Marcos Tineo Shut Down Emeralds For Hops Victory, 4-0
Marcos Tineo shut down victory proved contagious with the bullpen as the Hillsboro Hops pitching combined for 14 strike-outs on the night, The Eugene Emeralds mustered only three hits against just three different Hops pitchers. And when the pitching started to weaken, the Hops defense held serve with several exceptional plays.
Andrew Saalfrank started the game for the home team. But, his first inning became a little rocky before he got Jake Slaughter to ground out back to the mound. Prior to that, Nelson Maldonado singled and took second on Saalfrank’s wild pitch. But, the 2019 sixth round draft pick did not panic. Instead, he calmly faced the next batter and ended the inning. His second inning set the tone for those that followed.
The show took the stage when Marcos Tineo (W, 3-2) took the spotlight. For five innings, Tineo shut down the strike zone leaving opposing batters to whiff smoke. By the time he finished his time on the mound, Tineo compiled eight strike-outs. Towards the end, things became a little dicey. The pitch count was mounting yet Tineo shut down the batters with fireballing strikes. In his final inning, Tineo struck out the side but it took 20 pitches to do so. At the end of the seventh, Tineo had thrown 73 pitches, 45 of them for strikes.
Eugene starter Eduarniel Nunez (L, 1-2) took the loss when he couldn’t get past the first inning. Eight Hops batters came to the plate and battered Nunez for two runs on four hits, including an RBI double from Andy Yerzy. Two runs were enough but the Hops couldn’t resist adding more later in the game.
Pesky Hops Keep Scoring
In the fourth, Lyle Lin, David Garza and Ricky Martinez put together consecutive singles to score Lin. In the seventh, Jesus Marriaga led off with a double, stole third and came home on a balk for the final score. Ricky Martinez put together three singles on the night. NIne hits spread out over the game with two doubles being enough power to stay on top.
Certainly, the Hops aggressively swung for the fences. Eight times, the Hops drove to deep in the outfield but fell short. Opportunistic runners took still more bases on the throw back to the infield or stretched singles into a double.
Hops Aggressive in Field as Well as Plate
There were numerable efforts on both sides tonight to keep advantages in check. The Hops were aggressive in the field as well as the base paths. In the first, Rickey Martinez and Jesus Marriaga executed a double steal perfectly, gaining third and second respectively.
In the fourth, LF David Garza made a diving, sliding catch to rob Jake Slaughter of a sure hit and ended the inning. The sixth saw Ricky Martinez reaching for a stabbing grab to rob Darius Hill of a lead off single.
However, the Emeralds were not without a few of their own. SS Luis Vasquez made a sliding grab in the third to rob Kristian Robinson of a base hit. The fifth ended when pitcher Chris Allen reacted quicker than the eye to snag Nick Dalesandro’s lightning bolt of a liner as it went by. Finally, in the eighth, Vasquez again robbed a Hops batter of a base hit when he jumped for Ricky Martinez’ soft liner.
The win (and sweep) helped the Hillsboro Hops (24-14) stay two games behind the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. The loss dropped the Eugene Emeralds (16-22) to eight games behind the Hops. The Volcanoes win the first half championship along with a berth in the playoffs.
Starting Tuesday, the second half of the season begins and everything starts over again. If the SK Volcanoes win the second half, their playoff opponent will be the Southern Division team with the second best record.
The Hops will stay home to host those same Volcanoes in a three game series to kick off the new half. Tommy Henry takes the mound for Hillsboro making his debut. Henry was selected in the 2019 Competitive Balance round. The Volcanoes have yet to select their starter.
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