Michael Toglia 2-run single, Spokane Indians Come From Behind to Win 6-3 Over Hops
Michael Toglia was one of several bats that sizzled in the sixth inning as the Spokane Indians scored five runs and beat the Hillsboro Hops 6-3. But, it was his two run single that gave the road team enough runs to outlast the Hops.
It has become a habit lately for the Hops to give up an explosive inning to their foe. Tonight, it was the sixth inning. The Hops went ahead earlier in the fifth when Spencer Brickhouse led off with a single and scored on Nick Dalesandro’s sacrifice fly. Brickhouse was the Hops’ first base runner and hit of the evening.
Michael Toglia Delivers Go Ahead Runs
Immediately thereafter, the Indians broke open their funk to score their first run. And, when they did, they didn’t stop. First, Aaron Shunk’s single brought home Jack Blomgren to tie the game. Second, Willie MacIver doubled, bringing home Isaac Collins to give the Indians the lead 2-1. Then, Michael Toglia delivered his two-run single, scoring both Shunk and MacIver for what would be the winning runs.
To top it off, Niko Decolati’s sacrifice fly brought Michael Toglia home for a 5-1 lead. Just in case, in the next inning, Aaron Shunk tripled home Isaac Collins for the game’s final score of 6-3. Earlier, in the sixth, the Hops closed the gap after Cam Coursey singled and Jorge Barrosa doubled, putting both runners in scoring position. Coursey scored on Dom Canzone’s RBI groundout followed by Barrosa coming home Blaze Alexander’s RBI groundout.
Starting Pitching Keep Runs Off Scoreboard
The first scoring didn’t happen until the fifth inning. Before then, both sides silenced the bats on near perfect performances. Mitch Kilkenny (W, 1-0) pitched to 17 batters, only two above the minimum. Ironically, the winning pitcher allowed all three runs by the Hops but, with his teammates’ run support, easily weathered any Hops storm on the horizon.
Conor Grammes matched Mitch Kilkenny through the first four innings. He kept the Indians scoreless and nearly hitless, allowing two hits, both singles. Grammes left after the fourth only for pitch count limits. Grammes three 38 pitches averaging less than ten pitches per inning.
Fineas Del Bonta-Smith (H, 1) came on in the seventh and eighth for Spokane and retired all six batters he faced. Including two batters on strikeouts. PJ Poulin closed the final inning for another perfect inning, striking out two more batters. In total, the Indians struck out twelve Hops on the night.
In total, the Hops went through five pitchers in the game. The first reliever, Justin Vernia, shined on the mound in the fifth inning,striking out two and inducing a flyout to center on only seven pitches. In the sixth, the wheels came off very shortly. Vernia faced seven batters and all seven made it safely to base on five singles, a walk and a double.
Kyler Stout came on for eleven pitches and put out the fire. Those two batters was all of Stout’s appearances. In the seventh, Julio Firas pitched two innings to moderate success, allowing only one more run for the night. Kai-Wei Lin came on in the ninth to close, retiring all three batters,
The win kept the Spokane Indians (20-23) 7.5 games behind the league leading Eugene Emeralds who also won tonight. The Indians added to their current win streak which is now at four.
The loss dropped the Hillsboro Hops (16-25) a game further down at 10.5 games behind Eugene. The Hops are now on a seven game losing streak. The loss also dropped them to two games behind Spokane who sit just above the Hops.
Spokane takes the first game and leads the series 1-0. Both teams meet tomorrow night, Wednesday for game two at 7:05 PM. You can catch my game recaps the following morning. You can watch the game at MiLB.tv, listen to it on 620 AM radio or follow me on Twitter for half inning updates. Twitter handle is below. In the meantime, check out my Look Back at Week 7 of the Hops’ season.