Vancouver Canadians Homer 3 Times to Beat Hillsboro Hops, 7-6
The Vancouver Canadians stayed one step ahead of the Hillsboro Hops when it counted, winning 7-6. The lead changed hands twice and never grew larger than three runs.
The game started with the first scores of the game when Ryan Metzler hit a ground rule double over the left-center field fence. Ryan Hissey smashed a two-run homer over the same spot for a two-run homer. It would be a pattern for the Canadians throughout the evening. In the fifth, James Lynch singled hard up the middle with JC Cardenas following with a two run smash over the right field fence. In the sixth, Josh Reavis led off with a walk and Carl Wise sent the next pitch over the left field fence for the third two run homer of the game.
The winning run came in the top of the ninth. Connor Panas grounded back to the pitcher, Ariel Hernandez, on what should have been a routine play to first, but the throw went wild and Panas took second on the throwing error. Justin Atkinson, who had come in earlier defensively for first baseman Gabriel Cenas, doubled to the right-center gap and scored Panas for what would be the winning run.
The Hops managed to stay close and momentarily take the lead. One run came in the bottom of the fourth. With two outs, Stryker Trahan blooped a double to right field showing speed and hustle belying his strong frame. Josh Anderson singled to right field knocking in a hustling Trahan who still had gas in the tank.
The big inning for the Hops was the fifth, when they scored five runs to take a two-run lead. With Luis Veras and Sergio Alcantara on base, Dansby Swanson hit a perfectly placed line drive into the right field corner clearing the bases with a triple. Alexis Olmeda came to the plate and grounded out to shortstop JC Cardenas for an RBI, scoring Swanson from third for the tying run. Not done yet, Trevor Mitsui blasted a solo shot over right center field for the go ahead run. Still not done, Stryker Trahan sent another solo shot over the same spot in right center for an insurance run. It was not enough.
Stuart Holmes (1-2) got the win pitching the sixth through eighth innings allowing no runs or hits, walked and struck out one batter. Brandon Hinkle (S-1) pitched the ninth for the save. Jeferson Mejia (5-4) pitched the final four innings for the loss, allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits, walked two and struck out seven.
Stryker Trahan powered the Hops going 2 for 4, scoring two runs and an RBI on his solo homer, his first with the Hops. Trevor Mitsui hit his team leading fifth shot out of the park.
For the Canadians, Carl Wise(1), Ryan Hissey(2) and JC Cardenas (1) hit two run blasts in the game.
The Hillsboro Hops (11-7) maintained a one-game lead over Salem-Keizer for the South Division lead. The Vancouver Canadians (8-10) knocked one game off of Everett’s lead in the North Division to two games.
The five game series ended with the Hops taking it 3-2.
The Hops start a short three game series on the road with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. The Volcanoes remain one game behind the Hops in the South. The Vancouver Canadians will go home for a three game series with the Tri-City Dust Devils.
By Greg Stoker