Jorge Barrosa Doubled, Hillsboro Hops End Losing Streak to Ems 4-2
Jorge Barrosa doubled in the fifth inning and brought home Reece Hampton for the go ahead run and this time, the Hops made it stick. Erasing a few weeks of frustration and a 10 game losing streak to the Ems, the Hillsboro Hops defeated the Eugene Emeralds 4-2.
The last time the Eugene Emeralds lost to the Hops was on May 15th, the second week of the season. In between now and then, the Hops lost ten straight games to their southern rivals.
Eugene takes the lead
The Ems started off the scoring in the third inning with two outs already on the board. Will Wilson walked and moved to third on Diego Rincones single. Sean Roby followed and doubled them home for an early 2-0 lead. At first, the fans were apprehensive that this was the start of another big inning.
But, this turned out to be the only time the Ems scored on the night. For change, the Hops put a lid on their rivals and took their turn at the plate. It became the long awaited show for the largest attendance of the season for more than one reason. For one, this was only the second night of full attendance allowed since before the pandemic. Ron Tonkin Field was recently allowed to go to 100% capacity only the day before.
But, the second reason had been the losing streak. Getting swept by the Ems since the first series together, the players wanted to stop the losing. The fans were just as hungry and they got what they wanted.
Jorge Barrosa Doubled, Hops Take Lead Back
Unlike the Emeralds who scored their two runs with one swing of the bat, the Hops had to score their runs one at a time. First, in the fourth, Spencer Brickhouse singled home Dom Canzone who had walked earlier. Second run, in the same inning, Blaze Alexander doubled home Brickhouse to tie the game.
Then, the fifth inning was even more exciting for the fans. Jorge Barrosa doubled home Reece Hampton to take the lead for good. For an insurance run, Jorge scored on a Canzone ground out to second. The lead was 4-2 and it remained so to the end of the game.
Slade Cecconi started for the Hops but did not make it through the fifth to qualify for the win. But, Slade’s contribution was evident to see. In 4.1 innings, Slade threw 91 pitches and allowed those two runs in the third. With the help of the defense behind him, Slade was able to get through some tough innings.
For example, RF Reece Hampton gunned down the Ems Ismael Munguia at the plate to save a run in the first. After loading the bases in the fourth, Cam Coursey and Canzone teamed up for a 4-3 ground out to end the inning without a score.
The Bullpen Earns Win
The relief squad deserved the honors. New arrival Ty Jones (W, 1-0) stepped in to get the Hops out of the fifth and stuck around for the win. Wesley Rodriguez (H, 1) had some trouble in the eighth when his first two batters singled. However, Wesley took care of it by retiring the next three batters. Finally, Mailon Arroyo (S, 1) closed out the ninth on twelve pitches in a 1-2-3 inning. Ems pitcher Nick Nurse (L, 1-4) stuck around long enough to allow all four Hops runs to take the loss.
In the top of the eighth, a strange turn of events showed the Ems that this was not their night. Armani Smith pinch hit for Tyler Flores. With three home runs in the last two days, the Ems hoped he would get something started. Smith ended up striking out instead. But, on his way to the dugout, he exchanged a few words with Hops pitcher Wesley Rodriguez on the mound. There was no intentional movement hinting that the two might enter a close discussion yet the home plate umpire Nathan Diederich tossed him.
At first it was thought that maybe the umpire thought the words were directed at him instead of Rodriguez on the mound. But there was no clear indication of the reasons for the ejection. Ems manager Dennis Pelfrey came out and argued with Diederich. He ended up tossed himself.
The Emeralds still had one more chance in the top of the ninth but it appeared the mountain they had to climb just got a little bigger.
The loss dropped the Eugene Emeralds (33-18) into a two-way tie with Everett for the top of the league. The win helped the Hillsboro Hops (20-30) gain a game on their league leading rivals to the south at twelve and a half games behind the leaders.
Eugene leads the series 3-1. Both teams meet Saturday night for game#5. In the meantime, check out more of my game recaps (last win), weekly columns (Week 8) or articles on the Hops or related (the new NW league).