Hillsboro Hops, Justin Chigbogu’s 2-Run Blast Defeat Aquasox 5-1
Justin Chigbogu stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the fourth with Jason Morozowski standing at second. Jason had singled to reach base and moved to second on Adam Walton’s sacrifice bunt. Chigbogu made sure he continued the rest of the way with his left field two-run blast for the game’s first score. It would be enough for the Hillsboro Hops to beat the Everett Aquasox 5-1.
The game was tight up to that point with both teams struggling to get a runner to second. The Hops had failed to get a hit until Jason Morozowski’s single in the fourth. The next score wouldn’t be until the sixth inning when the Hops exploded for three more runs. But, not before the Aquasox threatened by shortening the lead 2-1 in the top of the inning.
Hops starting pitcher Tyler Mark (2-2) frustrated Everett throughout the game’s first five innings for the win. Before Mark was done for the night, he had to put out a little fire in the sixth. First, Bryson Brigman started off with a walk and then moved to second on Mark’s wild pitch. Kyle Lewis punched a grounder up the middle for Brigman to come home for Everett’s only score of the night. Mark managed to get himself out of the jam by striking out Kristian Brito and getting Nick Zammarelli to ground out to first baseman Justin Chigbogu flipping it to Mark covering the bag.
The rest of the game was smooth sailing for the Hops’ relief staff as Tyler Mark stepped down for a well deserved rest. Riley Smith, Jordan Watson, Tommy Evald and Tucker Ward combined for the last three innings keeping Everett hitless for the rest of the night. Of the nine batters the four teammates faced, seven of them were struck out.
Both teams managed to get six hits on the night but the difference was Justin Chigbogu’s homer in the fourth and the bottom of the sixth for Hillsboro when they scored three more runs. With one out, Jason Morozowski doubled to left. Justin Chigbogu joined him on the base paths when he walked. That set up the plate for Luis Veras to double both runners home. Veras came home on a Marcus Wilson single to left. That quickly, the score ballooned to 5-1 where it would stay for the rest of the night.
Tim Viehoff (0-1) started for the Aquasox and gave up Justin Chigbogu’s two run homer for the loss. Danny Garcia came on for the fifth and sixth innings giving up three runs on three hits. After that, Lane Ratliff and Thomas Burrows came to the mound and settled the Hops down, allowing only one more hit for the night.
The Hillsboro bats did some popping when it counted. Jason Morozowski went 2 for 4 with a double and scored twice. Justin Chigbogu went 1 for 2 with his two run homer in the fourth and scored twice on the night. Adam Walton, Luis Veras and Marcus Wilson also hit safely.
Eric Filia made a dent for the Aquasox at the plate, going 2 for 4 with a double for Everett’s lone extra base hit. Bryson Brigman, Donnie Walton, Kyle Lewis and Ray Guerinni singled.
The Hillsboro Hops (13-14) remain five games behind the Eugene Emeralds who broke their three game losing streak tonight. The Everett Aquasox (14-13) stay tied with Vancouver in second place, one game behind Tri-City. Both teams will meet tomorrow night for the third game of the five game series at Ron Tonkin Field at 7:05. The series is tied at one game a piece.
Photography by Portland Oregon Photographer Craig MItchelldyer
By Greg Stoker