Dominic Canzone Scored Thrice, Hillsboro Hops Defeat Boise Hawks 6-0
Dominic Canzone scored half of the six Hillsboro Hops runs to help defeat the Boise Hawks 6-0. Eight different Hops safely hit in their last regular home game of the season.
In winning the game as a shut-out, the Hops tied their own league record of ten shut-outs in one season. The Hops have three more regular season games in Boise to have a chance to break it and set a new record. Tonight’s victory couldn’t be written better if it was done by Hollywood.
To start it off, the steady local product out of the University of Oregon, Ryne Nelson, went three innings on a limited pitch count striking out five and limiting the Hawks to two hits. Then, seasoned veteran Wilfry Cruz (W, 5-2) stepped in for four innings and six strikeouts for the win.
But, two more innings remained to complete the shut out. In step two new pitchers making their debut for the short season Hops. Less than three months earlier, Brennan Malone and Avery Short pitched for their high school teams. Now, after graduating and signing their first pro contracts, they find themselves making their pro debuts in a pressure situation of preserving their team’s chances of matching their league all-time record of shut-out victories in one season.
The two left no question in doubt as they acquitted themselves into the record books. Brennan appeared first retiring his three batters in order, including the top two of the order, ending with a strikeout. Then, Avery stepped to the mound and teased the meat of the Hawks order with a little drama. Short walked his first two batters. Keeping control, Avery then retired the next three to end the game including two with strikeouts.
The shut out was not without drama of its own. It appeared that the Hawks would score easily when Trevor Boone doubled to the left field corner and took third when LF Canzone misplayed the ball, allowing Boone to get to third to lead off the inning. With no outs, Boise stood 90 feet away from their first score.
But, Wilfry Cruz earned his keep and the win. Zach Hall stepped up to the plate and, on his fourth pitch, softly lofted a fly ball to shallow centerfield. Not deep enough for Boone to tag and score.
Robert Metz took his swing next. Only, it wasn’t a swing. Metz started to pull his bat back from the pitch and it bounced off the knob of his bat. It took Metz a moment to realize he had just hit a fair ball dribbling down the first base line. Cruz ran the ball down, looked the runner back to third and threw Metz out at first.
Finally, in Hollywood fashion, Nic Motley struck out swinging to let the Hops out of the inning with no score. The Hops got out of a jam without one runner crossing the plate.
The Hops veterans also acquitted themselves as well with their bats. Ryan January got the ball rolling when he launched his double off the Blue Monster in centerfield. Already on base, Liover Peguero and Dominic Canzone scored the first two runs of the game.
Two innings later, the plate brothers did it again. With Peguero on third and Canzone at first, the Hops pulled off the double steal. Canzone took off for second drawing the attention and the ball thrown in his direction. Peguero took the opportunity to sneak home. But, he was seen. The throw home just a bit too late and Peguero scored while Canzone pulled into second safely. Later, Dominic Canzone scored off of Kevin Lachance’s sacrifice fly.
With the win, the Hillsboro Hops (22-13) maintained their three-game lead over the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes on top of the Southern Division, with three games left to play. The loss kept the Boise Hawks (11-24) four games back of the third place Eugene Emeralds. Both teams now travel to Boise to finish the regular season with another three game series.
Conor Grammes (0-1) starts for the Hops. In his last appearance, Grammes pitched three innings allowing no runs on one hit for the no decision. Boise has yet to name a starter.
Be sure to follow the Minor League Sports Report for game recaps throughout the regular season and playoffs. Also, follow me for half inning updates on all Hops home games. Next home game will be the first game of the playoffs with the Hops hosting the SK Volcanoes.