Tri-City Dust Devils Pitching Blank Hillsboro Hops, 2-0
On a night where hits were sparse, runs were even scarcer as the Tri-City Dust Devils limited the Hillsboro Hops, 2-0. The Hops outhit the Dust Devils 8-5 but left seven men on base instead of putting them on the scoreboard.
The heroes tonight were three men who stood on the mound for the Dust Devils. Eric Lauer started for Tri City but lasted only three innings before Jordan Guerrero came on in relief. Lauer left the game with the score tied at 0-0 with only two hits given up for a no decision. It would be Guerrero (W, 3-3) who earned the win giving up five hits over five scoreless innings. Jesse Scholtens closed out the ninth facing four batters and giving up a single for the save (S, 2).
Hops pitching was close behind but the two runs given up were enough for the loss with no run support from the bats. Bo Takahashi started and went four innings and allowed two hits but was saddled with a no decision when he left the game still tied at 0-0. Palmer Betts (L, 1-1) gave up the first Dust Devil run for the loss when Chris Baker scored on a Kyle Overstreet RBI single. Riley Smith pitched the eighth and ninth giving up Tri City’s other run on one hit.
Hops bats were alive and threatening but could not string enough together to cross the plate. Chad Oberaker was the lead off hitter, went 2 for 4 and had the game’s only triple. Ramon Hernandez also went 2 for 4 and had the game’s only double. Luke Lowry was a third Hops batter to go 2 for 4. Manny Jefferson and Mark Karaviotis also singled during the game.
Dust Devil bats were responsible for the game’s only two runs on just five hits and none of them were for extra bases. G.K. Young went 2 for 4. Kyle Overstreet went 1 for 3 and knocked in Chris Baker, on base with a single, for the game winning run. The insurance run was accomplished without a hit when Nate Easley walked and eventually scored on Taylor Kohlwey’s sacrifice fly to right. Jose Savinon also singled during the game.
The Hillsboro Hops (17-18) fell another game behind Eugene to remain in second but now eight games out of first with three more games to be played in the first half. The Hops stay one game ahead of third place Salem-Keizer. The Tri City Dust Devils (18-17) jumped into first place in the North Division all by themselves combined with a Spokane loss. Also with three games to go in the first half, the Dust Devils have a narrow margin with a one game lead over Spokane and only two games ahead of Vancouver and Everett. All four teams remain in contention for the first half crown.
Tri City took a 2-1 lead in the five game series. Both teams return to GESA Stadium for the fourth game in the series on Saturday evening at 7:15 pm. LHP Anfernee Benitez is slated to take the mound for the Hops and will face Dust Devil LHP Joey Lucchesi.
By Greg Stoker