Hillsboro Hops, Jhoan Duran Sneak Past Tri City Dust Devils 5-3
Roles were reversed from the night before as the Hillsboro Hops took advantage of the Tri City Dust Devil miscues to win 5-3. It was four runs in the fifth that grabbed the lead for the Hops and they never let go.
All nine batters went to the plate in the inning starting off with consecutive singles by Daulton Varsho and Tra’Mayne Holmes. Ryan Grotjohn loaded the bases when he was hit by a pitch from Tri City starter Thomas Cosgrove (L, 0-3). Varsho came home on a fielder’s choice by Jorge Perez and Holmes scored on Camden Duzenack’s sacrifice fly to center field to tie the game.
With two outs and the potential go-ahead run at first, the wheels started falling off much like they did for the Hops the previous night. For the evening, the Dust Devils threw two wild pitches, hit two Hops batters, walked five more and committed two errors. The go-ahead run scored when Perez attempted to steal third and catcher Jalen Washington’s throw went wide opening up home plate for the score.
After a pitching change that brought Travis Radke to the mound in relief, Ryan Dobson would score before the inning was over in what would become the winning run. The Hops later tacked on an insurance run in the eighth when Pavin Smith scored on a Ryan Grotjohn sacrifice fly to left.
Jhoan Duran (W, 3-2) started for the Hops and went five innings in the win. Duran scattered five hits over the innings and kept the Dust Devils to two earned runs. Luis Castillo and Matt Peacock held the home team at bay allowing one more run over three innings.
The ninth inning belonged to closer Breckin Williams (S, 1). The 2015 draft choice had successfully come back from Tommy John surgery to record his first save of his professional career. After issuing a walk to Jalen Washington, Williams struck out the next two batters and induced Justin Lopez to send a grounder back to the mound for an easy out to end the game.
The Hops bats managed to score those five runs on only five hits. They were all singles by five different batters and only three of the runs were earned.
The home team Dust Devils’ bats had to come up with seven hits to account for their three runs on the night. Luis Asuncion, the MVP from this year’s All-Star Game, and center fielder Tre Carter managed multi-hit games for Tri City. Carter and Aldemar Burgos both smacked doubles for the games’ only extra base hits.
The win kept the Hillsboro Hops (9-8) tied with the Boise Hawks in first place of the Southern Division. Losses dropped both the Tri City Dust Devils (9-8) and the Spokane Indians into a three-way tie with the Vancouver Canadians for the lead of the Northern Division.
Both teams return to Gesa Stadium for the mid-game of the five-game series. The series stands tied at 1-1. Expected starters are RHP Tyler Keele (4-4) for the Hops and LHP Nick Margevicius (2-0) for the Dust Devils. In Keele’s last start, a home game against the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, Tyler went six innings of one-run, two-hit ball while striking out seven during an 11-2 win for the Hops.
By Greg Stoker