Ricky Martinez, Hillsboro Hops Defeat Dust Devils 3-2
Ricky Martinez led off with a triple in the third inning that led to an insurance run that became the winning run at the end of the game. Leading off the inning, Ricky smacked a triple and came home on Buddy Kennedy’s RBI double giving the Hillsboro Hops a 3-1 lead. The Tri City Dust Devils scored in the next inning for the final score of 3-2.
Batters Shut Down Rest of Way
Hits spotted throughout the game but the scoring came to an end in the fourth. The Hops brought a parade of pitching to the mound and limited the Dust Devils to four hits the rest of the way. Starting pitcher Slade Cecconi quickly spent 66 pitches and found himself only in the fourth inning with one more out to go.
Wesley Rodriguez (W, 1-0) took over the mound. Wesley retired the first three batters including the first two of the fifth. That’s when base runners started popping up like groundhogs at dinner time. The Dust Devils loaded the bases but Wesley got himself out of the inning by getting Franklin Torres to pop up to Hops’ second baseman Ricky Martinez.
Kyler Stout (H, 3) pitched the sixth inning allowing Jose Verrier to lead off with a double. Kyler shut down the rest of the inning on two strikeouts and a pop up to first. Nick Snyder (H, 1) followed and struck out four of the seven batters he faced. Finally, Joe Jones closed the game retiring four of the next five batters for the save.
Davis Daniels Kept Dust Devils Close
Tri City, however, stayed and rode their starting pitcher, Davis Daniel (L, 0-2) all the way through the sixth inning on 91 pitches. From the mound, Davis capped the scoring after the Hops scored in the third. No more hits and no more runs during his watch. The iron man stayed strong.
Then, Luis Ramirez and Zac Kristofak double-teamed the Hops. Hillsboro scored their last run of the night four innings previously. Both relievers limited the Hops to four hits the rest of the way.
Ricky Martinez: Insurance Agent
No one knew that Ricky Martinez’ score would be the winning run later in the game. But, like everyone is taught, if you have a chance to score another run, take it. The speedy second baseman burned around the bases to stop at third with no outs. Not that long ago, Ricky Martinez stunned the Vancouver Canadians in a home game by stealing home. Again, it would become the winning run later.
Before Ricky Martinez, Andy Yerzy homered in the first. There has to be something about the first inning that Andy Yerzy loves. He keeps hitting home runs at that time in the game. Tonight was another home run, this time with Reece Hampton on base from his lead off double. Those two runs were almost enough for the visiting Hops to win but the Ricky Martinez insurance run saved the game.
Axel Andueza continues a hot pace at the plate going 3 for 4, all three hits being singles. Upping his batting average to .259, Axel finds himself behind only Buddy Kennedy (.275) and Tristin English (.290). Axel went four for eight in his last two games.
Base Running 101
For Tri City, left fielder Jose Verrier led the way going 2 for 4. But, Jose embodied the Dust Devils’ fortunes at the plate. Ten men reached the base paths. Six never made it past second base. Two more stopped at third. Only two of the ten runners touched home plate.
The Hops fared marginally better. Of their nine base runners, six made it to third base. Three of those made it all the way home. It was enough to win the game.
The win helped the Hillsboro Hops (10-12) gain another game on Eugene and Everett on top as they both lost. The Tri City Dust Devils (6-16) remain eight games behind with their loss. Both teams meet Saturday night for the fifth game of the series at Gesa Stadium. The Hops send Matt Tabor (2-1) to the mound. The Dust Devils match with Aaron Hernandez (0-1). Hillsboro currently leads the series 3-1. You can listen to the game on Rip City Radio at 620 AM.
The Hops notched four more steals for their MiLB leading total of 66. Reece Hampton walked and stole second in the fifth and Axel Andueza stole second twice during the game. In addition, Tra Holmes plundered the fourth steal of the night in the sixth. The Low A Southeast Lakeland Flying Tigers surged into second on the continent with 48 stolen bases.
Ricky Martinez Play of Season (So Far)
Furthermore, you can check out my game recap from May 22nd and read how Ricky Martinez, in plain sight, stole home.