Hillsboro Hops, Olmeda Steal One from Boise Hawks in 9th, 2-1
Alexis Olmeda scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth for the Hillsboro Hops to claim victory over the Boise Hawks, 2-1, in exciting fashion. Olmeda started it for the Hops in the ninth by sending a blooper to shallow center field for a single. With one out, Trevor Mitsui singled to left. Then the confusion began.
Gerard Hernandez slapped a hard grounder to second baseman Luis Castro who couldn’t control the ball in time for a throw. By the time Castro came up with the handle, Hernandez had touched the bag. Olmeda, who had went to third on the play, turned the bag and headed for home. Castro saw the runner and threw to catcher Ryan Casteel in time for the tag. But, Casteel was off line to the inside and Olmeda, a catcher himself, slid down the outside of the line to avoid the tag and score the winning run.
Alexis Olmeda’s teammates erupted out of the dugout. Olmeda raised to his feet and took two steps before the ensuing dogpile sent him back down to the ground. By the time, he escaped the mass of bodies, a bucket of gatorade was searching for him and teammates held his arms to make sure Olmeda didn’t get away.
The game was actually a pitcher’s duel between several pitchers on both sides. Hops starting pitcher, Brett Shankin, went six innings and 92 pitches before leaving the game at a 1-1 tie. He allowed one run on four hits with one walk and two strikeouts. Kirby Bellow and Kevin Simmons combined for perfection retiring seven straight batters to keep the Hops alive. Simmons (1-1) got the win.
The Hawks’ David Hill pitched three innings for the start. Drasen Johnson allowed the Hops first run in the fourth. Taylor Black (2-3) came on in the final inning for the loss.
The Hawks drew first blood at the start of the game. Eric Toole led off with a single to right. Scott Burcham grounded to shortstop Sergio Alcantara for a fielder’s choice. With Padlo at the plate, Burcham stole second ahead of the throw. With Padlo still at the plate, Burcham stole third with no throw attempted. Afer Padlo walked on four straight balls, Brian Mundell sacrificed to center field to score Burcham.
The Hops first run came in the fourth. Josh Anderson grounded to second baseman Luis Castro who couldn’t get the handle on the ball. Anderson was safe at first on an error. Trevor Mitsui poked a grounder past a sliding Castro for a single. Nate Robertson bounced a single to left fielder Steven Leonard and Anderson hustled home from second for the tying run.
For the Hops, Trevor Mitsui went 2 for 4 in the low scoring game. Alexis Olmeda went 1 for 3 and scored the winning run. Josh Anderson scored a run. Nate Robertson knocked in one RBI. The other RBI was unearned.
Scott Burcham scored the only run for the Hawks, going 1 for 4. Brian Mundell knocked Burcham in for the only Hawks RBI.
Brett Shankin made his Hops debut tonight. His contract was purchased on 8-2 from the Frontier Greys and Hillsboro was his first appearance in the organization. Current teammate Ariel Hernandez, who also pitched tonight, came from the Greys earlier in May.
The Hillsboro Hops (6-4) climb to within one game of Salem-Keizer at the top of the South Division while the Boise Hawks (3-7) fell two games behind Eugene in the bottom.
The Hops take the series 3-0 and now hit the road for a three game series with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. The Hawks go home for a three game series with the Eugene Emeralds.
By Greg Stoker