Spencer Griffin’s 3-Run Double, Tri City Dust Devils Beat Hops 6-3
Spencer Griffin stepped up to the plate after substituting for Brandon White in the bottom of the seventh with the bases loaded. In his only plate appearance of the night, Griffin cleared the bases with his double and gave the Tri City Dust Devils a lead they would not surrender. The Hillsboro Hops went down to defeat 6-3.
Both teams pitched a tight game in the beginning. The Hops did score quickly with Eduardo Diaz’ first inning triple. Diaz came home on Andy Yerzy’s groundout moments later. But, their next score did not appear until the top of the seventh when they took a 2-1 lead.
Meanwhile, Brendon Davis tied the game in the bottom of the first with his solo shot. The Dust Devils did not score again until the bottom of the seventh. But, that is also when the teams separated from each other.
Offense Gets Free
Spencer Brickhouse smacked a two-out double and came home on Nick Dalesandro’s RBI single in their half of the seventh. The Hops had the lead and a reasonable hope that a 2-1 lead would be enough. They weren’t even close.
In their bottom half of the inning, the Dust Devils sent all nine batters to the plate. Brendon Davis led off with his second homer of the night to tie the game. Carlos Herrera singled and Francisco Del Valle walked on four straight pitches. That was enough to chase starting pitcher Drey Jameson (L, 0-3). Blake Workman came on in relief.
At first, it looked like Workman stopped the bleeding getting two quick outs. Jose Verrier changed that though just as quickly. His RBI single scored Herrera and tied the game. Harrison Wenson loaded the bases with his single. The stage was set.
Spencer Griffin, 7th Inning Hero
In the top of the inning, Spencer Griffin came into the game as a defensive replacement for Brandon White in center field. Now, he stepped up to the plate in what would be his only plate appearance of the night. Down to his last strike and two outs already on the scoreboard, Spencer slashed the ball to center field, clearing the bases. Del Valle scored. Verrier scored. Wenson scored.
The score held up despite the Hops’ Eduardo Diaz’ eighth inning home run with no one on board. Greg Veliz (W, 1-1) took the win and Zac Kristofak (S, 2) closed out the Hops for the save. Drew Jameson took the loss despite stellar work up until the seventh.
Ironically, Spencer Griffin, who cleaned the bases with one swing, turned out to be the only base runner the Dust Devils left behind at the end of an inning. Otherwise, Tri City was near perfect in efficiency when it came to getting on base and scoring.
The win climbed the Tri City Dust Devils (8-16) to seven games behind the co-leaders, Eugene and Everett. The loss maintained the Hillsboro Hops (10-14) at five games behind the lead. Both teams split the six game series at 3-3.
The Hops move over to the Everett Aquasox and stay on the road for one more week. The Dust Devils hit the road for their six game series with the Spokane Indians.*
*Note: this game was played on May 30th and does not reflect the current standings or schedule at the time of publication. Instead, this week, the Hops return home to host the Dust Devils after being away from each other for a week.
I Have Returned
In addition, my weekly column will return on Tuesday of this week. Only, this time I will look back at the previous two weeks instead of one. Also, the Hops return home to host the same Tri City Dust Devils they faced two weeks before. That means my half inning updates also return on Twitter. So, if you can’t catch the games this week on MiLB.TV or listen to them on radio 620 AM, follow me on Twitter for those half inning updates throughout the game.
In the meantime, catch my previous weekly columns right here on Minor League Sports Report.