Eugene Emeralds Control Hillsboro Hops 6-2 for South Lead
Wednesday night was the first meeting of the 2015 season between the Eugene Emeralds and the Hillsboro Hops. Both teams came into tonight’s game tied for the lead in the South Division, but on the Ems left the night still in first as they won it easily, 6-2.
The scoring started in the top of the fourth inning. Eloy Jimenez gave his team the lead with a solo shot to left field. Ian Happ followed with a hard grounder to third baseman Nate Robertson. First baseman Josh Anderson mishandled the ball and Ian Happ reached first safely on an error. Tyler Alamo knocked a solid single to left field driving Happ all the way to third. Frandy De La Rosa hit into a fielder’s choice with Alamo forced out at second, but De La Rosa did get an RBI on the play as Happ scored. Ho-young Son came to the plate and moments later De La Rosa stole second. Son then hit a bloop single to right field which scored De La Rosa. The Emeralds were up 3-0.
The Hops would chip away most of the lead starting with the bottom of the fourth. Trevor Mitsui walked on four straight balls. Dane McFarland stepped to the plate and Mitsui took second on a passed ball by catcher Tyler Alamo. Mitsui then took third on a wild pitch by Justin Steele. McFarland followed with a curving double down the right field line which easily scored Mitsui. Emeralds were now up 3-1.
In the bottom of the fifth, Sergio Alcantara started off with a deep hit double that just missed going over the left field wall. Alcantara took third on a ground out by Zach Nehrir to third baseman Adonis Paula. Ozuna came to bat with another run waiting 90 feet away. A passed ball by Tyler Alamo allowed the speedy Alcantara to quickly make it across the plate. The Emeralds were up 3-2.
The Hops never led in the game. The Emeralds brought some insurance to the plate in the top of the sixth. Eloy Jimenez hit a sharp grounder that almost went up the middle. Alcantara made a stabbing grab and in one motion, threw to first, but seconds too late. Ian Happ walked moving Jimenez to second. Matt Rose hit a line single over third baseman Robertson and into left field scoring Jimenez. Happ moved to third on the throw home. Tyler Alamo slapped a single into left, scoring Happ. De La Rosa grounded out to the pitcher, moving Rose to third and Alamo to second. That brought a pitching change. Myles Smith relieved Cody Reed. After Son walked to load the bases, Adonis Paula singled to right scoring Rose. The score (6-2) held for the rest of the game.
Cody Reed (1-1) lasted five and a third innings for the Hillsboro Hops. He allowed seven hits with six runs (four were earned), walked one and struck out three for the loss.
For the Emeralds, Justin Steele (2-0) started, pitching six full innings. He surrendered four hits and two runs (one was earned) for the win. He allowed two walks and six strike outs. Francisco Carrillo pitched the final three innings for the save (S-1). He struck out three batters with no walks.
In offense, Dane McFarland went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI for the Hops. Trevor Mitsui went 1 for 2 with two walks and scored a run.
The Emeralds Eloy Jimenez went 3 for 4, scoring two runs. One of his hits was a home run. Tyler Alamo went 2 for 4 with an RBI.
The Hillsboro Hops (7-7) and the Eugene Emeralds (8-6) face off Thursday with the second game in the three game series at Ron Tonkin Field in Hillsboro. The Hops trail the division leading Emeralds by two games in the South.
By Greg Stoker