The Hillsboro Hops had no answer for Randy Pondler (W, 3-4). The starting pitcher for the Vancouver Canadians held sway for the first six innings and limited the Hops to just four hits. Justin Watts (H, 2) and Marcus Reyes finished the shut out allowing one more hit for the home team.
The Hillsboro bats are normally more active but even the Hops will have an off night. They came closest to breaking the threshold of home plate in the third inning. Zack Jones led off the inning with a single past the diving shortstop Jesus Severino into left field. Zack stole second and grabbed third when Jake McCarthy added the second single of the inning. But, Zack made it no further with the Hops potential run dying at third.
Randy Pondler Well Supported
The Canadians’ bats had no problem making their statements of the night. Vancouver totaled twelve hits but only one, Jake Brodt’s lead-off double in the ninth, went for extra bases. Eight of the nine bats reached base safely on a hit. And that sole batter still reached safely on a walk. Jesus Severino went 2 for 4 with a score and an RBI. Chris Bec reached base four of the five times at the plate.
It was the eighth inning however that blew the game wide open. Entering the eighth up 2-0, the Canadians erupted for four more runs. Eight batters were sent to the plate. Jesus Severino led off with a walk followed by back to back singles by Chris Bec and Sterling Guzman. Hillsboro gained some breathing room when Nick Podkul hit into a 5-2-3 double play erasing Severino at the plate. But, two outs were followed by three singles including 2-RBI shots by Brandon Polizzi and Otto Lopez.
One more run came in the final inning when Jake Brodt led off with a double and scored on Jesus Severino’s ground out.
Hops Pitching Strike Out 14
Luis Frias was tagged with the loss despite a respectable showing to start the game. He and Justin Garcia combined to hold the Canadians to two runs during the first six innings. The two pitchers struck out ten batters between them. But, with the lack of run support, it didn’t make any difference. Plus, when the wheels fell off in the last two innings, the whole discussion became moot. Without any runs, any lead was out of reach.
The Loss cut the Hillsboro Hops (7-4) lead over the second place Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (6-5) to one. The win put the Vancouver Canadians (6-5) into a three-way tie for first in the Northern Division with the Everett Aquasox (6-5) and Spokane Indians (6-5).
Both teams return to Ron Tonkin Stadium Saturday night for game four of the five game series. The Hops will have another chance to clinch the five game series from the visitors. Starting for the Hops will be Jackson Goddard (0-2). In Goddard’s last appearance on July 30th, the RHP allowed one earned run in three innings for a no decision. Facing Goddard will be Josh Winckowski (3-4) for the Canadians. In his last appearance on July 29th, Josh lasted seven innings for the win.
The Northwest League All-Stars will face the Pioneer League All-Stars in this year’s annual ASG between the two leagues. Find out which two Hops made the All-Star roster for this year’s game.