Right Fielder William Gorman scored the go ahead run in the top of the ninth for the Hillsboro Hops. With the help of Keyshawn Lynch’s insurance run afterwards, the lead held for the comeback win over the host Spokane Indians, 8-6. The victory clinched the series win for the Hops, 3-1, with the last game scheduled for Tuesday night.
Hops Jump Back Into Game
At first, it seemed that the Indians would slowly creep away with the game. Curtis Terry tripled in the first and came home on Diosbel Arias’ RBI single for the game’s first score. With two outs in the bottom of the fourth and the bases loaded, Hasuan Vierra singled home Francisco Ventura and Troy Dixon to make the score 3-0. But, what took the home team several innings to build, the Hops rocketed past in one inning.
Top of the fifth saw eleven Hops batters come to the plate. After one out, Jake McCarthy tripled with the Hops only extra base hit of the night. Five singles, a walk and a fielding error later, six Hops crossed the plate and doubled the Indians’ efforts to that point.
The Slow Creep Continues
But, the Indians were not done. Without missing a beat in the bottom of the fifth, Spokane kept their role of the Tortoise compared to the Hops’ Hare and crept closer with two more runs. The Indians closed the gap to one.
Two innings later, the slow creeping of the Indians tied the game after Spokane’s Julio Pablo Martinez double who scored off of Diosbel Arias’ second RBI single of the night. The game entered the ninth tied. The question remained. Who would win? The Hare-ifying Hops with one last jump or the Tortoise-like refusal to give up of the Indians?
William Gorman Establishes Presence
In only his third game in a Hops uniform, William Gorman may seem like an overnight sensation. The Hops’ new right fielder went 4 for 4 at the plate. The only time he wasn’t singling to first, Gorman walked there, reaching first base safely five out of five times. Two runs and two RBIs helped his teammates get to the scoreboard and take the lead for good.
However, the overnight journey took longer than a Hop overnight. It was more like the steady, never-stopping and always believing trip for over a year. Arizona drafted Gorman out of the Rochester Institute of Technology in the 32nd round of the 2017 draft. To arrive here was a trip of time and distance.
Pitching & Standings
Jackson Goddard started the game for the Hops and went three innings of three hit – one run ball while striking out four batters. But, with the game tied late, the win or loss went to the those who ended it. Hops Josh Green (W, 3-0 and 2018 All-Star) pitched the last two innings for the win. Indians Xavier Moore (0-1) gave up the winning runs for the loss.
The win maintained the Hillsboro Hops (5-2) one game lead in the Southern Division over the second place Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (4-3). The loss maintained the Spokane Indians (4-3) two-way tie with the Vancouver Canadians (4-3) atop the Northern Division.
Both teams return to Avista Stadium for the last game of the series in which the Hops have the lead (3-1). Ryan Weiss (0-0) will take the mound for Hillsboro. On Ryan’s last appearance on July 26th, he pitched two scoreless innings to open the game. Ryan will face a tough opponent in Hans Crouse (4-1) . On July 25th, Hans last game, he went seven full innings allowing only one run for the win. In those seven innings, Hans struck out twelve batters.
2018 All-Star Nods
This year’s All-Star Game between the Northwest League and the Pioneer League will be played in Grand Junction, Colorado on August 7th. The Hillsboro Hops will have two representatives at the game. Andy Yerzy (catcher), who is leading the current Hops with a .345 batting average (at least ten At Bats), will start as the designated hitter. Josh Green (3-0) who has five saves out of five chances for the Hops, will be a part of the NWL bullpen. More on these two soon.
Also, I recently wrote the first part of a series featuring former Hops in the Arizona farm system. The first chapter deals with the AAA club Reno Aces who feature eight former Hops. Check it out.