Hops down Emeralds 5-1
Any thoughts of a Hillsboro letdown in the wake of their seven game win streak can be extinguished. Since their Fourth of July defeat to Salem-Keizer, the Hops have won three straight and appear to be firing on all cylinders.
In the first of a three-game set at Eugene Saturday night, the road Hops tallied five runs on 11 hits, while holding the Emeralds to just four hits in a 5-1 victory.
Catcher Andy Yerzy had three hits on the night, including a double and solo homerun en route to raising his season batting average to .342. The Hops scored one run in the third, two in the sixth, and a run apiece in the eighth and ninth, then watched as reliever Yeison Santana closed out what was already a dominating Hillsboro performance on the mound.
Matt Mercer and Ryan Miller pitched the first and second innings for the Hops, then Franklyn Soriano bridged the gap to Santana with five brilliant innings of work, allowing a single earned run on one hit while striking out five and walking none.
In addition to Yerzy, Hillsboro's Ryan Dobson, Keshawn Lynch and Dan Swain all tallied two hits, the latter of which — Swain — bumped his season average to .364.
Yerzy's four hits marked the 10th time this season that a Hops hitter has notched three or more hits in a game, with the catcher from Ontario, Canada responsible for five of those.
With the win, Hillsboro now leads both Boise and Salem-Keizer by three games with 15 games remaining in the first-half race.
The Hops will face the Emeralds again tonight in the second of their three game series at 5:05 P.M. at P.K. Park in Eugene.