With two wild pitches and a fielding error, the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes hand the Hillsboro Hops a game winning run in the ninth. Despite the ending, the game was filled with plenty of offense and earned runs. In the end, both teams gained only one unearned run each for the game. It’s true when they say things even out in the end.
After two outs in the top of the ninth, Sergio Alcantara walked before the fun started. With Dansby Swanson at the plate, pitcher Caleb Smith threw a wild pitch sending Alcantara to second. Swanson then grounded to second baseman Richard Amion who couldn’t come up with the handle. Swanson reached first safely as well as Alcantara scoring the go ahead run from second. Smith would throw another wild pitch in the inning but the damage was already done.
Brett Jones started for the Hops, making his first appearance on a rehab assignment. Jones was injured on 5/21 and recently pitched in the Arizona League before moving his way up to the Hops. Lasting five innings, Jones allowed three runs on six hits, leaving with the game tied at 3-3.
Breckin Williams (1-0) came on in the bottom of the eighth with the bases loaded and two outs. Williams got Ronnie Jebavy to pop up to second baseman Sergio Alcantara to end the inning. Breckin also pitched the final inning to earn the win.
Caleb Smith (1-2) pitched the final inning for the Volcanoes and the loss.
The Hops peppered five runs over nine innings. In the first, with Sergio Alcantara scored from third on Grant Heyman’s ground out to third.
The Hops loaded the bases in the fifth with no one out. Gerard Hernandez scored from third on a Dansby Swanson sacrifice to left field. Joey Armstrong scored on a wild pitch by Michael Connolly to Grant Heyman.
The Hops added a run in the eighth on Trevor Mitsui’s solo home run to tie the game and set the plate for the winning run in the ninth.
The Volcanoes did most of their scoring in the fourth. With Miguel Gomez and Chris Shaw already on board, Jose Vizcaino, Jr. homered to left giving the home team a 3-1 lead. Salem-Keizer added another run in the seventh to give the Volcanoes back the lead. With Steven Duggar on second after walking, Miguel Gomez sacrificed to center field to move Duggar to third. The throw back overthrew the cutoff man and Duggar took advantage coming home on the throwing error.
Sergio Alcantara was everywhere for the Hops going 3 for 4 and scored twice. Grant Heyman went 2 for 5, a double and a RBI. Trevor Mitsui (7) hit the game tying home run in the eighth.
Jose Vizcaino went 2 for 4 with a double, home run (6), scored once and three RBIs.
The Hillsboro Hops (13-7) increased their South Division lead to two games while the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (10-10) dropped to three games behind the Hops. For the season, the Hops have won 8 of 10 meetings with the Volcanoes. Both teams will meet Wednesday for the final game of the three game series. The Hops lead 2-0.
Short Hops: Grant Heyman made his 2015 Hops debut having played for the 2014 Championship team. Playing for the Kane County Cougars, Heyman broke his finger while attempting to bunt. After playing five games at the Arizona League, Heyman came back to the hops to further his rehab. Grant has missed 11 weeks since the injury.
Trevor Mitsui has hit a home run in the last four consecutive games, a Hops record. Before the streak, Trevor only had three homers total. Mitsui has more than doubled it in less than a week.
By Greg Stoker