Hillsboro Hops Hold-Off Boise Hawks with 3-Run Inning, 4-1
The Boise Hawks tried to make it interesting at the end but it was not enough as the Hillsboro Hops won 4-1. The Hops scored three runs in the fourth which proved enough to stave off the Hawks.
The fourth inning started off with the Hops Zach Nehrir sending a grounder up the middle for a single. Josh Anderson followed with a grounder to third baseman Kevin Padlo who threw to second for the force out of Nehrir. Anderson wound up safely at first with a fielder’s choice. Alexis Olmeda hit his second double of the night when he sent a sharp line drive over right fielder Brian Carroll to the warning track. Anderson scooted over to third and Olmeda stood up at second. Luis Veras grounded to Padlo. Instead of getting Veras at first, Padlo threw to short stop Carlos Herrera catching Olmeda off the base and tagged the runner out. Veras was on with a fielder’s choice but Anderson was able to score on the play. Nate Irving walked on four straight pitches moving Veras over to second. Jeff Smith doubled to the center field warning track scoring Veras and Irving who hustled all the way from first, and the Hops had the early lead of 3-0.
Carlos Hernandez (2-1) pitched an amazing six innings to earn the win. Hernandez allowed no runs and two hits with one walk and struck out eight batters. He faced only nineteen batters – just one over the minimum. Troy Marks (S-1) pitched the final three innings for the save. Marks allowed one run on two hits.
Jack Wynkoop (2-1) started for the Hawks going four innings for the loss. Wynkoop allowed three runs on six hits with one walk and struck out five. Ryan McCormick went the final four innings allowing one run on three hits with a walk and struck out one batter.
The Hops added an insurance run in the ninth. With one out, Luis Veras singled up the middle on a ground ball to center fielder Marcos Derkes. Nate Irving grounded out to first on what was almost a double play. First baseman Brian Mundell threw to second for the lead runner. Mundell’s throw was high, pulling shortstop Carlos Herrera off the bag. Herrera rifled the ball back to first to get Irving and Veras was safe at second. Gerard Hernandez, who came in defensively for Jeff Smith in the previous inning, lined a single into center field scoring Veras.
In the bottom of the inning, the Hawks finally got on the scoreboard. With one out, Steven Leonard lined down the first base line for a stand up double. Carlos Herrera grounded out to shortstop Sergio Alcantara moving Leonard to third. With two outs, Marcos Derkes singled up the middle, just past the reaching glove of pitcher Troy Marks scoring Leonard for the Hawk’s only run. The following batter had a chance to make it much closer. Kevin Padlo hit a strong line drive to centerfield. Zach Nehrir rushed back to the warning track and made the back to the plate catch just a few feet from the fence. Nehrir ended the game and kept the potential tying run from coming to the plate.
For the Hops, Luis Veras went 2 for 4, scoring twice and earning an RBI. Alexis Olmeda went 2 for 4. Both of Omeda’s hits were doubles. Nate Irving went 1 for 3 and scored once. Jeff Smith went 1 for 3 with a double and earned two RBIs. Gerard Hernandez went 1 for 1 in his only plate appearance earning the other RBI.
Steven Leonard went 1 for 3 with a double and scored the lone run for the Hawks. Marcos Derkes had the lone RBI.
The Hillsboro Hops (20-15) gained on the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. The Hops now have a two game lead with three games left in the first half. The Boise Hawks (12-23) fell to eight games behind the South Division leading Hops. The Hawks are already eliminated from first half contention. Both teams play the second game of the three game series Friday night.
By Greg Stoker
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