Canadians Top Hops 6-1 in Moment of Deja Vu
The Canadians repeated last night’s game one with a mini version in game two. Whereas last night Vancouver defeated their roommates 13-4, tonight they defeated the Hillsboro Hops 6-1. And now the Hops have to do Vancouver’s laundry. At least according to a twitter bet just before the game.
Last night, Tanner Kirwer started out with a single and a score to launch the game with a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Tonight, Tanner Kirwer launched a solo shot on the third pitch of the game to stake a 1-0 lead. The feeling of Deja Vu started to sink in.
Small differences did pop up but nothing that might change the flow of the game. Last night, The Hops rebounded in the next inning to tie the game and take a very short lead. That lead would last a half inning. Tonight, Reece Hampton led off the Hops with a triple in the first inning and scored off a double play to tie the game.
But, the Hops would never lead in this game. In fact, it would be the only run scored for the Hops all night. Hillsboro left seven men on base, five of them in scoring position. Their batting average when a runner was that close was 0 for 6. Even scoring in the first off a double play didn’t earn them an RBI for the game.
The biggest reason for the futility was the pitching of RHP Troy Miller (W, 2-0), RHP Lazaro Estrada and RHP Justin Maese. These three right handers held the team to one run on four hits and a combined ERA of 1.00 with nine strikeouts.
The Hops did get their baserunners. Five walks helped augment the four hits but the Hops bats could not produce another run. Though the Hops did start showing some power with a lead-off double by Nick Dalesandro in the seventh and the lead-off triple by Hampton in the first. The offense seemed to be built of random spurts rather than a concerted team effort.
But, even the best pitching cannot win a game if their offense doesn’t score enough runs. Evidently, that is not a problem for the Vancouver Canadians.
Tanner Kirwer was everywhere. He homered in the first, scored in the fifth and helped DJ Neal score on his groundout. Cameron Eden’s two-run homer in the fifth gave the team a 4-1 lead. DJ Neal singled home Luis De Los Santos in the sixth and doubled and scored in the ninth for the final score. In total, the Canadians scored six runs on seven hits, including four doubles and two home runs. By comparison, the Hops scored one run on four hits, including a double and a triple.
In all, the Hillsboro Hops (5-9) are only down 2-0 in the series. They can still bounce back. Until then, the Vancouver Canadians (10-4) look very comfortable at Ron Tonkin Field. In the meantime, the win moved the Canadians into a first place tie with Everett. With Everett’s loss tonight, the loss kept the Hops five games back of the leaders.
Both teams return to the Tonk tomorrow night for a 6:35 game three of the six-game series. As always, you can watch the game on MiLB.tv or listen to 620 AM on the radio. Otherwise, you can follow me on Twitter for half inning updates throughout the game. In the meantime, check out this week’s Tuesday morning column where I look at the second week of the Hops 2021 season in Hope & Perks.