Reece Hampton Homer, Hillsboro Hops Jump Past Dust Devils 5-2
Reece Hampton homered in the fourth inning and the Tri City Dust Devils could never catch up as the Hillsboro Hops went on to win 5-2. The homer gave the visiting team a 3-0 lead that stood against the home team. But, just in case, after the Dust Devils finally got on the board in the fifth with a couple of runs of their own, the Hops added two more runs.
Slade Cecconi Takes Control
Slade Cecconi (W, 2-2) spread six hits over his five innings and made sure the Dust Devils only produced two runs. In part, that control came with seven strikeouts. By the time Slade threw 89 pitches, he retired for the night with a 3-2 lead that held on for the win. But, he also had help from two of his staff mates.
Wesley Rodriguez (H, 3) pitched the sixth and seventh keeping the Dust Devils scoreless on two hits. However both pitchers faced some late trouble. In Cecconi’s last inning (5th), the Dust Devils opened with four consecutive hits. One of which was a lead off double by Kyle Kasser. Followed by Spencer Griffin’s single, both scored on RBI singles by Franklin Torres and Keinner Pina. Those two runs would be it for the Tri City area of the scoreboard.
Rodriguez had his own mini trouble in his last inning (7th), Griffin and Torres led off with singles but watched the rest of the inning from the corners as Wesley induced Pina and Livan Soto to fly out to right and then ended the threat by striking out Brendon Davis. Denson Hull (S, 1) covered the eighth and ninth for the save. His opening walk to Kyle Kasser in the ninth would be the only batter over the minimum.
Reece Hampton Homer Book-Ended by Two Pairs of Runs
Tri City starter Robinson Pina opened to his own set of troubles in the very first inning. Pina loaded the bases with three walks and set the stage for Nick Dalesandro’s two-run single with two outs. Spencer Brickhouse and Blaze Alexander scored the game’s first two runs and gave the Hops a lead they would not surrender. Book-ending the base runners were two strikeouts and a third sandwiched in the middle.
Reece Hampton Blips Shot Over Right Field Fence
After that, Pina settled down pretty well except for one blip: Reece Hampton and his solo blast to right to lead off the fourth. But, except for Blaze Alexander’s fifth inning single and Reece’s homer, Pina faced the minimum number of batters his final four innings.
Taylor Ahearn came to the mound for the sixth and seventh and ran into trouble right away. The sixth paralleled the first inning in more ways than one. The Hops loaded the bases again only this time with two walks and Andy Yerzy’s opening single. Also similar to the first, newest Hop Roman Ruiz singled in two more runs helping Yerzy and Dalesandro cross the plate. 5-2 turned out to be the final score.
To sew up the bleeding, Luis Alvarado pitched the eighth and ninth keeping the Hops hitless and scoreless. But, by then, the horses were already out of the barn, across the field and eating the neighbor’s hay.
The win helped the Hillsboro Hops (24-32) maintain their ground, remaining 13 games behind league leader Everett who also won tonight, for the third time in a row. But, the Hops did gain on their next week’s opponent, Vancouver. Their loss dropped them into a tie with Spokane for third, three games ahead of Hillsboro. The loss dropped the Tri City Dust Devils (20-37) to 17.5 games behind Everett and four and a half behind Hillsboro.
The series between the two now stands tied (2-2). Both teams meet again Saturday night for game#5. Starting pitchers will be Cristopher Molina (3-2) for the Dust Devils and Kenny Hernandez (3-2) for the Hops. You can listen to the game on 620 AM radio.
In the meantime, check out Kenny Hernandez’ last game, a win, against the Eugene Emeralds on the Fourth of July.