and tenth keeping zeroes across the board for the Dust Devils on his stretch. Finally, Tucker Ward (1-2) came to the mound in the eleventh and kept Tri-City off the scoreboard. Ward earned the win a few minutes later when Sergio Alcantara crossed the plate.
On a night where two runs would win a game, the Hops surprisingly belted nine hits on the evening. Anfernee Grier, Stephen Smith and Justin Chigbogu all went 2 for 4. Sergio Alcantara also smacked two hits on only three at bats and scored the winning run. Anfernee Grier scored the Hops first run when he came home off of Josh Anderson’s sacrifice fly. Anderson had both of the Hops RBIs on the night.
The Dust Devils lone run came in the second inning. Taylor Kohlwey started the inning with a walk. Two outs later, Kohlwey stole second and easily darted home on Westhers Magdaleno’s grounder through the left side gap. Chris Baker went 2 for 5. Buddy Reed, Magdaleno and Aldemar Burgos hit safely at the plate. Burgos’ double in the fifth was the only extra base hit for either team.
Tim Berry started and pitched the first three innings for the Dust Devils. Berry allowed one run on four scattered hits. Angel Mejia came to the mound in the fourth and pitched five excellent innings of one hit ball to keep the game close. Mark Zimmerman pitched the ninth and tenth for one hit ball. Chasen Ford (0-1) started the fated eleventh inning and faced four batters without getting an out, taking the loss.
The Hillsboro Hops (10-12) remain six games behind the South Division leading Eugene Emeralds and climbed back into a second place tie with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes who lost tonight. The Tri-City Dust Devils (13-9) stayed two games ahead of the Everett Aquasox, holding onto first place in the North Division.
The long, extra-inning games ended the five game series at Ron Tonkin Field for the two former combatants in last year’s championship. The Hops not only won the championship then but also took this close series 3-2.
Hillsboro hits the road to Eugene for a three game series and try to gain ground on their division leader. Tri-City stays on the road, moving north up to the Vancouver Canadians for their own three game series. The Canadians climbed into a second place tie with the Aquasox tonight with their win. The Dust Devils will try to fend off the two surging teams nipping at their heels.
Photography by Portland Oregon Photographer Craig MItchelldyer
By Greg Stoker