Vancouver Canadians Master Hillsboro Hops, 5-3
The Hillsboro Hops three game winning streak ended as they were downed by the Vancouver Canadians 5-3. The Canadians took an early 2-0 lead and always had an answer when the Hops would get close or tie the game. When the Hops scored two in the top of the fifth, the Canadians answered with two in the bottom of the fifth. The Hops scored one in the top of the sixth but the Canadians scored one in the bottom of the eighth. The Hops never led. The game ended with a ground out to second baseman Lane Thomas.
The starting pitchers were Carlos Hernandez (0-1) for the Hops and Jonathon Harris for Vancouver. Harris, who was drafted this year in the first round, made his professional debut. He pitched 2.2 innings with one hit, one walk and four strike outs for a good start on his new career. Jon Wandling (1-1) earned the win while Andrew Case (S-2) closed the ninth and earned the save.
The scoring started in the bottom of the third when Earl (the) Burl III hit a stand-up double to right field. Christian Vasquez came to the plate and Burl stole third. Catcher Nate Irving’s throw was into left field and Burl came all the way home.
The next inning, Sean Hurley led off with a walk. Kevin Garcia came to the plate. During a pitch, Hurley took off for second but Garcia was hit by Carlos Hernandez and both runners advanced. Austin Davis sent one to right field and Hurley scored from second. First baseman Dane McFarlane took the cut off throw and tossed it to third but Garcia made it safely to the bag. Runners were at the corners.
The inning ended strangely. Rolando Segovia struck out for the second out and Austin Davis started for second but was caught in a run down between second and first. Davis dodged the tag long enough for Kevin Garcia to step on home plate. After the tag, the umpires ruled Garcia’s run did not count. Both sides argued the call and the umpires stood by their ruling. It didn’t matter though as the Canadians would have enough to win without it. The home team led 2-0.
Minutes later, in the top of the fifth, the Hops came storming back. Quinnton Mack smacked a grounder to shortstop JC Cardenas but reached first on a throwing error. Sergio Alcantara walked, moving Mack to second. Fernery Ozuna slapped a single to right, scoring Mack and moving Alcantara to third. While Ozuna stole second, Alcantara slipped home. The throw home hit the dirt and Ozuna took third.
The game was tied but it didn’t last long. Minutes later, the Canadians stormed themselves. JC Cardenas walked. Earl (the) Burl III tripled to right field, knocking in Cardenas. Lane Thomas hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Burl. The Canadians led again by two, 4-2.
The Hops scored one more run in the top of the sixth. Trevor Mitsui hit a single up the middle. Nate Robertson was hit by a pitch loading two men on the bases. Gerard Hernandez hit a single to left and loaded the bases. Nate Irving brought the last run home with a sacrifice fly to center field.
The Vancouver Canadians answered back with their last run two innings later in the bottom of the eighth when Sean Hurley sent the ball over the left field fence for a home run.
Burl had a fine night for the Vancouver Canadians (4-5), going 2 for 4 and scoring one run on a triple. He also had a double and an RBI. Sean Hurley was also a factor with his home run and scored two runs.
The Hillsboro Hops (5-4) had fine nights by Fernery Ozuna and Gerard Hernandez. Ozuna went 2 for 5 with an RBI. Hernandez went 2 for 4.
The series continues tomorrow night with the second game in this five-game series.
By Greg Stoker