Mitsui 3-Run Blast Propels Hillsboro Hops Over Tri-City Dust Devils, 3-0
At Ron Tonkin Field, Trevor Mitsui awoke his home run bat for a three run smash in the bottom of the first for the Hillsboro Hops to top the Tri-City Dust Devils 3-0. Hops pitching combined for a two hitter to shut out the Dust Devils. Mitsui had recently sent six home runs over the fence in a five-game stretch but has gone two games without since ending the streak. Tonight, he may have started another streak.
Dansby Swanson and Grant Heyman were walked in consecutive at bats setting the stage for Trevor Mitsui. It didn’t take Mitsui long to find a pitch he liked before sending it over the right center field fence. No one would have guessed that would be the only scoring for the night. Except for that one explosive inning, batters found it hard on both sides to reach third the rest of the night.
Hops starting pitcher Cody Reed (5-3) took the mound on a sunny afternoon and went 5.1 innings giving up the only two hits the Dust Devils would have while striking out six for the win. Reed was able to pick up the magic touch again and it looks like he is starting to regain that all-star form from the first half after having two quality starts in the last three outings. Cody was able to join fellow pitcher Jeferson Mejia for the active roster team lead for wins so far this season. Ariel Hernandez, Justin Donatella and Taylor Clarke combined for near perfect hitless relief. Taylor Clarke (S-2) pitched the ninth for the save.
The Hops bats made the most out of five hits to score three runs. Trevor Mitsui went 2 for 4, scored and earned all three RBIs with his team leading 10th homer of the season. Mitsui also raised his team leading RBI totals to 28. Dansby Swanson went 1 for 2 and scored a run. After a quiet start at the plate when he first came to the Hops, Swanson has been ferocious at the plate with nine extra base hits and is now leading the active roster with a .298 batting average. His slugging percentage is a team leading .574. Grant Heyman walked twice and scored on his first walk. Galli Cribbs, Jr., doubled and went 1 for 3. Luis Veras got the other hit.
The Dust Devil’s bats only spoke up twice tonight. Left fielder Henry Charles hit a ground rule double to left in the fifth and Mitch Morales singled in the sixth.
Starting Dust Devil pitcher Adrian De Horta (1-1) lasted four innings but allowed all three runs from Mitsui’s homer in the first for the loss. Jerry Keel and Corey Kimber combined for four innings of one hit relief.
The Hillsboro Hops (15-12) are now one half game behind the Eugene Emeralds for first place in the South Division. The Tri-City Dust Devils (12-15) dropped to four games behind the Everett Aquasox for the North Division lead.
Wednesday night, both teams will play the fourth game of a five game series. The Dust Devils lead the Hops 2-1.
By Greg Stoker