The Streak is Over. Hillsboro Hops Downed 2-1 by Tri Cities
The winning streak is over. The Hillsboro Hops rode a winning streak of four games to the top of the Southern Division standings before losing to the Tri Cities Dust Devils 2-1 in extra innings. In the bottom of the tenth, the Dust Devils loaded the bases with no outs to set up Matthew Acosta’s game-winning single.
The Hops had the game won. They scored their lone run in the fourth inning and the score remained 1-0 for most of the game. Until the bottom of the ninth. Before that, both teams managed only three hits apiece for the whole game. That was when the Dust Devils started waking up.
With no outs in the bottom of the ninth, Tri Cities loaded the bases before the Hops could get an out. Alison Quintero sent a grounder to Hops’ second baseman Ricky Martinez sending Matthew Acosta home, tying the game. It was an eerie foreshadowing of the tenth when the Dust Devils scored the game winner on Acosta’s single.
Until the end, the game remained a tightly controlled effort by both pitching staffs. Luis Frias started for the Hops going the required five innings for a win and left with a slim 1-0 lead. Justin Garcia gave the best performance pitching two no-hit innings and striking out three Bryan Menendez (L, 0-1) came on as closer for the ninth and tenth allowing both Dust Devil runs for the loss.
Tri Cities split the game evenly with five different pitchers serving from the mound for two innings each. Dan Dallas started for the home team, allowing one hit. Felix Minjarez (W, 1-0) was on the mound refusing hits to the visiting Hops when the Dust Devil bats woke up to give Minjarez the win. Starlin Cordero ruled the seventh and eight with no-hit ball and striking out four Hops’ batters.
Jesus Marriaga Homers
The Hops’ first homer of the season came in game six of the young season. With one out and no one on base, Jesus Marriaga sent the ball to left center field giving the hops their only run of the night. For the next 15 outs, Marriaga’s solo shot was the only score of the game. Unfortunately, the game had three more outs to go before it was over.
First baseman Andy Yerzy doubled in the first with no one on base making two of the Hops’ three hits on the night extra base hits. However, the Hops’ continue to shift from small ball to power ball. Joe Robbins led off the fifth with a single for the Hops’ other hit of the night. The Hops managed only three walks on the night for a total of six base runners in the game. Meanwhile, 13 Hops batters struck out.
The Dust Devils managed six hits, five of them singles. The last three were saved for the end of the game to tie it up and send the winning run across the plate. The home team’s only extra base hit was Nick Gatewood’s lead off double in the seventh. Gatewood scooted to third on Jack Stronach’s ground out to first baseman Andy Yerzy but was left standing there when Alison Quintero struck out on a foul ball and two called strikes. The streak is over.
Despite the fact that the streak is over, the Hillsboro Hops (4-2) remain on top of the Southern Division with a one game lead. The win pulled the Tri Cities Dust Devils (2-4) up into a three-way tie for second place but remain three games behind the Northern Division leading Spokane Indians.
Both teams will return to Pasco for one more game to finish off the four game series. The Hops lead 2-1. Michel Gelabert will start for the Hops. The Cuban was signed as a free agent on May 11th of last year and was named mid-season all star for the 2018 DSL D-Backs2. This will be his first appearance for the Hops.
Nick Thwaits (0-1) will take the mound for the Dust Devils. Thwaits last appearance was on opening night where he absorbed the loss. The young man is a 2018 draft pick out of Fort Recovery High School in Yorkshire, Ohio.
Check out the season opening.