Hillsboro Hops Burn Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, 10-0
The game started as a pitcher’s duel but the Hillsboro Hops had different plans. Starting in the fifth inning, the Hops would erupt for ten runs over the next five innings to cool the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 10-0.
During the first four innings, both teams struggled at the plate due to fine control of the pitching on both sides. Starting pitcher for the Hops, 2015 Northwest League All-Star Carlos Hernandez (3-1), went seven innings, allowing no runs on four hits, striking out seven for the win. The Volcanoes would not get another hit as Cameron Gann and Kevin Simmons held the Volcanoes without a hit.
Jordan Johnson (0-1) started for the Volcanoes and held the Hops scoreless on two hits for the first four innings. In the fifth, the Hops battered him for two runs on five hits before the Hops bats chased him off the mound for the loss.
The first score started when Nate Robertson poked a single through the hole on the left side with both infielders diving to stop the ball. Galli Cribbs, Jr., singled to right field and moved Robertson over to second. Sergio Alcantara hit a hard line drive down the first base line scoring Robertson that moved Cribbs over to third. Alcantara reached second on a stand up double. Zach Nehrir grounded a sacrifice to short scoring Cribbs.
The eruption took place in the seventh inning. Again, it was started with Nate Robertson who took a walk. Galli Cribbs, Jr., followed with a walk of his own after a full count. After a conference on the mound, EJ Encinosa relieved Jarrett Leverett for the Volcanoes.
Still in the seventh, Sergio Alcantara singled to left field to load up the bases. 2015 NW League All-Star Zach Nehrir was hit by a pitch and Robertson came home on the force. Gerard Hernandez hit a high fly ball to center for the sacrifice. Cribbs came home for the score and Alcantara and Nehrir advanced. Alexis Olmeda singled over the reach of second baseman Richard Amion and Alcantara easily scored. When right fielder bobbled the ball, Nehrir alertly came home for another score and Olmeda headed to second. Trevor Mitsui walked on a full count. Mitsui’s fourth ball became a passed ball by Fernando Pujadas sent Olmeda to third.
Before the Hops were finished with the inning, Stephen Dezzi chopped a high grounder to short and was thrown out at first. Alexis Olmeda scored and Trevor Mitsui headed to second on the throw. Jose Queliz hit a one bouncer over the left field fence for a stand up double, scoring Mitsui. The Hops erupted for six runs on three hits with three walks and one batter hit by a pitch. Ten men went to the plate in the inning.
The final two runs for the Hops came in the eighth inning. Galli Cribbs, Jr., reached first on a throwing error in the dirt to first base. Sergio Alcantara hit the next pitch, a blooper into center field, moving Cribbs to second. With Zach Nehrir at the plate, a passed ball advanced both runners to second and third. Another passed ball brought Cribbs home and Alcantara scooted over to third. Gerard Hernandez walked on four straight pitches giving the hops runners at the corners. Alexis Olmeda followed with a high blooper to shallow left field. Miscommunication between short stop CJ Hinojosa and left fielder Shilo McCall let the ball drop safely and scored Alcantara.
Sergio Alcantara went 3 for 4 with two runs and an RBI for the Hops. Alexis Olmeda went 3 for 5 with one run and an RBI. Nate Robertson and Galli Cribbs, Jr., both went 1 for 3. Robertson scored twice and Cribbs three times. Trevor Mitsui and Zach Nehrir both scored a run. Nehrir also had two RBI.
The Hops announced four of their players were selected for the NW League All-Star game. Three pitchers: Jared Miller, Carlos Hernandez and Cody Reed join teammate and outfielder Zach Nehrir for the honors.
Both teams as well as the entire four team South Division are tied for first place (1-1) in the second half. The Hillsboro Hops hit the road for a three-game series against the Tri-City Dust Devils Tuesday night. The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes return home for a three-game series against the North Division leading Everett Aquasox.
By Greg Stoker