Eugene Emeralds, Jose Albertos Control Hillsboro Hops, 3-2
The Hillsboro Hops losing streak has reached four games now that they have skidded to a loss Wednesday night to the visiting Eugene Emeralds, 3-2. The low scoring affair featured some excellent pitching from both sides. The Hops bats woke up for a little bit but they weren’t enough to take away a win.
Hops Starter Tyler Badamo was left in for 98 pitches (78 of them strikes) as he was not showing any signs of slowing down. As the game went on, his strike outs increased totaling seven for the game. Tyler entered the eighth inning, rare for a Hillsboro starter, but he had earned it by limiting the Emeralds to three runs on ten scattered hits throughout his stay on the mound.
When the eighth rolled around, Badamo was facing the top of the Eugene order for the fourth time of the night. Chris Singleton led off with a single to shallow right field and was bunted over to second by Jared Young’s sacrifice. After Brandon Hughes struck out swinging, Austin Filiere doubled to left scoring Singleton.
It was time to give the starter a well-deserved rest. With two outs and the score 3-2, Badama handed over the ball and walked off the mound towards the dugout as the applause from the crowd slowly grew louder. Several of the fans even stood for their pitcher and a job well-done.
Matt Peacock came in from the bullpen to finish the inning with two pitches resulting in a Gustavo Polanco ground out to third baseman Drew Ellis. Peacock allowed his only hit in the ninth but kept Eugene off the scoreboard.
Eighteen-year-old Jose Albertos started for the road team lasting five innings before giving way to Keegan Thompson in the sixth. During his start, the native from Mexico, who was signed by the Cubs as a free agent earlier this year, struck out seven batters and limited the Hops bats to two hits.
In a strange turn of events, Thompson (W, 1-2) pitched both the sixth and seventh while giving up the Hops only two runs of the game on six hits to earn the win. The scoring effort by the Hops tied the game leaving Keegan the pitcher of record when the Emerald’s scored their third run. Luis Aquino (S, 7) closed out the last two innings to earn the save.
The Hops bats woke up when Thompson came to the mound. Seven Hops batters came to the plate in teh sixth starting off with two consecutive singles by Ryan Dobson and Bryan Araiza. Dobson would score all the way from second on Araiza’s hit for the first Hops run of the game. After Ryan Grotjohn bunt sacrificed Araiza to second, Pavin Smith stepped up and sent a line drive up the middle for the third Hops single of the inning scoring Araiza. Before the inning was over, Daulton Varsho smacked the fourth single of the inning but the scoring was over before he could find a way home.
Both Smith and Varsho had multi-hit games for the Hops. Smith also had the lone extra base hit for the Hops with his double in the eighth. Eight of the nine Hillsboro batters hit safely in the game.
Eugene bats were one hit better than Hillsboro led by Austin Filiere and Chris Carrier who had three hits apiece. Jared Young had a triple in the first with one out and easily scored the game’s first run on Brandon Hughes sacrifice fly.
The loss kept the Hillsboro Hops (9-12) on pace, one game behind the Southern Division leaders. The win vaulted the Eugene Emeralds (11-12) into a first-place tie with the Boise Hawks. Eugene took the first game of the series with both teams returning to Ron Tonkin Field Thursday night for game two. Expected pitcher for the Hops is RHP Jhoan Duran (3-2). Eugene’s starting pitcher has yet to be determined.
Hops notes: catcher Cole Thompson has returned to the Hops from the Kane County Cougars. During 14 games for the Cougars, Thompson hit .176 with six RBIs and a home run.
By Greg Stoker