Tri-City Dust Devils Leave Hillsboro Hops in the Dust, 5-1
The Tri-City Dust Devils opened up the damage in the third inning with three runs and didn’t let up. Adding two more in the fifth was more of a statement than insurance. With nine hits and seven men left on base, the Hillsboro Hops couldn’t connect for more than one run and fell to the Dust Devils, 5-1.
The Dust Devils first run came with Mitch Morales at third. Morales came home on a ground out by Ty France. Before the inning was over, Carlos Belen came to the plate with Peter Van Gansen at third and Jose Carlos Urena at first. Belen slugged a shot off the right center field fence scoring both runners with a stand up double.
In the fifth, the Dust Devil’s Peter Van Gansen came to the plate with Rod Boykin at first with a walk on a full count. Van Gansen slammed his second pitch to the same part of the field as Belen’s earlier shot for a stand up triple scoring Boykin easily from first. Ty France went to the left side of the field for a ground rule double and Van Gansen trotted home.
In the bottom of the inning, the Hops scored their only run of the night. Sergio Alcantara led off with a single up the middle. Dansby Swanson followed with a blast through the right center field gap and to the warning track for a triple. Alcantara easily had the speed around the bases to score.
Angel Mejia (4-3) started for the Dust Devils and his only blemish was allowing the Hops lone run. Other than that, Mejia pitched seven innings scattering seven hits and left the game with the score 5-1 for the win. Brett Kennedy and Nathan Foriest finished the last two scoreless innings allowing one hit apiece.
Carlos Hernandez had a good start allowing only one hit in the first two innings but it came apart in the third. Hernandez managed to slow the bleeding but it came apart again in the fifth. Carlos was pulled with the score 5-0 and an inherited runner on second with a double and no outs. Reliever Kirby Bellow took the mound and threw ten pitches for two strike outs and a ground out to end the inning. Bellow, Will Landsheft, Ariel Hernandez and Cameron Gann combined for five innings of relief with no runs and three hits.
Peter Van Gansen led the Dust Devils going 3 for 5, scoring twice (including the winning run) and a RBI. Mitch Morales went 2 for 4 and scored a run. Ty France went 2 for 5 and had two RBI. Carlos Belen doubled in the third for the game winning RBI
Sergio Alcantara went 2 for 4 and scored the lone Hops run. Dansby Swanson went 2 for 4 and knocked Alcantara in for the Hops only RBI.
The Hillsboro Hops (14-12) fell a half game behind Eugene for the South Division lead. The game between Eugene and Spokane was suspended due to a power outage. The game will resume Tuesday. The Tri-City Dust Devils (12-14) climbed into a third place tie with the Spokane Indians ahead by .004 percentage points.
The Dust Devils took the second game of the five game series and lead the Hops 2-0. Both teams meet on Tuesday for an early afternoon game.
By Greg Stoker