Willie MacIver Starts Barrage, Spokane Indians Overpower Hops, 7-5
Willie MacIver hit the first home run for the Spokane Indians in the first inning, sending it over the right field fence. A bombardment soon followed as the Spokane Indians overpowered the Hillsboro Hops 7-5. The Hops answered with one of their own but they couldn’t keep up with the salvo Spokane showered in the game.
Willie MacIver Starts Home Run Blitz
It may have something to do with the 106 degree temperature rarifying the air. Either way, the Indians had seven total hits for the game and over half of them were home runs. MacIver was just the first. Others followed.
Willie MacIver – Trendsetter
The next two came in the fourth inning. With one away, Brenton Doyle hammered one over the right field fence. Two batters later, after a walk by Kyle Datres, Cade Harris sent a two-run blast to right. Finally, Brenton Doyle sent a one-out drive over, you guessed it, the right field fence. It may have had something to do with the gentle breeze blowing south over the right field fence.
But, the Hops had the same advantage throughout the game and only managed one home run. That being from Reece Hampton in the sixth. The Hops were lucky to have Hampton in the game. It was his day off.
Nick Dalesandro Ejected – Reece Hampton Drafted
Hampton was drafted to replace Nick Dalesandro in right field after Nick was ejected from the game at the end of the fourth. Some may partially blame the heat for there were several arguments with the two umpires. One call was even reversed when one of Spokane’s homers was initially ruled foul. After comparing notes, both umpires agreed to reverse the call and allow the home run. While that may have placated the Spokane side of the field, Hops manager Vince Harrison came to jaw for a while.
So, Reece Hampton came in to play right field. In his first at bat, Reece sent a two run blast over to right in the sixth. The very next inning Reece whacked an RBI double bringing Andy Yerzy home.
Mitch Kilkenny (W, 2-0) started for the Indians and set the standard for the game. Throwing 92 pitches, Mitch allowed three runs on six hits. With the backdrop of his teammates’ multiple homers backing him up, Mitch breathed easy. He walked off the mound for the final time today with the lead of 6-3.
Jake Sommers and Dugan Darnell (H, 2) allowed one run each for the final score. Closer PJ Poulin (S, 4) ended the game limiting the Hops’ batters to one single. The Hops had it a bit tougher. Starter Kenny Hernandez (L, 2-2) was chased in the fourth inning after expending 81 pitches and five runs on three homers.
The win helped the Indians split the series with the Hops after being down 3-1. The win kept the Spokane Indians (22-26) on pace with the leading Eugene Emeralds (30-17) at eight and a half games. The loss dropped the Hillsboro Hops (19-27) another game down to ten and a half games behind and two games below Spokane.
Hillsboro stays home for another six game stand, this time hosting the Eugene Emeralds. Since these two teams play each other 36 times this season, it may feel like every other series features these two teams. In reality, these two teams play each other for only a fourth of their schedule. On the other hand, the Spokane Indians will go home to host the Tri City Dust Devils.
In the meantime, check out one of my earlier weekly columns: my pre-season look at manager Vince Harrison.