Kenny Hernandez Locked Down Ems, Hillsboro Hops Win 6-1
Kenny Hernandez pitched seven innings of shutout ball as his teammates at the plate had their way, including three home runs. Starting out by losing the first three games of the series, the Hillsboro Hops came back to win the last three to split the series, winning tonight, 6-1, over the Eugene Emeralds.
Night and Day
The difference between how this series started and how it ended was about as polar opposite as you can get. The Hops lost the first three games by a combined score of 17-6. However, the Hops also won the final three games by a combined score of 18-8. The difference is no more evident than in the home run derby the Hops displayed tonight.
The first homer came from Dom Canzone in the first giving the Hops an early lead. In the sixth, Spencer Brickhouse knocked a one-out, two-run tater over the fence to make it 5-0. Finally, Tristin English whacked his two-out solo shot in the seventh to make it 6-0.
In the middle of all of that, Cam Coursey and Dom Canzone both reached base and scored to make it 3-0 in the fifth. Two Eugene errors helped their progress around the bases. By the time the Ems finally scored in the ninth, it was too late to make a difference. The run came with an Armani Smith lead off walk and then came home on a Tyler Fitzgerald double.
In all, the Emeralds managed five hits but three of them didn’t arrive until the last three innings. While the Hops were amassing six runs in seven innings, the Ems only had two hits in their first six innings without a run.
Kenny Hernandez Dictates Plate Action
But, the story of the game belongs to the Hops’ starting pitcher Kenny Hernandez. Lasting seven innings, Kenny allowed two hits and struck out nine batters. Only four batters made it to base safely. One of them was erased by an inning-ending double play. Kenny faced three batters over the minimum.
Nick Snyder took the eighth and held the Ems from reaching third. The inning opened up with a Ricardo Genoves single and a Franklin Labour walk. But, Nick induced three fly balls to get out of the inning.
Closing, Denson Hull allowed his first run at the High A level. Denson made it through five batters but he had to throw 23 pitches to get to the end.
The win helped the Hillsboro Hops (22-30) maintain their twelve game difference as Everett also won tonight. It also stretched their winning streak to three. The loss dropped the Eugene Emeralds another game behind Everett, falling to one and a half games behind the league leader.
The two teams split the six game series. After taking Monday off, both teams will start a new six game series on Tuesday, July 6th. Hillsboro will travel to Tri City. Eugene will head home to host Everett, hoping to make up some lost ground from this past week.
Look for my next weekly column looking back on week#9, due to arrive Tuesday morning. In the meantime, check out week#8.