Justin Maese, Vancouver Canadians Blank Hillsboro Hops 3-0
The Hillsboro Hops experienced their first shut out of the season Monday night as they were blanked by the Vancouver Canadians, 3-0. The Canadians only outhit the Hops 7-5 but were able to make their hits count for three runs.
Hops starter Anfernee Benitez (1-2) continued to rack up the strikeouts as he totaled six in six innings, bringing his season total to a team leading 17 so far in 15 innings pitched. Benitez did run into trouble in the third inning when he walked Javier Hernandez to lead off. Hernandez moved to second on a bunt single down the first base line by Rodrigo Orozco. Lance Jones filled the bases when he followed with another bunt single, this time down the third base line. Deiferson Barreto brought Hernandez home with his sacrifice fly to left. Lance Jones would come home late in the inning on Jacob Anderson’s grounder up the middle. The Canadians took a 2-0 lead.
Anfernee Benitez had a blip in the following inning when Gabriel Clark launched a shot over the left field wall. No one was on base. Benitez was able to keep Vancouver down the rest of the way and left after six innings. Nick Blackburn, Kirby Bellow and Tucker Ward kept the Canadians to only two hits and scoreless the rest of the game. Benitez took the loss.
For the Canadians, Justin Maese (1-1) started on the mound and went seven full innings allowing no runs on five hits and struck out four for the win. Grayson Huffman and Jackson Lowery pitched no hit ball the rest of the way. Jackson (S, 4) earned the save.
The Hops only made it as far as third base once when Alexis Olmeda doubled to left field in the seventh inning and moved to third on Justin Chigbogu’s ground out to second. Adam Walton was the only other Hop to make it as far as second when Walton singled to left and moved to second on Max Brown’s ground out to short in the third inning.
Adam Walton had the hottest bat on the night for the Hops, going 2 for 3. Max Brown, Alexis Olmeda and Justin Chigbogu had the other three Hops hits. Olmeda had the lone extra base hit for the Hops with a double.
Jacob Anderson had the strongest bat for the Canadians, going 2 for 4 with an RBI. Gabriel Clark’s solo blast put him 1 for 3. Lance Jones hit safely and scored. Cavan Biggio, Christian Williams and Rodrigo Orozco also hit safely in the game.
The Hillsboro Hops (3-8) stayed in a tie with Boise at the bottom of the South Division. The Vancouver Canadians (7-4) remain tied with Everett at the top of the North Division. Vancouver wins the five-game series 4-1.
Hillsboro will come home for a homestand starting Tuesday night, the 28th. They will face the second place Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (6-5) of their own division. The Hops opened their season this year with a three-game visit to Salem, winning their season opener. This time, it will be another short three-game series before the Hops return to the road.
By Greg Stoker