Sean Roby’s Two-Run Homer, Eugene Emeralds Squeeze Hillsboro Hops 3-1
Sean Roby’s two-run homer with two outs turned out to be all the Eugene Emeralds needed to squeeze by the Hillsboro Hops, 3-1. Will Wilson, last night’s grand slammer, doubled. A wild pitch by Hops’ Bryce Jarvis sent Wilson to third followed by Roby’s smash to left-center. It was Roby’s third home run of the young season.
The Em’s Will Wilson stayed hot going 3 for 4 at the plate and his fourth inning double. Wilson also had a part in Em’s eighth inning where he singled home Simon Whiteman from third with two outs. The Hops had just scored for the first time and tightened the score 2-1 when DJ Burt came home on Axel Andueza’s RBI ground-out. Wilson pushed the lead back up to two runs in the bottom of the inning. Another double in the bottom of the sixth added to Wilson’s total for the night.
Besides Sean Roby’s two-run homer, he also added a lead off single in the seventh. But, it went to no avail as three consecutive outs followed. Hits were a bit sparse for the Emeralds but when they hit, they hit hard with three doubles and a homer. Plus, when one hit, another Emerald came right behind with another hit.
Despite being outscored by the Ems 3-1, the Hops outhit their hosts 8-7. The Hops are only hitting a lean .200 so far this season. Plus, all eight Hops hits tonight were singles. They did manage to get two hits in the fifth inning but the two singles weren’t enough power to get around the bases and the runners died at scoring position. It also didn’t help that the Hops went 1-2-3 for the first four innings.
After another 1-2-3 inning, the Hops got two more singles in the seventh but the lead runner died at second base. The eighth saw two more singles Axel Andueza led off with a single, but the RBI came on DJ Burt’s ground out. Finally, the ninth saw two more singles but, again, the runners never made it past second base.
Power seems to be short in coming for the Hops so far. They are near bottom in the league for doubles and homers. They are tied for the lead league in triples, however, thanks in part to Corbin Carroll’s two triples. But, Corbin went on the 7-day IL on Wednesday. Now I am hearing that he is looking at season ending surgery. More on that below.
On the good news part, Tra Holmes did steal two more bases to add to Hillsboro’s league leading total of 29.
Part of the reason that batting was down is due to strikeouts. A problem for the Hops all of the young season has them leading the league (albeit only by one) in that category with 122. But the credit goes to the pitcher and not the batter.
Ems starter Nick Morreale (W, 1-0) went five innings and recorded nine K’s for the win. The triumvirate of relievers (Taylor Rashi (H, 1), Ryan Walker (H, 1) and Jose Marte (S, 2)) added two more K’s each to the Eugene total of 15 strikeouts. Even more amazing is that all four pitchers never issued a walk!
Hops starter Bryce Jarvis (L, 0-1) went a solid six and two thirds innings allowing two runs on four hits and struck out nine. Reliever Wesley Rodriguez finished off the game’s last one and a third innings with two K’s of his own. And now, the doubly amazing part is that Hops pitching did not allow one walk as well. Absolutely no walks issued to any of the 65 plate appearances in tonight’s game.
With Sean Roby’s two-run homer, the win keeps the Eugene Emeralds (7-3) one game behind the league leading Everett Aquasox (8-2). The loss drops the Hillsboro Hops (4-6) to four games behind the top of the league. Both teams will meet for the fifth of six games tomorrow night (5/15, Saturday) in Eugene at PK Park.
Good News/Bad News
The good news is that both of the league leading Everett Aquasox’s two losses came at the hands of the Hillsboro Hops. The Bad news? The league seems to be starting an early separation between the three top teams and the three bottom teams. Hillsboro is at the top of the bottom. But, the season is still young and things can change quickly before you know it.
William Boor, reporter/producer for the MLB Pipeline and @MLB, tweeted that Corbin Carroll is having “season-ending shoulder surgery”. Zach Buchanan of The Athletic (subscription required) also is reporting the same thing.
On May 10th, Corbin poked a home run over the right field fence in a 2-0 win over the Eugene Emeralds. It came in the second game of a double header. It is thought that his shoulder injury happened on that swing. To replace Corbin, Leodany Perez came in to play left field, moving Tra Holmes over to center. Read the game recap.
Corbin went down to Arizona to have his shoulder looked at and the prognosis came out Thursday. The top prospect in the Diamondbacks organization will miss the rest of the 2021 season.
In the meantime, check out last week’s column on the Hops’ first week of the season.