Hillsboro Hops, Pavin Smith Lead Demolishing of Vancouver Canadians 19-7
Hillsboro reset the record book Tuesday night with a 19-7 blistering of the Vancouver Canadians. Previously, their highest score of 18 runs was bettered in the ninth inning as the Hops never slowed down once they got started.
Nine players started the game and nine players finished the scoring tally. Every batter hit safely at least once. Only two runners failed to score. Only two batters failed to knock a run home. Only two batters failed to have a multi-hit game. Only two batters failed to have an extra base hit. Those very minor failures were far out-balanced by the huge success of the offense.
The Hops hit safely 21 times for a .438 batting average in tonight’s game. Ten extra base hits included six doubles, one triple and three home runs.
Surprisingly, the game started out as a potential no-hitter for both teams through three innings. Mitchell Aker (W, 1-4) started for the Hops and got the win lasting until the seventh inning before relief came to the mound. It was the Hops third quality start in a row. Before that, Aker pitched six very respectable innings of two run, two hit ball. When the seventh inning came, the Canadians started with some payback after the blistering from Hops batters. Vancouver led off with a walk and a single setting up David Jacobs’ three-run blast over left-center. After a double, Aker left with the score 11-5 and a runner at second that would not score.
Kevin Ginkel came to the mound and finished the game, allowing two more runs on three hits which were far from being a threat to the final score.
Vancouver threw six different pitchers at the Hops with little success. Wilfri Aleton (L, 2-3) started the game and took the loss, giving up seven runs on ten hits. Aleton was pulled in the fifth with two runners on and one out. The score was 7-2.
Hops bats were everywhere and attacking everything. Rookie first round pick, Pavin Smith, led the Hops going 5 for 5 at the plate with one walk. Those hits included a two-run double in the fourth for the first scoring of the game and a two run double in the fifth. In all, Smith scored five times and knocked in three runs.
All Hops batters were close behind. Eudy Ramos went 4 for 6 with two doubles and four scores. Five Hops batters had two hits each. Drew Ellis and Tra Holmes scored three times. Daulton Varsho smacked a three-run homer in the sixth. Drew Ellis sent another three-run homer out of the park in the eighth. Tra Holmes swatted his own three-run homer over the left field fence in the ninth. Ellis and Holmes ended up with four RBI a piece.
With the win, the Hillsboro Hops (19-14) remain in a first-place tie with the Eugene Emeralds and Boise Hawks. The loss cut the Vancouver Canadians (18-15) lead over the Tri City Dust Devils to one.
Both teams return to Nat Bailey Stadium for the final game of the five-game series. Expected pitchers are RHP Tyler Keele (2-2) for the Hops and RHP Donnie Sellers (0-0) for the Canadians. The Hops have a chance to sweep the Canadians. It would be the first time in franchise history the Hops have swept a five- game series on the road.
Hops notes: LHP pitcher Anfernee Benitez was promoted to the Visalia Rawhide, a class A advanced affiliate. This year, Benitez appeared in ten innings spread out over ten games, all in relief. Anfernee had a record of 0-1 with an ERA of 4.50. His strength was 13 strikeouts in ten innings. Anfernee also appeared with the Hops in 2016. Last year, he appeared in 14 games, twelve as a starter. His record was 7-5 with an ERA of 3.48 and 71 strikeouts over 72.1 innings.
By Greg Stoker