Isaac Collins + Friends, Spokane Indians Bust Hops 9-3
Isaac Collins not only led the Spokane Indians lineup by batting first, he also led by example. The Hillsboro Hops tried to keep up with the onslaught but fell behind and lost 9-3. On a night where temperatures reached 104 degrees, the Indians’ bats were even hotter.
Isaac Collins / Hunter Stovall
Center fielder Collins also came close to reaching the rare cycle. Considered more rare than the no-hitter, the cycle is where a batter hits a single, double, triple and home run in the same game in any order. When Isaac stepped up to the plate in the seventh and ninth innings, all he needed was a home run to finish it. The home run proved elusive but Isaac did everything else.
Teammate Hunter Stovall also came close to the cycle, needing only a triple to complete the set. But, both players came up one type of hit short for the night. A minor consolation when the entire team amassed 17 hits for the game. Stovall had his chance in the eighth but reached first on a fielder’s choice. Collins, who had two chances at the plate, grounded into a double play and singled.
Isaac Collins + Friends End Three-Game Losing Streak
However, the mood was happy in the dugout and the locker room. They got the three game losing streak to the Hillsboro Hops off their backs. Many Indians upped their batting averages tonight. Isaac Collins went 4 for 6, Aaron Schunk went 2 for 5, Michael Toglia – 2 for 4, Hunter Stovall piled up three hits in five plate appearances and Daniel Cope recorded a 3 for 5 night.
Starter Chris McMahon 5 Innings for Win
The pitching was nearly as impressive as the thundering lumber. Starter Chris McMahon (W, 4-2) fired off 75 pitches over his five innings of work. 49 of his pitches went for strikes. When he took his well earned rest from the mound after five, he left with the lead: 6-1. Relievers Trent Fennel, Fineas Del Bonta-Smith and Boby Johnson made sure those six runs stood for the win.
The Hops, on the other hand, went the opposite direction. Their recent six game losing streak was populated with big innings where the game was lost in just a few moments of time.
Return of Big Inning
On the Tuesday before last, the Hops allowed Eugene to score nine runs in the sixth. The Hops lost by one run. The next night, Eugene scored four runs in one inning – twice. The Hops lost that night by three runs. Saturday, the Emeralds scored five runs in the first inning. The Hops lost by five that day. On Sunday, Eugene scored four runs in the seventh. The Hops lost by two. The following Tuesday, the first game of this series, Spokane scored five runs in the sixth. The Hops lost by three.
Finally, tonight’s game. Spokane scored five runs in the fourth. The Hops lost by six. This last big inning doesn’t quite cover the deficit facing the Hops but Hillsboro would have had a better chance if they had those five runs back. Tomorrow morning, we will find out if this last game was just a blip, a reflection from the recent past or if the big inning will remain a bugaboo.
The win gave the Spokane Indians some breathing room moving a full game ahead of the Hops in the standings. The loss dropped the Hillsboro Hops to sole possession of fifth place again. Eugene won tonight increasing the Hops deficit to nine and a half games from the top of the league while Spokane kept pace.
Both teams play again on Sunday. Hillsboro will have a chance to win the series and move into a fourth place tie with Spokane again. Spokane will have a chance to increase the small difference between the two into a two game gap.
Tomorrows Game Early
The game time for Sunday has been moved two hours earlier to 11:05 AM. With record high temperatures expected, the Hops management team was concerned about the safety of the players, coaches and fans attending the game.
It will be a short turnaround between tonight’s game that lasted three hours and 28 minutes and tomorrow morning’s game only twelve hours and 31 minutes later than the end of tonight’s game.
Don’t forget that you can watch the game on MiLB.tv or follow me on Twitter for half inning updates. My Twitter handle is below under my name. At the moment, I am getting no confirmation of a radio broadcast, I suspect because of the change in start time. Check with the radio station for the final word.
If you find yourself with a small case of insomnia, going over some of my previous columns and recaps dating to 2015, will help you relax.