Vancouver Canadians Control Hillsboro, 4-2; Veras Returns to Hops
The Hillsboro Hops kept the score down with some good pitching but the Vancouver Canadians’ pitching was twice as fine as they defeated the Hops 4-2. The game was marked with the return of last year’s Hop, Luis Veras, who was assigned to the Hops for this series. Luis would go on to contribute half of Hillsboro’s hits on the night.
The game was also marked by the appearance of a scion of a Hall of Famer. Craig Biggio’s son, Cavan Biggio, started and played second base for the Vancouver Canadians. The elder Biggio was a former second baseman for the Houston Astros.
Again, the Hops bats struggled to produce except for taking an early 1-0 lead. The Hops run scored in the top of the second when Luis Veras singled to left and jumped to third on Matt Railey’s grounder to right. Veras came home on a failed pick-off attempt by Canadians’ pitcher Dalton Rodriguez. Hops up 1-0.
Vancouver would catch up and take the lead in the following inning. It started ominously with a DJ McKnight double to right. McKnight took up residence at third on an infield single by Rodrigo Orozco that put runners at the corners with one out. Cavan Biggio lined a double to left scoring McKnight and leaving Orozco at third. Orozco would come home on a 4-3 ground-out by Yeltsin Gudino. Canadians up 2-1, a lead they kept through the final score.
The Canadians added a run in the fourth and sixth, extending the lead. Jacob Anderson led off with a solo homer in the fourth over the left field wall in the fourth. The sixth inning was a little more complicated. JB Woodman reached base on a throwing error by Hops shortstop Adam Walton and stole second a couple of pitches later. Woodman fled to second on a Jacob Anderson liner up the middle and took home when center fielder Marcus Wilson had trouble getting the ball back to the infield. Score was Vancouver 4 and Hops 1.
The final score came in the seventh by the Hops a few minutes later with some entertaining base running. With one out, Matt Railey walked and took second on a grounder by Jeff Smith to second baseman Cavan Biggio. However, Biggio couldn’t get the handle on the hot horsehide and Railey sneaked over to third.
With only 66 pitches that lasted into the seventh inning, starting Canadians pitcher Dalton Rodrigues got a well earned rest. Griffin Glaude came to the mound to calm the Hops down. The Hops weren’t listening and pulled a double steal. With Nic Coffman at the plate, Jeff Smith stole second. On the throw, Railey headed home before the ball could return to the plate. It didn’t matter as shortstop Yeltsin Gudino could not come up with the throw and Railey safely slid to the plate. Final score: Canadians 4 and Hillsboro 2.
Hillsboro bats managed four hits on the night, two by the visiting Luis Veras. Veras managed to go 2 for 4 at the plate and scored a run.
Vancouver bats went 7 for 31 on the night, led by Jacob Anderson’s 3 for 4 performance. They also produced two doubles and Anderson’s solo homer.
Canadian starting pitcher Dalton Rodriguez (1-1) controlled six and one third innings on only 66 pitches for the win. Rodriguez allowed two runs on three hits and struck out 4. Jackson Lowry (S,2) pitched the ninth and earned the save. Lowry struck out the Hops final two batters in a three up and three down inning.
Tyler Mark (0-2) started his second game for the Hops. Mark managed 5 and a third innings allowing 4 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits for the loss. Mark struck out seven batters while walking only one. Kirby Bellow, Jake Winston and Nick Blackburn combined to hold the Canadians scoreless the rest of the way giving up only one hit.
The Hillsboro Hops (2-5) remained in a tie with the Boise Hawks (2-5) in last place and remained two games behind the leaders as the entire South Division lost tonight. The Vancouver Canadians (4-3) remained in a four way tie in the Northern Division as the North won all of their games.
Vancouver and Hillsboro will play the second game of the five game series Friday night. For the Hops, Jeferson Mejia (0-1) will make the start. Juliandry Higuera (1-0) will start for the Canadians.
By Greg Stoker