Tri-City Dust Devils Hold Off Hillsboro Hops, 5-3
The Tri-City Dust Devils took the early lead and never fell behind to take the final game of the series 5-3. The Hillsboro Hops did have an inning of flurry that tied the game in the third but the Hops could never muster anything else.
The Dust Devils started off in the first with some inauspicious help from the Hops. Peter Van Gansen walked and was soon joined on the bases when Ty France was hit by a pitch. Austin Allen joined the company when he was walked to load the bases. Henry Charles grounded out to second baseman Sergio Alcantara who took the easy force at first. Van Gansen scored on the force out and the Dust Devils would never be behind in the game.
The third inning proved to have the most fireworks of the game. In the top of the inning, the Dust Devils scored twice more starting with a Ty France double to center field. Austin Allen stepped up to the plate and pitcher Kirby Bellow threw a wild pitch letting France move to third. Allen then singled to left field scoring France. A Henry Charles walk and a Nick Vilter single loaded the bases. Kodie Tidwell came to the plate and walked, forcing another run across the plate.
The Hops made up for it in the bottom by tying the game at 3-3. Joey Armstrong and Sergio Alcantara led with back to back singles. Dansby Swanson followed with a fielder’s choice as Armstrong was forced out at third. Grant Heyman loaded the bases on his grounder to short and the fielding error by short stop Peter Van Gansen. Alcantara scored on a Trevor Mitsui sacrifice to right and Swanson took third putting runners at the corners. Swanson scored on a Josh Anderson single and Heyman scored on a Luis Veras single to tie the game. The Hops would score no more.
The Dust Devils posted the go ahead run in the fifth when Nick Vilter scored on a Rod Boykin single. An insurance run was added in the ninth when Vilter singled scoring Peter Van Gansen.
Starting pitcher Jose Castillo (3-1) earned the win going five innings though he gave up all three Hops runs. Elvin Liriano, Wilson Santos and Nathan Foriest combined for four innings of scoreless two-hit relief. Foriest (S-1) pitched the ninth to earn the save.
Tucker Ward (0-1) allowed the winning run in the fifth for the loss.
Austin Allen and Nick Vilter had identical lines. They both went 3 for 4, scored once and had an RBI.
For the Hops, Nate Irving went 2 for 3 and Luis Veras went 2 for 4. Sergio Alcantara, Dansby Swanson and Grant Heyman shared in the run scoring duties. Trevor Mitsui, Josh Anderson and Veras shared in the RBI department.
The Hillsboro Hops (16-13) fell to two games behind South Division leader Eugene. The Tri-City Dust Devils (13-16) remain four games behind North Division leading Everett.
The Dust Devils take the five game series 3-2. The Hops will go on the road with a three game series with division leading Eugene Emeralds. Tri-City will stay on the road for a three game series with division leading Everett Aquasox. There are nine games left in the second half for both teams.
By Greg Stoker