Buddy Kennedy Powers Hillsboro Hops Over Dust Devils 7-4
Buddy Kennedy brought the power when the Hops needed it. Twice. Buddy didn’t deliver what proved to be the winning run but he provided everything else. In the end, the power of the Hillsboro Hops defeated the visiting Tri City Dust Devils in the first game of their series, 7-4.
Hops Bats Wake Up
The seventh inning delivered what became the winning run. Blaze Alexander led off with a triple and easily came home on Tristin English’s RBI single. That run gave back to the Hops the lead they lost in the fifth when the Dust Devils scored three times to tie the game. But, it was only a one run lead.
In the next inning, Buddy Kennedy saw another opportunity. Leodany Perez and Tra Holmes reached base with no outs in the eighth. Buddy played pitcher Cristopher Molina for eight pitches before he sent the ninth pitch to the fence. The double opened the door for Perez and Holmes to score their sixth and seventh runs and hold a more comfortable three-run lead. The lead held the rest of the way.
Buddy Kennedy Grand Slam
The spark that started the fire known as Buddy Kennedy first appeared in the second inning. The Hops sent eight men to the plate to open up the scoreboard. Dust Devils’ pitcher Hector Yan started off the inning walking the first three Hops batters to come to the plate. Cam Coursey, Perez and Holmes stood on base ready to sprint forward. They didn’t need to. Buddy slapped the ball well over the fence and all four trotted home for a 4-0 lead.
It was a role that Perez and Holmes had waiting for them a few more innings down the road. Of the seven runs scored by the Hops, Buddy sent all but one of them home for the score. The only one he didn’t bring home turned out to be the winning run. But, everyone knew how much of an impact Buddy had on the game.
Buddy Kennedy Ties Record
The record for most RBI’s in one game by one Hops player is six. Make that two Hops players now. Buddy’s stat line read 3 for 5, double, grand slam and six RBIs. Blaze Alexander went 2 for 5 with a triple and a score. Tristin English got in on the action and it was his day off. Spencer Brickhouse was hit by a pitch in the back of the right shoulder. He took his base and finished out the inning but, for precautionary reasons, English was sent in for him to fill the rest of the game.
Tristin proceeded to double his first at bat and single in Blaze Alexander with his last time up. Going 2 for 3 is not bad for your day off. In total, the Hops smacked two doubles (English and Kennedy), one triple (Blaze Alexander) and one grand slam home run (Buddy Kennedy).
Kenny Hernandez Earns Win
Conor Grammes started for the Hops and spread one run on two hits over four innings. However, close, tight games with late scoring do not go to the starters. Kenny Hernandez (W, 2-0) relieved Grammes and pitched for a little over three innings and earned the win. Kai-Wei Lin (H, 1) and Nick Snyder (S, 4) finished the last 1.2 innings keeping the Dust Devils scoreless and hitless. Christopher Molina (L, 2-1) came to the mound in the sixth and gave up the winning run for the loss.
The win helped the Hillsboro Hops (14-16) gain a game on the leading Emeralds who lost tonight. As a result, the Hops are now 4 ½ games back. In addition, the loss for the Tri City Dust Devils (10-21) kept pace with the lead at nine games out. Moreover, both teams meet again Wednesday night for game two of the series. However, the Hops have the early lead (1-0).
What Does Buddy Kennedy Have in Common with Mike Trout?
Check out my preseason look at the Hops (old and new) that made up the roster at the beginning of the season. As a result, learn what Buddy has in common with future hall of fame member Mike Trout.