Tristin English Walk-Off, Hillsboro Hops Take Win From Ems, 3-2
Tristin English walk-off was five batters in the making. The Hillsboro Hops only needed one run in the bottom of the ninth with the one out and the game tied at 2-2. With the bases loaded, Tristin English hit what he knew he had to hit. A long fly deep ball to give Jorge Barrosa time to tag and run home for the win. That’s exactly what he did.
It had to have been one of the shortest wins in Mailon Arroyo’s (W, 2-1) career. Arroyo came to the mound in the top of the ninth. There were already two out and one runner who walked to first. Denson Hull did a fine job up to that point but manager Vince Harrison wanted a right hander for the right-handed Franklin Labour, a dangerous hitter.
Mailon took the ball and threw three pitches: a ball, a strike and a fly-out to right. Job done. Three pitches and he got the win, deservedly. Now it was the batters’ turn to get the winning run across the plate.
Tristin English Walk-Off Had To Wait
Leodany Perez scored the tying run in the seventh. He wanted to score the winning run in the ninth. Perez came close. Taylor Rashi (L, 6-3) returned to the mound from the eighth inning. After a walk to Perez, Jorge Barrosa singled and Perez scooted over to third. Eduardo Diaz was next up. He had hit the home run in fifth to get the Hops on the board. Arguably, the Hops best power hitter, Eugene wanted to play it safe. So, they intentionally walked Diaz to load the bases, effectively neutralizing Diaz’ power.
Andy Yerzy had next. With bases loaded and no outs, the idea is to hit a deep ball and let the runner on third tag and go home. Yerzy tried to do just that but it is not as easy as it sounds. Instead, he sent an easy grounder to shortstop Marco Luciano. Perez, on third, had to attempt home because home plate was now a force out for him. But, Luciano threw home. No score. Bases are still loaded but there is now one out.
Tristin English Walk-Off Ready
Now, it is Tristin English’s turn. He liked the first pitch and sent it deep to center. Franklin Labour caught and threw with every muscle he had toward home plate. With Barrosa’s speed, it wasn’t close.
Starters Don’t Win Walk-Offs
Kai-Wei Teng started for the Emeralds and controlled the pace. Teng lasted 93 pitches in almost six full innings. Five hits were spread out among the five and two-thirds innings. It was not enough to worry as the Hops left six runners on base under his reign. Unless, one of those hits is a solo home run by the Hops’ Eduardo Diaz. Teng left with lead in hand, 2-1.
Shumpei Yoshikawa started for the Hops. His debut was a while in the making. Assigned to the Hops at the beginning of the season, Shumpei had to weather the injury list. During those three months, he pitched a total of one and a third innings. His first inning couldn’t have been better. He struck out the side though it took 19 pitches to get through the inning.
Starter Shumpei also had his blip of trouble with a home run. Franklin Labour sent his solo shot out in the second inning. Only, there were two blips for Shumpei. Sean Roby had doubled just before and scored with Labour. Limited to only two innings tonight by design, Shumpei left the game down 2-0.
The Hops’ Bobby Ay, Kai-Wei Lin and Denson Hull took over for middle relief. The three combined for six and two thirds scoreless innings with only one hit. Meanwhile, The Ems sent Jasier Herrera in after Teng and Jasier gave up the tying run to Leodany Perez with a wild pitch.
Above all, the win pulls the Hillsboro Hops (40-44) to within one game behind Spokane for third place. The Hops stayed even with Everett, who also won tonight, at 13.5 games behind. The Hops also pulled away from Vancouver and three and a half games separate fourth place from fifth. However, the loss dropped the Eugene Emeralds (49-36) to five games below Everett. Consequently, their lead over the Hops shrank tonight to eight and a half games.
Furthermore, both teams meet for Game#2 on Wednesday night at 7:05 PM. As a result, the Hops have the early series lead, 1-0.