Spencer Griffin Singled in Go Ahead Run, Tri City Dust Devils Over Hops 8-6
Spencer Griffin singled in Kyle Kasser and Franklin Torres in the fifth for the eventual tying and go ahead runs. The Tri City Dust Devils went on to win 8-6 over the Hillsboro Hops.
Defense Over Offense
On a night where the offense took center stage, defense was the supporting actor that made the win possible. The game featured a rare triple play that stopped two runs from scoring that surely would have at least meant a tie for extra innings, otherwise.
Dom Canzone and Tristin English led off with singles. Normally, the triple play would have consisted of a simple round the horn extended double play taking advantage of force outs at each base. But, not this time. This time, the Hops minor league-leading strength of stolen bases led to their downfall.
The double steal was set to play. The Hops had executed it successfully many times this season so far. When both runners headed for their next base as starting pitcher Cristopher Molina (W, 4-2) went into his pitching motion, everyone expected more of the same. Everyone, except the Dust Devils defense.
The pitch struck out batter Andy Yerzy. Dust Devils catcher Franklin Torres immediately fired the ball to shortstop Livan Soto who tagged Tristin English out at second. Soto quickly relayed the ball to third baseman Adrian Rondon who tagged Dom Canzone out at third. Bang-bang-bang. Triple play.
The Hops weren’t without their defensive moments either. Four double plays were flawlessly executed by the Hops during the game. And, the triple play was not the only defensive gem by the Dust Devils. In the following inning (fourth), Hops’ Axel Andueza fired a single through to right fielder Gareth Morgan who saw Spencer Brickhouse turning third and trying to score from second. A spot-on throw by Morgan nailed Brickhouse at the plate.
Despite a game filled with 14 runs, 25 hits, six doubles and a home run, defense was the deciding factor.
Spencer Griffin Singled, Tied Game in 2nd
All in all, the game provided just as much excitement from the plate as with the glove. Spencer Brickhouse’ three-run shot scored Blaze Alexander and Reece Hampton starting the scoring for the game. Gareth Morgan’s RBI double and Spencer Griffin’s RBI single, along with sending nine men to the plate in the second, helped to immediately tie the game up.
Gareth Morgan had another RBI double in consecutive innings and then scored on Kyle Kasser’s RBI single to add two more runs in the third.
Spencer Griffin Singled in 5th
Having done it earlier in the game, Spencer Griffin singled again. Though the Dust Devils already had the lead, this time his RBI single brought in two runs that would make the difference later on: one to eventually be the tying run and one to eventually be the winning run.
Brendon Davis led off the sixth with a double and scored on consecutive singles by Jordyn Adams and Francisco Del Valle for another run.
Finally, for the Hops, Tristin English doubled home Jorge Barrosa in the eighth and Barrosa doubled home Brickhouse and Axel Andueza in the ninth to close the gap. No one had trouble staying awake during this game.
The win helped the Tri City Dust Devils maintain their 17.5 game deficit behind league-leading Everett who won their fourth game in a row. But, they regained a game behind the Hillsboro Hops and are now back to three and a half games down. The loss dropped the Hops to 14 games behind Everett but remained three games behind Spokane.
Both teams meet again Sunday for the sixth and final game. The Dust Devils are ahead in the week’s series, 3-2. The Hops can tie the series with a win. Game starts at 6:05 PM. You can listen to it on 620 AM radio.