The game started with the power of the home team as the Hillsboro Hops jumped to a 5-2 lead over the Eugene Emeralds and held on for the 6-5 win. Right fielder Will Gorman contributed plenty of power with his first two at bats: a two run triple and a two run homer over the right field fence. Another hit, a single, came in the seventh.
Josh Green 10th Save
Every bit of power kept the Hops ahead. The game came down to the last batter: DJ Artis. With one run already scored in the top of the ninth, Artis represented the tying run at the plate. Previously, Fernando Kelli singled, stole two bases and came home on a wild pitch by Josh Green. That would be as close as it got. Artis grounded out to short ending the game and earn Green (S, 10) the save.
The pitching faced swinging bats and flying balls all game. Of the nine pitchers to take the mound, only three escaped with no runs scored. For the Hops, Justin Garcia (W, 2-1) and Travis Moths (H, 1) controlled the end of the fourth thru the seventh inning. Together, they faced the minimum of ten batters striking out five and inducing three ground outs and two fly outs.
Will Gorman Starts Power Surge
For the Emeralds, it was too little too late. Sean Barry came on for the eighth and final inning for Hops’ batters. All three Hops batters grounded out with the score still a reachable 6-4. Both starting pitcher Zach Mort and reliever Cam Sanders struck out five batters apiece but even they could not stop the Hops from crossing the plate on a regular basis.
The hometown batters aggressively attacked the plate swinging for the fences. As a team, they mounted ten hits but also twelve strike outs. Half of those hits went for extra bases: three doubles, a triple and a home run. Most noteworthy, Will Gorman struck hard right off the bat (pun intended). In the first inning, Gorman split the center and right fielders with a triple going to the fence. Also on base, Andy Yerzy (single) and Francis Martinez (walk) dashed home.
Even more, Will Gorman sent a bullet over the right field fence for 430 feet at 108 MPH. Andy Yerzy doubled and stood at second watching Gorman’s homer sail over his head. Andy likewise held his own as well grabbing a single to go with his double during his first two at bats. Together they teamed up for an odd cycle between them.
Geraldo Perdomo knocked home the two runs that Will Gorman did not. In the fourth, Perdomo singled home Dan Swain. In the sixth, Geraldo singled home Jake McCarthy for what would become the winning run.
As a result, the win increased the Hillsboro Hops (18-8) lead in the Southern Division to six games. Also, the loss dropped the Eugene Emeralds (12-14) into a second place tie with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (12-14). The win also has extended the Hops winning streak to five games. In addition, the win gave the Hops the three game series with the Emeralds with one game left to go.
Both teams return to Ron Tonkin Field for the third and final game Wednesday night. Ryan Weiss (0-1) takes the mound for the Hops. On 8/17, Weiss went 3.2 innings giving up three runs on seven hits for a no decision. Facing Weiss will be Paul Richan (0-1). On 8/16, Richan gave a quality start of four innings keeping the Hops scoreless and hitless while striking out five batters but also received a no decision.
Wednesday’s game will also be another edition of Los Lupulos Del Hillsboro, the Spanish version of the Hillsboro Hops. The night of Celebration Diversity is one of five this season honoring the Hispanic community. As a part of the celebration, former MLB pitcher Rodrigo Lopez will be making an appearance. Lopez had an eleven year career in the major leagues from 2000-12 pitching for six different teams including the Arizona Diamondbacks. Lopez has been a part of the Spanish broadcast for the Diamondbacks for the last five years.