Hillsboro Hops Sweep Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, 8-2
The Hillsboro Hops swept the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 8-2 in decisive fashion. The three-game sweep moved Hillsboro into a tie for second place with the Volcanoes, four games behind division leader Eugene.
Pitching and defense held the Volcanoes to two runs even though they managed 10 hits, two of them doubles. Taylor Wright started for the Hops going 5.2 innings, allowed the only two Volcano runs on seven hits. With Gio Brusa on second with two outs in the sixth, Kirby Bellow relieved Wright and struck out Ryan Kirby to end the inning. Bellow would only last through the first four batters of the next inning but Kirby picked the perfect time to pitch.
In between his mound appearances, the Hops went to town. The Hops had already scored two runs the previous inning to tie the game. While Kirby Bellow waited his return to the mound, Hillsboro smacked four more runs across the plate for a 6-2 lead that they would never let go,
Josh Anderson inched his way around the bases by walking to first, gaining second on a balk, third on a wild pitch and came home on a Luke Lowery single to left. Justin Chigbogu followed with a two run homer and followed Lowery around the bases. That brought on a pitching change. Kendry Melo hurled two strike outs to start. With two outs, Manny Jefferson walked and scored from first base on Sergio Alcantara’s double to center field. That was enough to give Kirby Bellow (1-0) the win.
Jose Martinez and Riley Smith finished the game for the Hops with one hit ball.
The Hops added two more insurance runs in the eighth. Sergio Alcantara singled to right and stole second. Sergio came home on a Jason Morozowski infield single to short and a throwing error by Volcano shortstop Ryan Howard. Jason scored from second on a Josh Anderson line drive to left for the final run of the game, 8-2.
The Hillsboro bats only achieved one more hit than the Volcanoes, yet the Hops managed to score six more runs. Josh Anderson went 3 for 5, scored and knocked in a run. Sergio Alcantarsa went 3 for 4, scored a run, doubled and brought home two runs. Justin Chigbogu had his second home run of the season in the sixth over the left-center field fence.
The Volcanoes bats were led by Gio Brusa’s 2 for 4, including his double in the sixth. Melvin Adon (0-2) was the starting pitcher, giving up 5 runs (4 earned) on six hits for the loss.
The Hillsboro Hops travel to Boise for tomorrow night’s game at 6:05 pm PDT. The Hops will remain for three games and then return home for the 4th of July fireworks and the start of a five game series against the Tri-City Hawks. It was the Hawks who lost to the Hops in last years championship series. It will be the two teams’ first meeting since Hillsboro won the championship. LHP Colin Poche will start for the Hops.
Salem-Keizer Volcanoes travel south for a three game series with the division leading Eugene Emeralds before returning home for a festive 4th of July game against the Vancouver Canadians.
By Greg Stoker