Look Back: Hillsboro Hops Week 4 and 5
Look back. My, where did the time go? Actually, for me this is the end of week six while I write about week four. No worries. Next week will be about weeks six and seven. After that, one week at a time.
During week four, we saw the Hops struggle at the plate. But, in week five, we watched those bats wake up and beat on the competition. Now, games are trending upward. The Hops are still a ways off from the leaders above. In fact there are three teams above the Hops but they are bunched together in a tight race. Read on…
Look Back at Week 4
The Hops started off the week with a 7-11 record and played Tri City Dust Devils on the road. Winning the first two games of the series, the Hops reach a peak record of 9-11 before falling down the standings again. They ended up 10-14.
Ryne Nelson was one of the pitching stars for the Hops in week 4. With the help of Blake Workman who earned the save, Ryne took home the game 2 win as the Hops won 5-2. Nick Snyder also earned a win in game 1 with a score of 5-3. Game 4 was won by reliever Wesley Rodriguez, 3-2.
Notable from the bullpen was Joe Jones who appeared twice and earned two saves. Once with Snyder and the other with Rodriguez.
The bats were a bit more spread out. But, some rose to the top faster than others. None more so than Spencer Brickhouse. Spencer went 7 for 17 including three doubles. The first baseman had been struggling but his bat woke up this week with power. His average climbed from .186 to .250.
Nick Dalesandro’s bat also woke up this week. Going 3 for 9, Nick made his average climb from .193 up to .222. Both Spencer and Nick should continue strongly. When a bat wakes up from a dormancy, it usually stays awake for a while longer.
Extra base hits were sparse. The biggest grouping was Brickhouse’s three doubles spread out over the week. Eduardo Diaz continues to impress with power since his recent arrival adding two more home runs to his team leading total of four. Andy Yerzy also added another homer to his team leading-total of four as well. The co-leaders may have a competition for the season.
Kennedy’s Bat Heats Up
Buddy Kennedy took over the team lead for batting average from Tristin English and Andy Yerzy. It was not a big surprise that both Tristin and Andy came down a little bit since they are still new arrivals and averages can and will change dramatically as a new player settles in. Buddy now has the lead at .259 for batters with more than 25 plate appearances.
In other categories, leaders are Blaze Alexander and Ricky Martinez for games played (19); Blaze again for at bats (74); Blaze for runs as well (11); Buddy Kennedy and Spencer Brickhouse for hits (15); Buddy for RBIs (9); Axel Andueza for bases on balls (9); Reece Hampton for OPS (.912); Blaze for doubles (4); six players with one (1) triple; Andy Yerzy in home runs (4); and Buddy Kennedy in total bases (24).
Look Back at Week 5
Week 5 saw the Hillsboro Hops win their first series of the season. Albeit, a rain-shortened one, 3-2. Playing up in Everett for the week of June 1st thru 6th, the week started out with a 10-14 record in the standings, sitting in fourth place. By the end of the week, the Hops climbed to a 13-16 record though still in fourth place.
The Hops lost the first game 16-2 getting blown away by the Aquasox bats. The home team outhit the Hops by a wide margin of 20-7. Spencer Brickhouse did punch out a homer in the ninth inning.
The Hops returned the favor though not quite as strongly. The Hops evened the series, 1-1, winning 6-2. Eduardo Diaz went 3 for 5 in the win.
The Hops took a slight lead in the series, 2-1, by winning 7-2. The Hops spread out their seven hits evenly among seven Hops batters. Cam Coursey and Tristin English both knocked in two of those runs while Nick Dalesandro scored twice.
The series evened again (2-2) with an Everett win, 13-2. Two seems to be the favorite number of runs for the losing team in this series. Kaden Polcovich was one of the main stars for a game (that had many Aquasox stars) by going 3 for 5 with 2 home runs, 2 runs scored and three runs batted in. For the Hops, Eduardo Diaz smacked his fourth homer of the season tying him with Andy Yerzy for the team lead.
Rained out. Unlikely to be made up.
Hillsboro won 5-3 giving them their first series win of the season. Reece Hampton and Spencer Brickhouse both hit homers. With the series shortened to only five games, the Hops came home winners of the fifth week.
Look Back: Fifth Week Totals
After the dust settled for the end of the week (or should I say washed away in the rain), several Hops bats woke up and performed much better than last week. Leading the way, Tra Holmes went 3 for 7 and a .428 average for the week. Tra had a lot of company: Leodany Perez (5 for 12, .416); Spencer Brickhouse (6 for 15, .400); Nick Dalesandro (4 for 10, .400); Blaze Alexander (2 for 6, .333); Axel Andueza (4 for 13, .307); and Andy Yerzy (3 for 10, .300).
As for power, Spencer Brickhouse led the team in every offensive category: four runs, six hits, three RBI (tied with Tristin English), two doubles, two home runs and 14 rural bases. No Hop had a triple this week.
Ryne Nelson won game two while Bryce Jarvis grabbed game three for the Hops. Blake Workman won the last game to give the Hops their series victory. Nick Snyder and Joe Jones added another save to their resume.
Look Back: the Stats to Date: Season Totals
Spencer Brickhouse had a great week. Going 6 for 15 raised his batting average (.280) to the top of the team’s leader board. Not counting those Hops who have less than 25 at bats. Spencer’s six hits propelled him to the top of the list (21). Brickhouse’s two doubles moved him up into a tie (4) with Blaze Alexander. 14 total bases for the week put him four bases past Buddy Kennedy for the lead (32).
In addition, Blaze Alexander maintained his number of at bats played (80) as well as runs (11), though Tra Holmes has tied him in the run department. As mentioned earlier, Blaze now shares the lead in doubles (4) with Brickhouse. Buddy Kennedy and Andy Yerzy are now tied in RBIs (9). Axel Andueza and Reece Hampton are tied in walks (11). Newcomer Eduardo Diaz leads in OPS (.794). Six different Hops have one (1) triple. However, Corbin Carrol, lost for the season due to a shoulder injury, has two (2) triples in only 23 at bats before his injury.
Look Back: Series Wrap Up
Finally, Andy Yerzy and Eduardo Diaz are both tied with four (4) home runs while Brickhouse has 32 total bases.
As far as the look back goes, the main thing the Hops have accomplished is to break through the barrier of winning a series. It doesn’t matter if a game was rained out or the series was shortened. They won the series. Does winning of a series mean things will be different now? Different from what? They have already won the series. Things have changed. They changed before they won the series. That’s how they won the series.
Seating Capacity Increases to 50%
Starting tonight (6/8), Ron Tonkin Field can now seat at 50%, an increase over the 25% from the start of the season. Seating will be split into two sections. Those who are vaccinated may sit next to each other in the vaccinated sections. Those who are not vaccinated will remain in “pod seating” in non-vaccinated designated areas. According to the Oregon Health Authority, masks are no longer required in outdoor venues. Certain guidelines remain in place however. Fans will still use “digital ticketing” and hand sanitizers will be placed throughout the park, for example.
“We look forward to welcoming more fans back to Ron Tonkin Field and allowing for some return to normalcy, while continuing to be safe,” said Hops President KL Wombacher. “…once the state meets the 70% vaccinated benchmark before June 19 as expected, that we are allowed to return to full capacity without restrictions. We will continue to follow CDC guidance in the meantime.”
For more information on purchasing tickets, you can call 503-640-0887 or you can go online.
News From the Twitterverse
Several Hop-centric items came my way. Here are the following:
Hops owner Mike McMurray (@mikemhops) passes on an article by Zach Buchanan (@ZHBuchanan) about the former 2017 Hops player Pavin Smith. Pavin now looks to be the best player taken in the first round of that year, according to Zach. Zach writes for the Athletic. When I clicked on the link, it said I needed to create an account needed to finish reading the article.
Ryan January (originally from Jeff Wiser @OutfieldGrass24) selected in the rule 5 draft back on December 10th by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is now playing with the Great Lake Loons in the High A Central league.
Eduardo Herrera is now a part of the Kansas City organization resulting from a trade on April 17th of this year. The Diamondbacks received Nick Heath in return. Eduardo is now on the roster for the Columbia Fireflies, their Low A affiliate. Herrera currently sits on the 60 day injured list. (also from Mike)
All of these gentlemen are great sources for information on the Hops current and former. You can follow them on Twitter. Their handles are in parentheses after their name.
On 5/31, RHP Matt Tabor received promotion from the High A Hillsboro Hops to the AA Amarillo Sod Poodles. While with the Hops, Matt went 2-2 in four games, three of which were starts. ERA was 3.00.
Also on 5/31, RHP Justin Vernia came to the Hops from the Amarillo Sod Poodles. Originally out of Gonzaga, Justin has already appeared in one game for the Hops where he went 2.2 innings and allowed three runs on six hits. Signed by the Diamondbacks as a free agent in 2019.
On 6/3, RHP Tyler Jones assigned to the Hillsboro Hops by the Arizona Diamonbacks after coming over from the Miami Marlin organization in a trade. Jones originally drafted by Miami in the 26th round in 2018. However, Jones started 2021 on the 7-day injured list with the Beloit Snappers on May 4th. Consequently, he has yet to pitch in a game this season.
Also on 6/3, Dom Canzone reactivated from the 7-day injured list. Dom has played in three games since coming back, playing twice in left field and once in right.
From Our Canadian Roommates: Father’s Day Special
Meanwhile, the Vancouver Canadians will be “home” in Ron Tonkin Field on Father’s Day. So to celebrate, they are offering a “Twofer” or “BOGO” special. Therefore, buy one ticket and get one free.
Father’s Day happens on June 20th of this year. In short, the Canadians will be hosting the Everett Aquasox and the game starts at 1:05 PM. As a result, you can order tickets online.
Just use the code “DAD” when ordering.
Look Back: Until Next Week
In conclusion, that’s it for weeks four and five. However, I’ll be back next Tuesday morning with a look back at weeks six and seven. In addition, if you missed the look back for weeks one, two and three, click on each link to catch up.