Hillsboro Hops Make it Look Easy Over Spokane Indians, 5-1
The Hillsboro Hops controlled the Spokane Indians Friday night with a 5-1 win. The Hops effort included some sparkling defense to go with only one error on the night. The winning run came in the second inning with Nate Robertson’s solo home run over the left field fence and just over the outstretched glove of left fielder Ledarius Clark, but the Hops would score a few more before the night was over.
The Hops first run came in the first inning when Zach Nehrir doubled off the game’s second pitch. The hit went down the third base line and curved into the corner for an easy stand up double. Nehrir moved to third on Ozuna’s groundout to shortstop Yayson Yrizarri. Stephen Dezzi followed with an RBI single he punched through the left side gap. Nehrir easily scored from third.
Two runs were scored by the Hops in the fourth inning. With two outs, Nate Robertson stroked one down the left field line for a stand up double. Robertson then moved to third on Alexis Olmeda’s deep infield single to shortstop Yayson Yrizarri. There was no chance for a throw. Both runners came home on a two RBI single to right field by Sergio Alcantara.
The Hops last score came in the sixth. After two outs, Nate Robertson hit a one bouncer to right fielder Connor McKay. With Alexis Olmeda at the plate, Robertson stole second easily with no throw attempt. Olmeda then hit a single up the middle. Robertson scored on the throw into the infield. Olmeda was caught between first and second in a run down. He was tagged by first baseman Carlos Garay after Robertson touched the plate.
The Indians scored their only run of the game in the seventh inning. Leon Byrd started out with a one hop single to center fielder Zach Nehrir. Byrd moved to second on the throwing error by Nehrir to first base. With Dylan Moore at the plate, a passed ball by catcher Alexis Olmeda allowed Byrd to reach third. Byrd came home when Carlos Garay grounded out to second baseman Fernery Ozuna.
Starter Jared Miller (5-0) pitched a masterful complete game for the Hops. Miller allowed one unearned run on four hits and struck out eight batters for the win.
Starter Cody Palmquist (1-1) took the loss for the Indians. Palmquist allowed four earned runs on six hits in four innings.
For the Hops, Nate Robertson shined going 3 for 3 with a double, a home run and an RBI. Robertson also scored three runs. Alexis Olmeda went 2 for 3, scoring a run and adding an RBI.
For the Indians, Dylan Moore, Connor McKay and Yeyson Yrizarri each went 1 for 3. Leon Byrd scored the sole run. Moore had the lone extra base hit in the fourth inning for the Indians when he hit a one hopper over the left field fence for ground rule double.
The Hillsboro Hops (13-10) gained a game on South Division leading Eugene Emeralds. They are now one game out of first. The Spokane Indians (12-11) remained two games behind the division leading Everett Aquasox.
Both teams continue Saturday evening at 5:05pm with the third game of a five game series. The Hops lead the series 2-0.
By Greg Stoker