Hops end home season with a split against Tri-City
Another season is in the books — a home one at least.
The Hillsboro Hops closed out their Ron Tonkin Field campaign with a series split with visiting Tri-City, taking the first two games before dropping three of the last four, allowing the Dust Devils to even the series and leaving the home fans with a bit of a sour taste in their months until next spring.
Shortstop Channy Ortiz helped lead the way for the Hops, batting .316 for the week, while outfielder Neyfy Castillo led the team with 10 RBIs despite batting just .227.
Third baseman Deyvison De Los Santos tallied nine RBIs, and A.J. Vukovich continued his onslaught on opposing pitching, tallying his fifth home run in the last two weeks and in the process breaking the Hops' single-season home run record with 15.
Vukovich is batting .274 for the season and leads the team in home runs (15) and RBIs (69).
The Hops started the week with a 5-4 walkoff win, coming back in the ninth inning by tying the game and then winning it on Adrian Del Castillo's two-out single to center field, scoring Neyfy Castillo, who had singled in Vukovich a play earlier.
Hillsboro followed their dramatic Game 1 win with another come-from-behind victory, this time scoring four unanswered runs to erase a 3-2 fourth-inning deficit. Cam Coursey, De Los Santos and Ortiz each tallied two hits in the game.
The Dust Devils took the next two games despite Vukovich's record-setting home run Sept. 1.
The Hops again came from behind Sept. 3, getting three runs in the eighth inning to win 6-4, thanks in part to a Cam Coursey two-run double to left field.
Hillsboro made not one but two dramatic comebacks in the series finale Sept. 4, getting two runs to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth, then getting three more in the bottom of the 10th to again tie the game before Tri-City won it with a run in the 11th.
The Hops finished the home season with a record of 33-33 and will finish the regular season with six games at Everett.
News and notes
Former Hops player Corbin Carroll remains with the Diamondbacks after being called up Aug. 29. He is batting .200 with six RBIs in seven games.
Former Hop and Oregon Ducks starting pitcher Ryne Nelson was called up to the Diamondbacks Sept. 5 and made a dazzling MLB debut in a start against the Padres, allowing no runs on four hits, while striking out seven and walking none in seven innings of work. Nelson spent the entire 2022 season at Triple-A Reno, where he accrued a 5.43 ERA with 128 strikeouts and 47 walks.
Pitcher Luis Frias was optioned to Reno in a corresponding move for Nelson. Frias, who made a meteoric rise from starting on Opening Day for High-A Hillsboro last year to making his major league debut on the final day of the Hops' season, has struggled in limited appearances out of Arizona's bullpen this year.
Hillsboro 5, Tri-City 4
Hillsboro 6, Tri-City 3
Tri-City 4, Hillsboro 2
Tri-City 9, Hillsboro 5
Hillsboro 6, Tri-City 4
Tri-City 6, Hillsboro 5
Starting pitcher Luke Albright started two games in the sries versus Tri-City, combining for a 3.27 ERA while striking out 12 and walking four in 11 innings of work.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.