Dom Canzone’s 2-run homer leads Hops over Aquasox, 4-1
Dom Canzone came along in the bottom of the third and lifted the Hillsboro Hops to the win with his shot over the right field fence. The 3-0 lead would hold up for a 4-1 victory over the Everett Aquasox in the season opener for both teams.
Luis Frias, Matt Brash Pitch Tight Contest at the Start
Both pitchers looked like they could go for no hitters at the beginning. The Hops’ Luis Frias took the mound for the game’s first pitch and struck out the side on 14 pitches in the first inning. Matt Brash only needed eleven pitches and two
strikeouts to keep it close strike for strike. The only ball put into play was Dom Canzone’s long fly out to right that hinted at what was coming in the third inning.
The second inning was the beginning of the separation between the two teams. Luis, the Diamondbacks 9th best prospect in their farm system, improved by needing only twelve pitches to get through the next inning. Matt, however, started sliding in the opposite direction. It took Brash 22 pitches to get through the inning, giving up the game’s first hit — a single up the middle to DH Cam Coursey.
Staying consistent, Frias got through the third with only 13 pitches. But, the wheels fell off for Matt Brash.
Dom Canzone Gets Party Started
Dom Canzone, the Hops’ right fielder, sent one over the right field fence with Blaze Alexander on first. The two-run homer gave the Hops a 3-0 lead. Just before, Blaze’s RBI single brought home Corbin Carroll for the game’s first score.
Corbin almost didn’t make it to first base. A broken bat single up the middle made Matt Brash dance a little to avoid not only the ball, but also the thickest part of the bat. By the time second baseman Kaden Polcovich picked up the ball, resting just a step or two from the bat, Carroll was already on first base. It was Carroll’s speed that made it look easier than it really was. It was Corbin’s hustle that made it possible for Carroll to steal second base and then dash home from second on Blaze’s poke into the outfield.
Brash finished the inning but the damage was done. David Ellingson relieved in the fourth and, with help, shut down the Hops for the next four innings. Ellingson needed nine pitches to get through the fourth. Tim Elliot came on in the fifth and retired the Hops with ten pitches. Then, Tim struck out the side in the sixth but he needed 25 pitches to get through the inning as Buddy Kennedy and Spencer Brickhouse took Tim to full counts. Ricky Martinez managed a 2-2 count and also wasted ten pitches.
Everett finally got on the board in the fifth when Carter Bins singled and scored on a fielding error by Luis Frias. But the wheels started falling off of Luis by then as well. Carter singled, then moved to third off of Jack Larsen’s single. A throw by Carroll from centerfield to third base took a crazy side bounce and the fielding error by Luis Frias allowed Carter to continue on home to make it 3-1. That was the last time Everett scored. They came close but the Hops managed to stop the bleeding. Frias ended the fifth by striking out Patrick Frick before Larsen could score from third.
In the sixth, Austin Shenton hit a double that trickled to the wall. But, when Austin tried to stretch it into a triple, CF Corbin Carroll relayed it through 2B Ricky Martinez to 3B Buddy Kennedy to tag him out. After that, no more hits. Three Aquasox batters made it to base via two walks and getting hit by a pitch but the Hops might as well have been ahead by 20 runs instead of two.
Just to put the cherry on the lead, Blaze Alexander launched a home run of his own. CF Jack Larsen watched it sail over the wall known as the Blue Monster, rising 18 feet above the ground. The only doubt was if it would clear the wall.
Luis Frias (W, 1-0) earned the win. Matt Brash (L, 0-1) took the loss. Nick Snyder (S-1) faced the last four batters to get the save.
For Everett, Carter Bins singled and scored their lone run.
For Hillsboro, Blaze Alexander went 2 for 4 with an RBI single, a towering home run and two runs scored. Dom Canzone went 1 for 3 with a two run homer.
The Hillsboro Hops start the season 1-0 and are tied with the Eugene Emeralds and the Tri City Dust Devils for first place. The Everett Aquasox find themselves tied with the Vancouver Canadians and Spokane Indians one game behind the leaders.
Look out for my weekly columns on Tuesday Mornings. Some of my latest ones look into who’s next in line to make it into the major leagues (hint: one of them is Corbin Carroll), or my look at the Hops coaches this year over a four part series. Start with Vince Harrison.