Eugene Emeralds, Jesus Castillo’s 10 Strikeouts Overcome Hillsboro Hops, 5-2
The Hillsboro Hops were downed by the Eugene Emeralds, 5-2. It seemed that even a two or three run lead appeared larger than it was. Despite the best efforts by the team and a powerful night for Jason Morozowski, the Hops always seemed two innings behind.
Both teams started hot in the first inning with Eugene taking a 2-1 lead. With one out, Jason Morozowski sent a line drive blast to left for a solo home run (1). Morozowski also scored the only other run for the Hops in the sixth when he led off the inning with a triple and came home on Alexis Olmeda’s sacrifice fly to center field. Three other batters managed a single hit, all singles, for a total of five team hits for the night.
Jeferson Mejia (2-2) started for the Hops. In 3.1 innings, Mejia allowed four runs on four hits for the loss. Jeferson struck out five but also walked five. Control was an issue for Mejia as he walked the first two batters he faced. Both base runners scored on Chris Pieters triple. The very next inning, Mejia also walked the first batter, Marcus Mastrubuoni, who worked his way around the bases and came home on Yeiler Peguero’s grounder through the right side gap. In the fourth, Mejia started with another walk that would score Trent Giambrone when he came home on Robert Garcia’s double.
That was it for Jeferson Mejia. All four runs allowed started as a walk. Max Duval came to the mound in relief, making his Hops debut. Max was signed on June 23rd as a free agent by the Arizona Diamondbacks. He has already took the mound for the Missoula Osprey and Visalia Rawhide before making his first appearance for the Hops.
Max Duval got the Hops out of the inning and pitched the entire fifth. Duval struck out four of the five batters he faced for no hit ball. Jordan Watson came on for the sixth and part of the seventh in the same fashion. Watson faced eight batters and stuck out five for no runs on one hit. Tommy Evald closed the eighth allowing the Emerald’s final run of the night for the final score of 5-2.
Jesus Castillo (2-2) started for the Emeralds and earned the win going almost six complete innings. Castillo gave up both Hops runs on four hits but also struck out ten. Daniel Lewis and Jared Cheek combined to finish the game and the Hops by pitching one hit ball the rest of the way. Cheek (S, 4) got the save.
The Emeralds only got seven hits, two more than the Hops, but they also got seven walks on the night. Four of those walks scored. Trent Giambrone went 2 for 3, doubled and scored a run. Robert Garcia went 2 for 4, doubled and knocked two runs across the plate. Marcus Mastrobuoni went 1 for 3, doubled and scored twice. Yeiler Peguero and Chris Pieters also hit safely with Pieters’ hit being a two run triple.
In the standings, the Hillsboro Hops fell behind the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes and into third, seven games out of first. The South Division leading The Eugene Emeralds maintained a six game lead over second place Salem-Keizer. Both teams will meet at PK Park for the second game of the three game series. Eugene leads 1-0.
by Greg Stoker