Canadians outlast Hillsboro Hops Last Minute Rally, 5-4
The Canadians outlast the Hillsboro Hops last minute rally to win 5-4 and with it, the series 4-2. Vancouver opened up the scoring with a head start once the starting pitching finished for the night. Before that happened, hits were rare and runs non-existent.
Paxton Schultz (W, 2-0) started for the Canadians and limited the Hops to
two runners for six innings. Six innings Paxton pitched one over the minimum number of batters. Reece Hampton singled with two-outs in the second inning and never saw second base. Leodany Perez led off the third inning only to be removed by a pick-off move while considering a second base steal.
For the rest of his time on the mound, Paxton hummed 75 pitches, 45 of which were strikes. His highest pitch count was 16 in the second inning. His shortest? Five pitches in the fifth. Despite the majority of his pitches being strikes, Paxton only struck out five Hops batters. Mainly because if the Hops weren’t driving up their individual time at the plate, they were swinging hard and early. But, to no avail.
Drey Jameson (L, 0-2) started for the Hops and did his best to match Paxton pitch for pitch. Like his Canadian counterpart, Drey lasted six innings on a nearly identical 76-pitch count. The big difference was the fifth inning. Where Paxton faced only three Hops batters on only five pitches, Drey saw six different Vancouver batters and spent 21 pitches trying to quiet them down.
First, Spencer Horwitz led off with a single and scored on a Luis De Los Santos RBI single. Luis scored on Ronny Brito’s sacrifice fly. The Canadians had broken open the scoreboard and led 2-0. Drew had one more quick inning in the sixth, spending only eight pitches.
Canadians Outlast Hops as Relievers Come to Save the Day
Julio Frias started the seventh in relief of the Hops Jameson and lasted .1 innings, 18 pitches and five batters. Horwitz and Ryan Gold opened with back-to-back singles. Only Horwitz scored, which came on a throwing error by center fielder Eduardo Diaz.
Hillsboro answered back in the bottom. Reliever Justin Maese’s (H, 2) shaky beginning started with Blaze Alexander’s lead-off double and ended with Reece Hampton’s RBI single. After that, Maese settled down and lasted through the eighth inning.
Hops’ reliever Kai-Wei Lin also had a shaky beginning but his beginning lasted longer. But, like his Canadian counterpart, settled down and lasted through the eighth inning. But, not until after Cameron Eden and Horwitz scored two more runs.
Canadians Outlast Rally
The ninth inning saw the closers. For the Hops, Wesley Rodriguez came to the mound and pitched a 1-2-3 inning keeping the Hops looking up at a 5-1 deficit. It was barely enough to help the Canadians outlast the Hops for the win.
Parker Caracci (S, 3) came to close the game for Vancouver and the Hops sent eight batters to the plate and only batted one hit. A single by Leodany Perez late in the inning scored Tristan English and Buddy Kennedy for the final two runs for the home team. Before that there were three walks and a hit batter. Blaze Alexander led off with a walk and eventually scored on a wild pitch by Caracci. When the final out ended the game, the Hops’ potential walk-off winning run stood at second base (Reece Hampton).
The final result was a 5-4 win for the Canadians. The win helped the Vancouver Canadians (12-6) stay in a first place tie with the Eugene Emeralds. The loss dropped the Hillsboro Hops (7-11) to five games behind the leaders. In addition, the Canadians take the six-game series 4-2.
After a day off on Monday, both teams start a new six game series. Vancouver will stay at Ron Tonkin Stadium and host the Everett Aquasox who are one game behind in the standings. Meanwhile, you can buy tickets here. Hillsboro will travel to Tri City to take on the Dust Devils who are in the cellar, two games behind the Hops.
In the meantime, check out my latest series of weekly columns where I take a look at the Hops’ season week by week: Mixed Bag (week 1) and Hope & Perks (week 2). Week 3 is coming next Tuesday morning when I look back at the current week. I have an update on Corbin Carroll and his surgery, a look at the new (old) Hops: Andy Yerzy and Tristan English who both played for the Hops in 2018 and 2019 when the league was Short Season A. In addition, we also have Eduardo Diaz, recently promoted from the Visalia Rawhide getting his first look at Ron Tonkin Field. And more…