Leo Rojas’ 10th Inning Grand Slam Bombs Hops; Volcanoes Win 8-4
The Hillsboro Hops caught up with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes and went to extra innings, only to lose to a grand slam, 8-4. With one out and the bases loaded, Leo Rojas stepped to the plate and sent the last pitch of the game sailing over the left field wall in the bottom of the tenth. It was Rojas’ only hit of the night but he made it count.
Both sides tried to keep the other side’s bats in check and for the most part, they did. But it was to be decided by the bat and nothing else. The Volcanoes were never behind as they took the early lead. Heath Quinn made the biggest dent in the box score going 3 for 5 with a single, double and homered with a man on base in the third. Quinn was just one triple short of the cycle, scored three times and knocked three runs home. Bryan Reynolds added to the damage with two hits and two scores of his own. Manuel Geraldo and John Riley also had multi-hit games.
The Hops were not about to just stand around and watch as they peppered the innings with scores of their own to keep up with the home team. Jason Morosowski scored the Hops first run in the third with a one out, solo shot to right. It is Morozowski’s team leading fifth home run of the season. Luke Lowery and Justin Chigbogu swatted two hits apiece on the night with Lowery scoring and Chigbogu knocking two scores across the plate. Alexis Olmeda doubled and scored in the fourth. Ben DeLuzio was hit by a pitch in the sixth and came home on Adam Walton’s double. DeLuzio and Luis Veras singled.
Garret Williams started for the Volcanoes but was pulled in the fourth with a man on first and second and one out, the score 4-3. Rayan Hernandez took the mound and retired the next two batters to end the inning. Hernandez continued through the seventh allowing one run on two hits. Jeff Burke pitched a one hit eighth and ninth. The pitcher of record at the end was Patrick Ruotolo (W, 2-1) who came on for a hitless tenth and got the win.
Junior Garcia started his seventh game for the Hops and went six inning despite giving up four runs (three earned) on nine hits but he also struck out five. Connor Grey and Kevin Ginkel pitched a combined hitless three innings setting up the tenth for newcomer Matt Pobereyko to take the mound in his debut. Matt (L, 0-1) faced five batters but it was that fifth one that tagged him with the loss: Leo Rojas’ grand slam.
The loss dropped the Hillsboro Hops (11-9) to four games behind South Division leading Eugene who won their 13th consecutive game tonight. The win brought the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (8-12) up to a third place tie with Boise, three games behind the Hops.
Both teams will meet Thursday night at Volcanoes Field for the second game of the three game series. Salem-Keizer leads it early 1-0.
Hops notes: a reminder that Saturday night’s home game has been moved to 7:05 pm due to the expected temperatures during the afternoon.
by Greg Stoker