Hillsboro Hops, Jhoan Duran Smother Everett Aquasox 3-0
The Hillsboro Hops scored a quick two run burst in the first inning and made it hold up for the win over the Everett Aquasox, eventually winning 3-0. The frustration boiled over for the Aquasox in the bottom of the sixth when Everett catcher Juan Camacho argued a called ball with plate umpire Anthony Warner. It didn’t take long for Warner to send him to the showers as Camacho was visibly upset.
After Juan Camacho walked away, Everett manager Jose Moreno quickly replaced his catcher’s spot in the argument and continued the heated discussion with Anthony Warner. After a few tense moments, Moreno walked away and the game went forward. Earlier in the inning, Hops’ right fielder Bryan Araiza swatted a line drive over the right-center field fence for the final score of 3-0 Hops.
The offense had a quick start in the first inning. Three consecutive Hops batters either singled or doubled, scoring two runs. First baseman Pavin Smith, who hit the first double of the inning, said, “It’s contagious. You get that first guy on and it catches on.” Yan Sanchez started with a single followed by Pavin’s double to put them both in scoring position. Drew Ellis followed with a consecutive double to bring the two runners home.
The first inning also had an unusual play. With Camden Duzenack on first, Yan Sanchez’s single was slapped toward the gap on the right side. The only problem was, Duzenack had taken off with a head start and saw the grounder coming right for him. Camden twisted and turned in mid-air but the grounder still managed to hit him on the foot in midflight. By the rule book. Camden was out at second for being hit by a batted ball.
It was the team on the mound that made three runs stick with some to spare for the win. The Aquasox were shut out and limited to only two hits on the night. Jhoan Duran (W, 2-1) started and went five innings of one-hit scoreless ball for the win. Kevin Ginkel blanked the Aquasox in the sixth allowing the second and final hit to Eugene Helder on a line drive to centerfield. Cal Becker stayed on the mound for two innings, striking out three. Erbert Gonzalez (S, 2) pitched the ninth inducing two ground outs and the final out, a pop up chased down in foul territory by Pavin Smith. All in all, “the pitchers did a good job keeping the game in check”, Smith said. “The pitchers did (well) in helping the defense.”
Randy Bell (L, 0-1) started for the Aquasox and took the loss. The two-run first inning ate up 31 pitches from Bell. Jose Santiago, JP Sears and Wyatt combined to hold the Hops to one hit the rest of the way.
For the game, the Hops managed five hits but two of those were doubles in the first inning. The other was the solo home run by Bryan Araiza.
The win helped the Hillsboro Hops (10-8) gain another game on division leading Eugene Emeralds. They are now one game out of first. The loss dropped the Everett Aquasox (7-11) to four games behind the northern division co-leaders of Tri-City Dust Devils and the Vancouver Canadians.
Both teams return to Ron Tonkin Field for the fifth and final game of the five-game series. The Hops lead it 4-0 and can go for the sweep. Expected starters are RHP Andres Torres (2-0) for the Aquasox and Mitchell Aker (0-3) for the Hops.
Hops notes: the Hops received another 2017 draft pick: Ryan Grotjohn. The 10th round draft choice from Cal State Bakersfield was assigned to the Missoula Osprey on June 23rd. The shortstop was promoted to the Hops on Sunday.
Hillsboro will be on the road for the 4th of July. The Hops will host their fireworks celebration on July 3rd, Monday, the final game of the Hillsboro/Everett series now in progress. Fireworks will follow the game.
By Greg Stoker