Yeiler Peguero Helps Slice Hillsboro Hops, 2-1; Eugene Emeralds Advance
The season is over. The Hillsboro Hops will not be able to defend their back to back titles in the next round. With two outs and Ben DeLuzio waiting on third as the tying run in the ninth, Josh Anderson stepped up to the plate as the go ahead run. Wyatt Short (S, 1) on the mound for the Eugene Emeralds, got Josh to foul down the right field line and into the glove of waiting Robert Garcia to end the game, 2-1.
The winning run came in the third and held on to be enough for the win. Yeiler Peguero led off with a walk and moved to second on a Chris Pieters single. Connor Grey, on the mound for the Hops, threw a wild pitch that allowed Peguero to scoot over to third. When Wladimir Galindo grounded out to short, Peguero hurried home for the go ahead run.
Erling Moreno started for the Emeralds and went five innings allowing the sole Hops run on six hits and seven strike outs for the win. Jed Carter and Michael Knighton held the Hops scoreless for the middle innings to set up Wyatt Short for the save.
The season started slow for the Hops as they managed a .500 record for the first half. They heated up for the second giving Eugene a run for their money for the second half crown but they were never able to end higher than second in the South Division. Still, by being the next best team in the division, they earned the right to face Eugene in the first round. It was fitting as the Hops were one of the few teams to give Eugene a run for their money face to face. In head to head action, Hillsboro took the twelve games played 7-5.
After winning the first playoff game in Hillsboro in exciting last minute fashion 4-3, the Hops were not able to squeeze past the games played next in Eugene, losing both 6-2 and 2-1.
The Hops only run of the night came in the second on a wild pitch by Emerald starter Erling Moreno that brought Paxton De La Garza home from third. The bases had been loaded with back to back singles by De La Garza and Jose Queliz followed by Ben DeLuzio patiently getting a walk. Two strike outs later, the two runners were left on base after they did managed to tie the game.
Yeiler Peguero scored both runs for the home team. He also scored in the first after getting a walk to first and moving to third on Chris Pieters single. Wladimir Galindo brought Peguero home with a sacrifice fly to center field. Galindo also earned both RBIs for the team as well, making the pair very efficient teammates.
Kevonte Mitchell went 2 for 4 with both hits being doubles for the only extra base hits for the Emeralds. Trent Giambrone also singled.
Two Hops smacked a double in the game. Connor Owings doubled to lead off the fourth but never made it to third. Ben DeLuzio doubled in the ninth but was left standing on third when the game ended. Jason Morozowski, Josh Anderson and Luke Lowery singled.
Tyler Mark started the game for the Hops and was pulled one batter into the third after he walked Yeiler Peguero in the third. The walk would come back to haunt him as Peguero was the eventual winning run in the game. Tyler allowed both Eugene runs on three hits, walking three and only striking out one.
Connor Grey (L, 0-1) came on in relief. His single to Chris Pieters helped Peguero to score and labeled Grey with the loss. Grey, Riley Smith, Colin Poche and Tommy Eveld all were bright spots in relief through the season and combined to keep the Emeralds scoreless the rest of the way.
The Hillsboro Hops ended the season with a 43-35 overall record including the playoffs. The Eugene Emerlds are 56-23 overall including playoffs and will play the Everett AquaSox who defeated the Spokane Indians 2 games to none. Eugene and Everett will play for the 2016 NorthWest League Championship.
By Greg Stoker