Hillsboro Hops Return to Winning Ways, Down Emeralds 4-1
The Hillsboro Hops got back on the winning side Tuesday night by defeating the Eugene Emeralds 4-1 at Ron Tonkin Field. Hops bats came alive and nerves settled after the home opener. A tag team pitching approach held the Ems to only three hits all night.
Eugene scored first in the top of the second when Marcus Mastrobuoni doubled and came home on an error by shortstop Manny Jefferson. That would be all for the Emeralds on the night as Hop pitchers combined to blank them the rest of the way.
The Hops tied it up minutes later in their half of the inning. Justin Chigbogu started the inning with a double to left field and moved to third on a Marcus Wilson fly ball to center. Justin easily scored on a Matt Railey single to right.
The next score wouldn’t be until the fifth and the Hops lead started to creep higher with a Manny Jefferson homer to left with two outs.
The following inning, the Hops extended it even further with some smart base running. Jeff Smith led off the inning with a walk. Josh Anderson followed with a single to center giving the speedster Smith a chance to reach third ahead of the throw. Anderson took second on the throw. That set up the stage for Justin Chigbogu to single with a sharp drive to center scoring both runners. Final score: Hops 4, Emeralds 1.
Hops starting pitcher Colin Poche went three inning in his first professional appearance, allowing only the one run on one hit, walking two and striking out three. Colin was followed by four Hops pitchers who combined to allow only two more hits on the night and keep the Emeralds scoreless the rest of the way. Trevor Sims (1-0) pitched the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, allowing one hit and striking out three for the win. Tommy Eveld, Jon Duplantier and Austin Mason combined to allow two more walks and three strikeouts but only one hit. Mason (S-1) retired the side in the ninth for the save. Both Duplantier and Mason made their Hops debuts in tonight’s game.
The Emeralds pitching staff had some rough bumps against some otherwise fine pitching. Starter Jesus Castillo received the loss, lasting five innings and giving up two runs on four hits. Castillo also struck out three and allowed no walks.
Hops Justin Chigbogu continued to rough up opposing pitchers, going 2 for 3 tonight with a double, a run and an RBI. Matt Railey, Manny Jefferson and Matt McPherson all went 1 for 3. Jefferson also had his first home run of the season.
DJ Wilson and Marcus Mastrobuoni both went 1 for 3 to lead the Emeralds. Mastrobuoni and Matt Rose doubled. Mastrobuoni scored the lone run.
The Hillsboro Hops (2-3) gained a game on the leaders, remaining in a tie with the Boise Hawks (2-3) one game out of first. The Eugene Emeralds (3-2) dropped but stayed tied with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (3-2) for the division lead. The teams will play the rubber match Wednesday night with the series tied at 1-1. The Hops starting pitcher will be RHP Anfernee Benitez (1-0) who won the season opener. The Hops will face RHP Pedro Silverio who will be making his first appearance for the Emeralds.
Photography by Portland Oregon Photographer Craig MItchelldyer
By Greg Stoker