The Hillsboro Hops win their fourth game in a row and remain the Northwest League’s hottest team. With help from LT Tolbert and his two doubles, the Hops defeat the Eugene Emeralds 5-3. It was Tolbert’s fifth inning double that cleared the bases of two runners that gave the road team a 4-0 lead which held for the win. Tolbert added an insurance run when he came home on two consecutive wild pitches by Jose Albertos.
Jackson Goddard Sets Tone
Jackson Goddard gave another fine start lasting three scoreless innings on one hit. Striking out three batters, Goddard upped his Hops total to 17 K’s in 20 innings. But, the Kansas Jayhawk had to settle for a no decision. After leaving the game with a 3-0 lead, he watched the home team Emeralds score three runs in the bottom of the sixth.
The only three runs of the game for Eugene came with two outs. Back to back walks put Caleb Knight and Andy Weber on base. Grant Fennell’s RBI single scored Knight and Luke Reynolds knocked an RBI single of his own to score Weber. A wild pitch by Yeison Santana scored Fennell.
Harrison Francis Debut
In his first game with the Hops, Harrison Francis (W, 1-0) was responsible for all three runners who scored. But, having a 5-0 lead to back him up, last year’s fourth round draft choice was able to claim the win. Josh Green (S, 8) pitched the ninth for his team leading eighth save. Eugene starter Zach Mort (L, 0-2) took the loss pitching four innings.
LT Tolbert Shines
The Hops jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning. Francis Martinez delivered a two RBI single scoring Geraldo Perdomo and LT Tolbert. It was just the beginning for Tolbert as he made it his night. This year’s 13th round draft choice went to the plate four times and reached base safely all four. The 22-year-old smacked two doubles, a single and walked. A native of South Carolina, Tolbert was also very productive by scoring twice and knocking in two runs.
Continuing a recent trend, the game was filled with strike outs. Both teams combined for 22 K’s. The game’s hitters were also limited to eleven hits but both teams made their safe swats productive. Eugene turned their four hits into three runs while Hillsboro scored five runs on their seven hits. About the only waste of the night came in the Left On Base (LOB) category. The Hops stranded nine runners and drew eight walks.
Consequently, the win helped the Hillsboro Hops (13-7) maintain a three game lead over the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (10-10). Likewise, the loss dropped the Eugene Emeralds (9-11) to four games back of the Southern Division leader. As a result, the Hops are tied with the Vancouver Canadians (13-7), who are leading the Northern Division, for the best record in the Northwest League.
Furthermore, both teams return to PK Field Thursday night for game three. The Hops already claim another series at 2-0. Hence, tomorrow, Hillsboro goes for the sweep. No starter announced yet for the Hops. Eugene will send Paul Richan (0-1) to the mound. On 8/10, Richan went three scoreless innings of two hit ball for a no decision.
Finally, the Arizona Diamondback farm system is filled with players who at one time wore a Hops uniform. Certainly check out who is with the Aces, a step below the majors and root for them to make the final step.