Ryne Nelson Dominated, Hops Win 5-2 Over Dust Devils
Ryne Nelson dominated from the very beginning. It’s not so much that Ryne Nelson shut the Tri City Dust Devils down as he never let them get started. Throwing 81 pitches over 6.2 innings, Ryne limited the Dust Devils to just two hits. They would be the only baserunners for the home team while Nelson was on the mound as Ryne also zeroed their hosts on walks. Throw in seven strikeouts and Ryne Nelson dominated Tri City. In the end, the Hillsboro Hops won 5-2.
Beginning to End: Ryne Nelson Dominated
The only reason for Ryne Nelson (W, 1-1) to leave late in the sixth was pitch count. After inducing the first two batters of the seventh into fly outs, the ace reached 81 pitches. Strikes accounted for 58 of that total.
In stepped reliever Blake Workman (S, 2) to finish the job. Quickly striking out right fielder Francisco De Valle on four pitches, he ended the inning. Blake started with retiring four of the first five batters he faced. Then, he ran into a little trouble in the ninth.
Three outs away from another win, Blake struck out designated hitter Brandon White. He made it through the inning and earned the save, but not until after a single by Livan Soto came before Brendon Davis smacked a two-run homer with two outs. It turned out to be a blip. Blake struck out the last batter, Spencer Griffin, and that was that.
Ryne Nelson Dominated: Hops Take Charge
It turned out that the Hops needn’t worry. They scored three runs early in the game and that was enough for the win. However, just to feel safer, the Hops had their own little explosion in the top of the ninth.
The Hops delivered doubles like $5 pizzas flying out the door. Blaze Alexander led off with his double (and second hit of the night). Tristin English smacked his double right behind Blaze, scoring him and making the score 4-0. After a strikeout, Axel Andueza smacked his double, scoring Tristan. The score, 5-0, looked like it was a comfortable cushion. It did become a cushion, but maybe not as comfortable as the Hops were expecting with the Dust Devils’ two runs right after their turn.
Game Winner Came Early
The Hops sent seven men to the plate in their half of the third. Base runners filled the bases with three walks, a throwing error by Dust Devil shortstop Livan Soto and two singles by Blaze and Spencer Brickhouse. The only reasons the Hops did not score more than two runs were bases being loaded and an inning-ending double play.
The winning run proved to be in the next inning. It also proved to be a comedy of errors that would have made William Shakespeare proud. It came from Tra Holmes’ one-out strikeout that led the left fielder around the bases and home.
A passed ball on Tra’s third strike went scooting to the backstop allowing Tra to reach first. Then, a bad pick-off throw from pitcher Cristopher Molina went sailing past first baseman Ty Greene. By the time Greene retrieved the ball, Tra stood at second base. Eduardo Diaz came to the plate next and struck out. But, like Tra, the third strike went past catcher Franklin Torres, this time ruled a wild pitch. By the time the ball was corralled, Tra touched home plate. Score 3-0.
For the Hops, the night was a little slim when it came to larceny. But, while four steals in the game might be a slow night for the Hops, it would be a season high for most other teams. Reece Hampton walked and stole second in the first. Spencer Brickhouse walked and stole second in the second. Blaze Alexander singled and stole second in the third. Finally, Reece walked and stole his second base in the sixth.
That runs their MiLB-leading total up to 59 steals to start the season. Locally, the Spokane Indians (41) added a steal for second place in the High-A West. Nationally, the Fayetteville Woodpeckers added to their total for 43 stolen bases on the year.
With their win, the Everett Aquasox (14-6) took sole possession of the lead of the High-A West league as the Eugene Emeralds (13-7) lost tonight. The win by the Hillsboro Hops (9-7) kept them five games back of the lead. But, they gained another game on the Vancouver Canadians (12-4). Hops reside three games back. The Tri City Dust Devils (5-15) fell to nine games back of the top with their loss.
The Hops lead the six game series 2-0. Both teams return tomorrow night for game three.
Now that you’ve read how Ryne Nelson dominated the Dust Devils, my look at Week 3: Will New Guys Fuel Turnaround? of the Hillsboro Hops season is now up and ready. As a result, you can meet new players: Andy Yerzy, Tristin English, Reece Hampton and Eduardo Diaz. In some cases, on the other hand, for the second time.