The Hops escape a ninth inning jam and prevail in tenth on Jose Caballero ground ball.

STAFF PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - Hillsboro's Jake McCarthy takes a cut during a Hops game earlier this season.It's never easy, but it was especially difficult for the Hops Thursday night when tied 4-4, Hillsboro closer Wesley Rodriguez faced a bases loaded, no out jam in the bottom of the ninth before a timely double play followed by a Rodriguez strike out, ended the inning and sent the game to extras where the Hops prevailed in the tenth.

The extra stanza was the first for Hillsboro since the new extra-inning rule was put into place, which puts a runner on second base to start the inning. Tra Holmes promptly singled to center to put runners on the corners, then — quickly following a Jorge Perez pop-out — Jose Caballero beat out a potential double play ball, scoring Holmes and ultimately leading to a Hops victory.

Hillsboro trailed by three runs after one, but scored one in the third and three more in the fifth on a Ryan January RBI double, followed by a two-run double by Perez.

Tra Holmes led the Hops at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a walk and RBI.

Ryan Weiss started the game on the mound for Hillsboro and left after one inning, allowing three earned runs. Kenny Hernandez came on in relief and pitched 5 1/3 strong innings, allowing no runs on five hits while striking out three and walking one.

With the win, the Hops improved to 14-7 and once again moved atop the Northwest League Southern Division standings, a game ahead of the Volcanoes.

Hillsboro and Salem-Keizer will face-off again at 6:35 P.M. this evening in the last of a three-game set at Volcanoes Stadium in Keizer.

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