The Boise Hawks Hold Hillsboro Hops to 4-1 Defeat
The Boise Hawks used five different pitchers in an en masse effort to shut the Hillsboro Hops down to four hits and take the first game of the series 4-1. Combined with their bats to punch through in the sixth inning for three runs and keep the lead, the Hawks held the Hops to one more hit the rest of the night.
Sixth Inning Pop
The game remained tight except for the one inning that made a difference. In the sixth, the Boise Hawks sent seven men to the plate loading the bases before the first out could be recorded. LJ Hatch and Trey Jacobs led off with back-to-back singles and Tyler Plantier walked to join them. After a strikeout, Yorvis Torrealba sent a line drive to right scoring Hatch and Jacobs. Robert Metz followed with an RBI fielder’s choice to score Plantier and the damage was done.
Metz also led the charge in the second inning. With two outs, Metz singled and then scored off of Nic Motley’s RBI single. On the night, the Hawks smacked eight hits. Jacobs double in the third represented the only extra base hit in the game for Boise.
Tristin English proved to be Jacob’s counterpart slugging the only Hops extra base hit with a double in the fourth. But, despite English’s 2 for 4 showing at the plate, the Hops could only produce four hits on the night. The biggest reason for that stood on the mound for Boise.
The big reason came in the form of five arms. Micah Kaczor started and went four innings of control as he gave up just one run on two hits. The Hops managed to score their only run in fourth as Kaczor reached his 50-pitch mark for the night. Even though it tied the game, Kaczor limited a strong Hops offense.
After that, the Boise Hawks mound became smothering as the Hops scored no more runs on the night. Keven Pimentel (W, 1-1) gave up one hit in one inning for the win. Joel Condreay (H, 5) didn’t allow a hit for two innings. Fineas del Bonda-Smith (H, 3) gave up the Hops last hit of the night in his one inning. And, Jacob Wallace (S, 11), the league leader in saves, shut down all three Hops batters he faced in the ninth to add to his total.
The other side of the diamond was more reticent. Deyni Olivero (L, 7-3) came into the game with a chance to set a new season record for Hops wins if he could win his eighth game. Instead, he gave up three runs on four hits for the loss. With five games left in the regular season, there is no guarantee that Olivero will get another chance.
With the loss, the Hillsboro Hops (20-13) Southern Division lead over the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes shrinks to three games with five games left to play. However, there is good news. With their loss, the best the Eugene Emeralds can do is to tie the Hops for the division lead. Since the Hops hold the tiebreaker, the Emeralds will not be making the playoffs. That leaves two possibilities. Either the Hops win the second half and go to the playoffs or the SK Volcanoes overtake the Hops and win the division. However, the Volcanoes are already in the playoffs by winning the first half Then, the team with the best overall record not named Salem-Keizer would go to the playoffs. That would be the Hops.
Set New Playoff Record
So the Hops now make the playoffs for the sixth straight year, breaking their record of five straight years that tied them with two other teams for the record. SK has chosen to play the first game on the road so the first game of the first round will take place on Ron Tonkin Field.
With their win, the Boise Hawks (11-22) gained on the third place Emeralds and are now four games out of third place with five games left to play.
Both teams will meet again tomorrow night for game two of three games. Will Etheridge (0-2) takes the mound for the Hawks. In his last appearance, Will lasted 3.2 innings giving up one run on five hits for the no decision.
The Hops will put Drey Jameson (0-0) on the mound. In his last appearance on limited pitch count, Drey went 2.1 innings giving up one run on four hits for his no decision.
Stay with the Minor League Sports Report for game recaps throughout the season and playoffs. Also, follow me on Twitter for half inning updates on all Hops home games.