Nick Snyder, Hillsboro Hops Silence Tri City 5-3 in Series Opener
Nick Snyder (W, 1-1) came to the mound in the fourth inning after a three-run blast by Harrison Wenson tightened the Hillsboro Hops’ lead, quickly turning the 5-0 deficit into a 5-3 game. Snyder struck out the next three batters to silence the Tri City Dust Devils. The 5-3 score remained to become the final margin.
Nick Snyder, The Silencer
Neither side scored again due to the pitching from both bullpens. During Nick Snyder’s reign for two innings, not one batter got a hit or scored a run. The only base runner on Nick’s watch came from a walk in the fifth. That was good enough to earn Snyder the win.
Before the homer, Spencer Griffin and Franklin Torres hit back-to-back singles. A wild pitch put them both into scoring position. The feel of the momentum shifting was palpable. In steps Nick Snyder and it just as quickly went away with each succeeding strikeout.
Nick Snyder Leads Pitching Parade
Nick Snyder started something. For both sides. Kenny Hernandez (H, 1) gave two more innings of silent relief by striking out five of the six outs. The only base runner he allowed gained first by being struck by a pitch. The silence continued for closer Joe Jones (S, 2). In his two innings, Joe struck out three batters and induced two groundouts and a fly ball to right, ending the game and earning the save. He did run into trouble with the lead-off batters. Carlos Herrera led off with a double in the eighth. But, Joe settled down and struck out Spencer Griffin and directed two grounders to short. The ninth saw a lead-off walk that never made it to second base.
For the Dust Devils, after the Hops scored five runs in quick fashion, Luis Alvarado took the mound in the bottom of the fourth and held sway for almost three innings. During his rule, Luis struck out five batters and walked none. He only allowed one hit, a two-out single in the fifth. Of the nine batters faced, Alvarado retired eight of them.
Greg Veliz silenced the last three innings in similar fashion. He allowed his first batter, Blaze Alexander, to lead off with a walk. Veliz then struck out the next seven batters. The last two popped up to the shortstop and flew out to left.
Damage Already Done
The batting ruled the nest during the first half of the game. Mostly from Hillsboro. There is something about the first inning that inspires Andy Yerzy. For the third game in the last four, Andy knocked a dinger out of the park in the first inning. Newest newcomer Eduardo Diaz was already on base from being hit by a pitch. You can read about these two in my column from yesterday Week 3: Will New Guys Fuel Turnaround? In it, you are also introduced to Reece Hampton and Tristan English.
The next inning saw Leodany Perez single, steal second, steal third and come home on Ricky Martinez’ RBI groundout. Ricky also contributed to the next score. In the fourth, Ricky took first after a pitch struck him. Next batter, Eduardo Diaz swung for the fences and got it, bringing Ricky home with him. Except for the Perez score in the third, the rest of the scoring in the game came from a home run. Seven of eight runs. Eduardo’s two-run homer also chased starter Zach Linginfelter (L, 0-2) from the mound.
For the Dust Devils, things were not silent but they weren’t very loud either. Brendon Davis doubled in the first. Griffin, Wenson and Verrier walked to load the bases in the second but not score. Then Griffin again hit another double in the third. It wasn’t until the fourth and Wenson’s three-run homer that the Dust Devils got on board for the first and only time of the night. That homer ended up chasing Hops’ starter Conor Grammes from the mound.
With the win, the Hillsboro Hops (8-11) kept pace with the league leaders Eugene and Everett who also won tonight. Therefore, the Hops remain five games behind. The loss dropped the Tri City Dust Devils (5-14) to eight games behind the leaders. Both teams meet again tomorrow night at Gesa Stadium for game two of the series. So, Hillsboro currently leads the series 1-0.
Hillsboro Hops stole four more bases to add to their MiLB-leading total making it 55 stolen bases in three weeks and one day. Second place Fayettville Woodpeckers raised their total to 42. Close behind, the Spokane Indians are catching up. As a result, they now have 40 stolen bases.