Boise Hawks Hold on to Beat Hillsboro Hops, 5-2
The Boise Hawks held onto a slim lead and outlasted the Hillsboro Hops 5-2 for the win. The Hawks took the lead in the second and held on for the rest of the way. First, Willie Abreu tripled and came home on Wesley Jones’ single to tie the game. Jones moved over to second with Antony Brito’s walk and took third on Wilkyns Jimenez sacrifice bunt. Daniel Suero grounded out to second baseman Manny Jefferson allowing Jones to come home as the go ahead run.
Garrett Hampson lit up the night for the Hawks with his bat. Steven Linkous came home off of Hampson’s sacrifice in the first. Hampson single in the seventh scored Daniel Suero and Linkous for two insurance runs that weren’t needed but were nice to have around just in case. Garrett was 2 for 3 with three RBI. Linkous also went 2 for 3, scoring twice.
There was rare excitement in the fourth inning. The Hops Justin Chigbogu doubled and was thrown out when he later attempted to come home on Manny Jefferson’s single to left. On the way to the dugout, Chigbogu bumped with catcher Wilkyns Jimenez and the two players got into a heated discussion. Hops manager Shelley Duncan came out of the dugout but not in time to save Chigbogu from being sent to the showers early. At that time, Justin was building up a nice game going 2 for 2 at the plate with his double and scored once. Josh Anderson, who had been taking the night off, replaced Chigbogu in the line up as the designated hitter.
The Hillsboro bats outhit the Hawks bats 8-7 but the Hops hurt themselves leaving seven men on the bases. Luke Lowery inched his battering average closer to .300 going 2 for 4 with a double and scored once. Connor Owings also had a double. Anderson, Manny Jefferson and Connor Owings singled.
Both starting pitchers went deep into the game giving their respective bullpens a much deserved easier load for the night. The Hops Bo Takahashi lasted 6 and 1/3 innings before being relieved by Riley Smith for the final 1 and 2/3 innings. Takahashi (L, 2-1) gave up all five Hawks runs for the loss on six hits while striking out four. Smith limited the Hawks to just one hit while he was on the mound.
The win went to Hawks starting pitcher Antonio Santos (W, 3-4) who lasted seven innings allowing two runs on seven hits. Alec Kenilvort pitched a hitless eighth. Julian Fernandez (S, 9) pitched a one hit ninth for the save.
Boise only had seven hits on the night but also had five walks to help them score. In addition to Steven Linkous and Garrett Hampson, Wesley Jones also had a two hit night, hitting an RBI single in the second and scoring later in the inning. Willie Abreu tripled for the Hawks other hit.
The loss dropped the Hillsboro Hops (7-5) into a first place tie with Eugene who beat Salem-Keizer tonight. The win brought the Boise Hawks (6-6) up to within one game of the South Division leaders.
Both teams return to Memorial Stadium for the second game. Boise has an early 1-0 lead in the three game series.
Hops notes. Luke Lowery won Player of the Week for last week (ending the 7th) for his outstanding effort at the plate. He went 9 for 17 with 5 doubles and a home run to go with 5 RBI. The Hops were able to go 3-1 on the shortened week due to the All-Star Game.
Anfernee Benitez made it a double-win when he was named pitcher of the week after the starter came in as a reliever and went 6 and 1/3 scoreless innings allowing only one hit for the win and striking out five.
By Greg Stoker