The Hillsboro Hops led 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth. Erick Gonzalez and Fernando Kelli hit back to back singles for the Eugene Emeralds to put the tying and go ahead runs on base with one out. Time for the Dawg. Trevor McKenna took the mound. DJ Artis grounded out and Grant Fennell struck out. Eight pitches and the fire was out.
The Hops held on for the win and Trevor McKenna (S, 2) earned the save. The home stand opened with a win, the Hops fourth in a row. After eleven games on the road, the Hops returned home victorious with a 9-2 record and added another to the standings.
But, even pitching needs a score or two to be effective. Though offense was a struggle, the Hops did manage to get nine hits on the evening. The problem was keeping them on base long enough to cross the plate. Of the eleven base runners (one was a walk, another hit by pitch), two scored and only four were left on base. That left five to find a more creative way to leave.
Will Gorman, Jake McCarthy and Jorge Perez were caught stealing, oft times just before another hit followed them. Another time, Perez was picked off. Finally, LT Tolbert was removed in a double play after getting hit by a pitch.
All the home team needed was two runs. Keyshawn Lynch scored in the third after reaching base on a fielder’s choice. Lynch made it to third on Jake McCarthy’s single and came home on a wild pitch by Brailyn Marquez. Lynch tied the game at 1-1.
The go ahead run came in the fifth. Will Gorman singled and then hustled around the bases on Keyshawn Lynch’s double to score. The 2-1 lead held for the win after Trevor McKenna came on an held the Ems down.
Trevor McKenna Saves Harrison Francis’ Win
Jackson Goddard started for the Hops and held the Ems to one run on three hits in four innings. Eugene’s lone score came in the third when Erick Gonzalez sent a solo shot down the left field line. Goddard left the mound with the score tied 1-1 with a no decision.
Harrison Francis (W, 2-0) came on in relief and kept the opponent scoreless for the win. Francis also kept the Emeralds hitless until the back to back singles in the eighth. Along came Trevor McKenna to help out a teammate.
Brailyn Marquez (L, 1-4) started for the Emeralds and held sway for over six innings. On a good night, the two runs he limited the Hops would have been enough for the win. But tonight, it saddled him with the loss.
The win increased the Hillsboro Hops (17-8) lead in the Southern Division to five games. The loss dropped the Eugene Emeralds (12-13) to five games back, still one game ahead of the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (11-14).
Both teams will meet for game two of the series and the Hops have a chance to clinch another series, leading 1-0. Also, Luis Frias (0-3) will take the mound for the Hops. On 8/16, Frias lasted five innings giving up one earned run on five hits. But it was enough for the loss as the Emeralds defeated the Hops, 2-1. It was the last time the Hops were defeated.
The Emeralds will bring Zach Mort (0-2) to face Frias. On 8/15, Mort gave up two runs on four hits while striking out five in a 5-3 loss to Hillsboro.
With the Portland Mavericks Monday Night game over, the Hops now look forward to another Los Lupulos appearance on Wednesday night to honor the Hispanic fanbase of the Hops. Come and watch the game and enjoy the festive celebration.