It took them a day to settle into their comfort zone in Boise but the Hillsboro Hops handled the host Boise Hawks comfortably with Ryan Tufts help, 7-2. Jose Caballero was another strong contributor to the win.
Ryan Tufts Returns to Hops
Power was the keyword for the day as the Hops showered the field with four doubles, a triple and a home run. Ryan Tufts, who returned to the Hops earlier today, gave the biggest contribution with not only two of those doubles but also four RBIs. Ryan seasoned his plate appearances with a run scored and going 3 for 5 at the plate. The recipe for a win was well on its way.
Of course, it was a big help to follow Jose Caballero and Jake McCarthy. The two teammates made it to base five times and scored four of the Hops seven runs, with Ryan’s help naturally. Throwing in Jake’s bases clearing triple for the fifth RBI was icing on the cake.
The Hops’ biggest inning came in the second. With Jose Caballero on third and Jake McCarthy on second, Ryan Tufts came to the plate and started the pattern that would become familiar throughout the night. Ryan’s first double to right easily scored the two runners on base. Zach Hoffpauir’s following double brought Ryan home for a three-run inning.
The third inning was almost as big and was the final nail in the coffin for Ausua. With two outs, Jose Caballero doubled and came home on Jake McCarthy’s triple. When the dust settled, Ausua was chased from the mound, relieved by Keinter Olivares. But, changing pitcher did nothing to stop Tufts from singling home McCarthy.
Dan Swain broke the pattern but joined the fun starting off the fourth with a solo shot to left. Just for good measure, Jose Cabellero decided to make things easier for Tufts in the top of the ninth. Jose reached first on a fielder’s choice and stole second. Ryan stepped up and smacked his second double of the night and brought home Jose for the third time completing their hat trick.
Franklyn Soriano (W, 1-1) started for the Hops and gave five steady innings for the win. Underscoring the control over the Hawks batters, Soriano contributed five of the nine punch outs by Hops pitchers. Overall, the pitching staff of Soriano, Luis Castillo and Kyler Stout allowed two runs on five hits. The only blip was the four walks allowed.
Hawks starter Miguel Ausua (L, 01) absorbed the loss. Ausua gave up five of the Hops seven runs, all earned, in less than three innings on six hits. Luke Morgan continued his impressive offensive stretch by going 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI single.
The win hoisted the Hillsboro Hops (7-6) into a second place tie with the Boise Hawks (7-6) loss. The two teams are two games behind the Southern Division leader Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (9-4). The Hops have now evened the three game series with Boise at 1-1. The third, and rubber, game will take place Thursday night. RHP Jeffri Ocando (1-0) is scheduled to start for Boise. The Hops starting pitcher is not determined.
Earlier Wednesday, The Hops received three new players and sent one.
Ryan Miller came up from the AZL D-backs after being taken in the sixth round this year by the Arizona Diamondbacks. The RHP pitcher is out of Clemson.
Alex King was sent to the AZL D-backs. The shortstop was drafted by the parent club in this year’s 35th round. While with the Hops, Alex played in six games going 4 for 22.
Ryan Tufts is back from the Kane County Cougars and was inserted immediately into Wednesday’s game. The second baseman played last year for the Hops playing in twelve games. Ryan has already played in three games for the Hops in earlier stints this year.
Matt Mercer is a fifth round draft choice this year for the Diamondback organization. The RHP comes from the University of Oregon. Matt started one game with no decision for the AZL D-backs before coming to Hillsboro.