Spokane Indians, Noah Bremer Bake Hillsboro Hops, 2-1
The Hillsboro Hops fell to the Spokane Indians, 2-1, on a 100-degree night. After setting a record for most team hits in a game last night, the Hops tied the team record for lowest number of team hits in a game with two. Last night night’s 25 hits seemed a world away.
The signs of the night being different were apparent from the start. Starting Indians pitcher, Alex Speas started the night by striking out the Hops side in the first inning in one of many three-up, three-down innings. In the third, all three batters grounded out. The last three innings showcased the Indian bullpen by retiring nine consecutive Hops batters including striking out the last three.
Alex Speas left in the fifth inning after allowing one run on two hits. Speas left the mound with the bases loaded and two outs with the score still 0-0. Joe Barlow (W, 2-0) came in and promptly walked Bryan Araiza scoring Tim Susnara from third for Hillsboro’s only run of the game. Barlow then struck out Eudy Ramos to end the inning. He stuck around for two more innings of hitless and scoreless relief for the win.
Noah Bremer and Alex Eubanks (S, 1) pitched to the minimum six batters to end the game. Eubanks struck out the side in the ninth for the save.
The sixth inning saw Spokane tie the game when Tyler Ratliff doubled and then came home on Andretty Cordero’s RBI single. Spokane took the lead the next inning when Matt Whatley made his way around the bases in a creative way. He reached first by taking one for the team when he was hit by a pitch. Matt moved to second on Cole Enright’s sacrifice bunt and then went to third on third baseman Eudy Ramos’ bad throw. Whatley came home on Jonah McReynold’s fielder’s choice.
The Hops had two hits on the night. Pavin Smith singled in the fourth and Tra’Mayne Smith singled in the fifth. Hops batters struck out a total of twelve times.
The Indians only had five hits of their own on a stingy 100-degree night for the bats but four of those hits were doubles. Two of them were in the first inning. Miguel Aparicio doubled and was then thrown out at the plate after Chad Smith’s consecutive double. Curtis Terry doubled in the third and the fifth saw Tyler Ratliff score after his double.
Riley Smith started for the Hops and lasted seven innings on 87 pitches. 63 of those were strikes as Riley showed enough control to win on any other night. But tonight, he allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits which seemed much larger when compared to the Hops’ bats. Kevin Ginkel came on for the eighth to retire the side and striking out two.
The Indians took the first game of the series. Both teams return to Avista Stadium Friday night for game two. Expected pitchers are Jhoan Duran (2-1) for the Hops and Tyree Thompson (1-1) for Spokane. Game time is 6:30pm.
Despite the loss, the Hillsboro Hops (12-10) maintain their one game lead over the Boise Hawks and Eugene Emeralds for the Southern Division lead. The win kept the Spokane Indians (8-14) seven games behind Northern Division leader Vancouver Canadians but are now only one game behind third place Everett Aquasox.
Hillsboro Hops Photo: Craig Mitchelldyer-Hillsboro Hops
By Greg Stoker