Hillsboro Hops, Tommy Evald Shut Down Aquasox 3-2 for Third Win in a Row
The Hillsboro Hops waited until the late innings to come from behind for the second night in a row to defeat the Everett Aquasox 3-2. With the win, the Hops are now one game above .500 for a winning record as the end of the first half nears.
The winning run came in the bottom of the seventh with Hillsboro down 2-1. With one out, Mark Karaviotis slapped an infield single to third and waited for someone to help him around the bases. With two outs, his patience was rewarded when Connor Owings tripled to deep center and Mark flew around the bases to tie the game. Adam Walton followed with a line drive to right to easily bring Owings home for the go ahead run. The score would stay 3-2 for the win.
To preserve the win, Hops manager Shelley Duncan called on Jordan Watson with the tying run on first in the eighth. His short stay on the mound got Eric Filia to fly out to center field for the first out. After one batter, Tommy Evald came to the mound for the final five outs of the game. Evald was able to get Kristian Brito to fly out to left field and Nick Zammarelli to strike out to end the eighth.
For the ninth, Tommy Evald (S, 2) coerced Aquasox batters to fly out to right field and center and then ground out to short for the final three outs and the save. The only blemish for Evald was a wild pitch in the eighth with a man on base and a batter hit by a pitch in the ninth. Neither base runner was allowed to do any damage.
Everett struck first in the game scoring one run in each of the first two innings. Johmbeyker Morales doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Kyle Lewis’ sacrifice to center. In the second, Kristian Brito led off with a solo blast over left field.
Hillsboro would get one run back in the bottom of the fifth. Mark Karaviotis led off with a sharp single off short stop Bryson Brigman’s glove and in to left field. Mark was able to quickly get to third on Manny Jefferson’s double. Both runners waited on base for the next batter to move them forward. After Connor Owings flew out to left and Anfernee Grier struck out, doubt started creeping in. Jason Morozowski was due at the plate but Jason was hampered by a minor injury. Shelley Duncan decided to substitute Marcus Wilson and his choice paid off. Wilson singled to left and scored Karaviotis.
Hops bats stayed ready and did just enough damage to give Hillsboro their third win in a row. Mark Karaviotis went 2 for 2 and scored twice. Luke Lowry went 2 for 4 with a double. Connor Owings tripled, scored a run and brought the tying run home. Anfernee Grier, Adam Walton, Marcus Wilson (who knocked in the winning run) and Manny Jefferson all hit safely.
Junior Garcia started for the Hops and did his part to keep the game close allowing two runs on six hits spread out over six innings but it wasn’t enough for the win. Riley Smith (1-0) pitched the seventh allowing only one hit to earn the W.
For the Aquasox, Ljay Newsome started and lasted five innings, leaving with a 2-1 lead. Joselito Cano (2-1) relieved Newsome and allowed the tying and winning run on three hits in less than two innings for the loss. Michael Kovol came on in the middle of the eighth and allowed only one more hit by the Hops the rest of the evening.
Everett bats smacked seven hits on the night highlighted by Kristian Brito going 2 for 3 with his solo homer and Nick Thurman going 2 for 4.
The Hillsboro Hops (15-14) stay five games in back of Eugene in second place. The Everett Aquasox (14-15) fall to third place in the north one game behind Tri-City and Vancouver tied for first. Both teams will return to Ron Tonkin Field for the fourth game of five on Sunday with the Hops leading the series 3-1.
by Greg Stoker