Tyler Mark, Hillsboro Hops Cruise to 6-0 Win over Salem-Keizer Volcanoes
Tyler Mark (1-2) took the mound at the start and set the standard for the night as the Hillsboro Hops cruised past the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, 6-0. It was an incredible effort that carried Mark through seven innings and 86 pitches, overshadowing a favorite’s return from last year’s champions.
In the first three innings, Mark threw 31 pitches and only three of them were balls. The rest were 28 strikes or balls put into play. Backed by very good field play, Mark lasted through seven innings allowing only three hits on the night. Trouble did rear its ugly head in fifth when Volcanoes Leo Rojas and Ryan Kirby both singled to lead off the inning. But, they only made it as far as scoring position as the next three batters went down in a strikeout and two ground outs. The next inning, Tyler Mark was in control as he struck out the side, facing only three batters. After one more inning, Mark was relieved after 86 pitches and ten strike outs. Of those pitches, 69 were strikes and 17 were balls. Jordan Watson and Tommy Evald followed with two innings of one hit ball to preserve Mark’s win.
To add to the excitement, the crowd saw the return of favorite Sergio Alcantara from last year’s championship squad. Alcantara drew loud cheers from the crowd whenever he came to the plate or reminded fans of his vacuum-like fieldwork at shortstop. Alcantara seemed to give a boost not only to the hometown fans but to his teammates as well. The Hops played with a sense of confidence that never gave the Volcanoes a chance.
Jason Morozowski made the other Hops debut tonight after he was called up from the rookie league Missoula Osprey.
The Hops bats attacked the visiting mound with six runs on ten hits. Anfernee Grier, Jason Morozowski and Matt Railey led the Hops’ bats with two hits apiece. Scoring didn’t start until the fifth inning as Volcanoes starter Hengerber Medina (0-2) did his best to make it a pitchers duel allowing three hits and striking out three before the Hops erupted for three innings of two runs each dealing Medina the loss.
In the fifth, Matt Railey and Sergio Alcantara scored on Jason Morozowski’s single and a passed ball by catcher Zack Bower. The scoring in the sixth started with two outs when Luis Vera sent a ground rule double bouncing over the left field fence. Manny Jefferson joined him with a single to right and both scored on a Matt Railey punch up the middle.
In the seventh, Anfernee Grier scored from third on Josh Anderson’s grounder to short and Jason Morozowski scored on Luke Lowery’s sacrifice grounder to second baseman Kevin Rivera. Morozowski made a fine debut at the plate going 2 for 4 with a double, scoring a run and batting one home.
The Volcanoes bats had four hits scattered among four batters. Zack Bowers had the lone extra base hit with a double in the second.
The Hillsboro Hops (4-8) remain tied with Boise but both gained on league leader Eugene and are now four games back. The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (6-6) remain two games back of the division lead. Both teams will face each other again in the second game of the three game series Wednesday night at Ron Tonkin Field. Jeferson Mejia (1-1) is scheduled to start for the Hops. Mejia will face Raffi Vizcaino (0-0) for the Volcanoes.
Photography by Portland Oregon Photographer Craig MItchelldyer
By Greg Stoker