Spokane Indians, Charles LeBlanc Blast Hillsboro Hops 12-1
On the first game of the last road trip of the 2016 season for the Hillsboro Hops, the Spokane Indians gave them a rude welcome by launching a 12-1 drubbing. Both teams have already clinched a playoff spot by the Indians winning the first half of the North Division and the Hops securing at least the second best overall season record in the south, The Hops could still win the second half as they are only three games behind the South Division’s first half winner, the Eugene Emeralds with seven games to go.
Even though the game had no outcome on the playoffs, both teams intended to make it a game and a tune up for the playoffs. Hillsboro took the first lead in the third with an Adam Walton single who came home on a Josh Anderson RBI single. It was the only score of the night for the Hops.
Spokane quickly tied it up and took the lead for good in the bottom of the inning. The Indians added two more in the fourth. In the fifth, the game was blown wide open when the Indians scored eight runs sending twelve men to the plate. In the fifth inning alone, Spokane delivered two singles, two doubles and one triple while seeing three walks, two wild pitches and a hit batsman.
If that wasn’t enough, Josh Anderson provided some more excitement when he believed he had tagged Charles LeBlanc when he slid to the bag to complete his triple. Anderson took issue with the call and was ejected from the game.
In came Joey Rose as Josh Anderson’s replacement. Rose took the bag on his first day of his call up from the AZL league.
The Indians pitching was the game winner tonight. Demarcus Evans started the first four innings allowing the only Hops run on four hits. But, the pitcher of record for the win was Scott Sebald (W, 1-0) who pitched three innings of one hit scoreless ball while striking out four. Garrett Brummett cleaned up the final two innings allowing just one hit and also striking out four.
Half of the six Hops hits belonged to lead off batter Ben DeLuzio who went 3 for 4. Adam Walton went 2 for 3 and scored a run. Josh Anderson went 1 for 3 with his RBI single. No other Hops batters hit safely. The Hops had no extra base hits.
However, the Indians’ batters lit up the scoreboard whenever they could. Charles LeBlanc could have been considered the game’s offense MVP but he would have had a lot of close competition. LeBlanc went 3 for 5, scored and had three RBIs. Close behind, Luis Terrero went 3 for 5, scored, doubled and also had three RBIs. Chad Smith only had one hit but he also scored twice and doubled. Curtis Terry went 2 for 4, scored twice, doubled and had two RBIs. Leody Taveras had one hit and one walk but scored twice. Seth Spivey was one of two Indian batters who did not get a hit but he still managed to score twice on the night. Anderson Tejada and Carlos Garay also hit safely. Darius Day was the other rare Indian who did not get a hit but he still managed to score a run.
Bo Takahashi (L, 4-2) gave a valiant start but was chased after four runs in four innings for the loss. Dallas Newton made his third appearance on the mound for the Hops and lasted only two thirds of an inning before giving up seven runs. Matt Pobereyko gave up the twelfth run for the final score. Kevin Ginkel pitched the eighth effectively silencing the Indians for the only time tonight, striking out two and forcing the second batter to line out.
The loss dropped the Hillsboro Hops (19-12) to three games behind Eugene with seven games left to play. The win gained a game for the Spokane Indians on third place Vancouver and are now within one game. Both teams will return to Avista Stadium for the second game of the match.
Hops notes: Joey Rose was one of two players assigned to the Hops from the AZL League. The other was OF/1B Francis Martinez. Martinez is from the Dominican Republic while Rose hails from Toms River, New Jersey.
By Greg Stoker