Heroes Night, Hillsboro Hops Over Vancouver Canadians, 12-6
Heroes night came in the form of Salute to Service. A hero in a camo uniform sang the National Anthem and a color guard featuring dress uniforms holding their flags stood at attention on the field. The Hops wore their camo uniforms, a dark blue top with the numbers and logos in camo. It was only fitting that the Hillsboro Hops would supply plenty of their own heroes for the game as they defeated the Vancouver Canadians 12-6.
Heroes Night Both Sides
Vancouver was not without their heroes night as well. Highlighted by Ryan Gold, the designated hitter went 3 for 5, doubled and brought home two runs. He was not alone. Tanner Morris made his contribution known. The third baseman went 2 for 3 at the plate, doubled, knocked home a run with his RBI single and scored twice. All told, eight Canadian batters either scored, knocked home a run or did both. On most nights, their six runs would have made them the victors. But, not on a night where the Hops would double their efforts.
The Hops’ night began with a bang when they scored six runs in the second inning alone. The home team sent nine batters to the plate starting with Tristin English who singled and scored. In fact, the Hops’ first three batters (including Eduardo Diaz and Cam Coursey) all singled and scored. For a moment, that appeared to be the full effort as two strikeouts followed. But, with two outs, Roman Ruiz walked and scored on Dom Canzone’s triple along with Diaz and Coursey. Axel Andueza hit his second two-run homer in back to back nights, scoring Canzone. It took a while for the dust to settle on that inning but the Hops clearly led 6-0 on the scoreboard.
Two innings later, C’s Tanner Morris (double), Sebastian Espino (triple) and Spencer Horwitz (double) scored to cut the deficit in half. That would only be a small deterrence as the Hops followed in the bottom of the inning with two more runs of their own. Roman Ruiz singled, Axel Andueza reached on a fielder’s choice and both scored to push the lead back to five.
Heroes Night One Last Comeback for Canadians
The Canadians still had some fight left in them as they scored another three runs while sending their nine men to the plate. Eric Rivera, Luis De Los Santos and Tanner Morris led off with singles and scored on Ryan Gold’s single and when DJ Neal walked with the bases loaded.
But, the Hops never run out of answers. Two more runs by the home team came in the bottom of the inning when Eduardo Diaz and Cam Coursey led off with singles and scored on Nick Dalesandro’s ground out and Reece Hampton’s RBI single. Amazingly, up to that time, the Hops opened their first five innings with one lead off single if not two or three.
That would be the end of the scoring for the visiting Canadians but the Hops still had some left inside them. The seventh showed Cam Coursey with a one-out single and scoring on Nic Dalesandro’s RBI single right afterwards. The eighth featured another run when Axel Andueza walked, moved to third on Spencer Brickhouse’ double and scored on Tristin English’ sac fly. By the end of the game, all Hops’ batters would get a hit. All nine would either score, bring someone home, move a runner into scoring position or a combo of all three.
Heroes From the Ashes
All of the offense, 18 runs on 26 hits, came with some casualties. Both starting pitchers were chased from the mound before they could qualify for a win. The Hops’ Justin Vernia came the closest, lasting through 4.1 innings. The Canadians’ CJ Van Eyk (L, 2-4) was chased in the fourth after 3.1 innings.
But, among the ashes on the mound from the burning of pitches through the night, rose a couple of heroes of their own. The Hops’ Justin Lewis (W, 1-1) came on in relief for three sparkling innings of scoreless and hitless dominance. It was his effort, coupled with newcomer Bobby Ay who closed the ninth, that shut down the Canadians for the rest of the night. Both performances were preceded by a matching effort from Kyler Stout. Kyler came on to finish the fifth inning and got the Hops out of a jam. Stout came to the mound to find the bases loaded and only allowed one of them to score before striking out the last two batters to end the inning.
The win helped the Hillsboro Hops gain a game on league leading Everett who lost tonight. They now sit 13.5 games back of the top. With the loss, the Vancouver Canadians maintained nine and a half games back of Everett. However, with Spokane’s win, they now only sit a game and a half in front of the fourth place Indians.
The Hops now have a 3-1 series edge over the Canadians with game#5 Saturday night at 7:05 PM. With a win either Saturday or Sunday, the Hops can win their first six game series of the season. Previously, the Hops have won two five game series that were shortened by rain. You can watch the game on MiLB.tv, listen on 620 AM radio. Or follow me on Twitter for half inning updates. You can find my Twitter handle below.