Hillsboro Hops Grant Heyman Drives Win Over Tri-City Dust Devils, 2-1
Pitching ruled the night but batting stole the show. In the eighth, Hillsboro Hops’ Grant Heyman lined a hit over Tri-City Dust Devil shortstop Kodie Tidwell to bring home Sergio Alcantara and Dansby Swanson for the tying and go ahead run that would stand up for the win, 2-1.
Hits were few and far between for both teams as fielding took away the hits with fine play. Dansby Swanson impressed early with his speed and two over the shoulder catches in the shallow outfield with his back to the plate. Swanson is showing why he was the first overall draft pick in 2015 with both his hitting and fielding. Galli Cribbs, Jr., and Luis Veras made running catches all night in the outfield to rob the Dust Devils of not only extra bases but hits as well.. Only one error was commited by either team and it was in the second where no one scored.
Troy Marks pitched well for the Hops going six innings and allowing the only Dust Devil run on three hits. Marks even unintentionally fielded a ground ball off of his right throwing elbow. Troy managed to recover and throw to first for the force out. After pitching a few practice pitches, Marks decided he was still fit to finish the sixth inning.
Brecken Williams (2-0) pitched the eighth holding Tri-City to one hit and no runs for the win. Brody Greer (S-3) stepped up to the mound in the ninth blanking the Dust Devils and struck out one to earn the save. Greer has a 0.98 ERA.
Joel Linares held the Hops scoreless for the first six innings allowing only three hits. When Linares was relieved after the sixth, he left his team up 1-0. The Hops made sure Linares would not get the win two innings later. Luis Hernandez (1-5) relieved for the seventh and eighth for the loss allowing two runs on three hits.
Grant Heyman knocked in the winning run going 2 for 4 and two RBIs. Dansby Swanson also went 2 for 4 and scored a run. Both of Swanson’s hits were doubles. Sergio Alcantara went 1 for 3 and scored the other Hops run. The Hops managed only six hits on the night.
The Dust Devils only had five hits for the night. Mitch Morales went 2 for 3 but did not factor in any runs or RBIs for the evening. Kodie Tidwell grounded back to the pitcher for a sacrifice scoring the lone run, Mason Smith, from the loaded bases.
The Hillsboro Hops (14-11) climbed into a first place tie with the Eugene Emeralds in the South Division. The Tri-City Dust Devils (11-14) dropped to four games back of the North Division leading Everett Aquasox.
Tonight’s game was the start of a five game series between these teams. The Hops took the first one and they will play again on Monday night.
Short Hops: pitcher Tucker Ward made his Hops debut tonight pitching the scoreless seventh inning allowing just one hit. Tucker was drafted by the Diamondbacks in the 40th round in the 2015 draft. He was signed June 19th and placed in the Arizona League. Ward was promoted to the Hops on August 23rd.
By Greg Stoker