Luis Veras Walks Away With Win for Hillsboro Hops, 7-6
The Hillsboro Hops are showing they will not go down easily in the playoffs as the Hops take a 2-0 lead over the Eugene Emeralds in the final regular season series of 2016. The Hops won 7-6 in the second to the last game of the regular season against their first round playoff opponent, the Emeralds.
In exciting fashion, the Hops won with a bottom of the ninth game winning play when Luis Veras scored all the way from second on a passed ball by Emeralds catcher Marcus Mastrobuoni. With one out, Veras got on base when he poked a double through the left side. Justin Chigbogu then stepped up to the plate as a pinch hitter for Matt McPhearson but never got the chance to finish his plate appearance.
Unlike last night, where the Hops won a low scoring 1-0 game, there was plenty of scoring to go around along with eleven hits. Mark Karaviotis made a big difference going 3 for 4. Mark sent a line drive RBI single up the middle in the third and an infield RBI single in the fifth. Karaviotis also added a third single in the seventh.
Karaviotis had plenty of help from his teammates. Adam Walton had the other multi-hit game for the Hops. Walton singled and scored in the third and fifth innings. Along with Luis Veras’s double and game winning score in the ninth, Jason Morozowski doubled in the seventh for the Hops. Morozowski was replaced with pinch runner Matt McPhearson who later scored off Paxton De La Garza’s RBI sacrifice fly to left.
Ben DeLuzio had an RBI single in the third and came home on Karaviotis’ RBI single. DeLuzio also walked and eventually stole home in the fifth. Luke Lowery led off the fourth with a solo blast to left. Alexis Olmeda and Manny Jefferson also singled.
For most of the game, Hops pitching held the Emeralds in check except for two blips. Matt Pobereyko gave four near solid innings but allowed four runs (three earned) over the third and fourth innings. The other blip came in the ninth when Curtis Taylor came on the mound and allowed Eugene to score two runs on two hits to tie the game. Veras’ double and game winning score in the bottom half earned Taylor (W, 1-0) the win. Connor Grey and Tommy Eveld each added a single inning of no-hit, no-run ball. Tyler Mark started the first two innings giving up two hits and no runs.
Tyson Miller started for the Emeralds, lasting four innings and allowing three runs on five hits. He left the game with a 4-3 lead. Jed Carter (L, 3-1) gave up Luis Veras’ double and his score on a passed ball for the loss.
Emerald bats were held to seven hits spread out around the nine innings. Wladimir Galindo had his second night of multi-hits but this time he was joined by teammate Zach Short who had a two RBI single in the fourth and a two run double in the ninth to tie the game. Galindo had a double in the first and a two run homer to the deepest part of the field in the third to give the Emeralds the initial lead of the game. Those were the only extra base hits for Eugene.
The win drew the Hillsboro Hops to within three and a half games of the division winning Eugene Emeralds with one more game to go. Both teams will meet at Ron Tonkin Field Monday at 7:05 pm for the season ender. The Hops are leading 2-0. After a day off, both teams will start again for the the first round of the playoffs, also at Ron Tonkin Field.
Hops notes: Paxton De La Garza rejoined the Hops from the Missoula Osprey Sunday afternoon and saw action his first day back as a pinch hitter for Josh Anderson and scoring Matt McPhearson off his RBI sacrifice. De La Garza appeared in two earlier games for the Hops in June. De La Garza was drafted by the Diamondbacks in the 33rd round of this year’s draft. The 22-year-old attended Angeleo State University in San Angelo, Texas.
By Greg Stoker