Hops lose ninth inning stunner in Eugene
Seemingly well on their way to their fourth straight victory, things went horribly wrong for the Hops Sunday night in Eugene.
Leading 3-0 in the bottom of the ninth inning, the nearly 5,000 fans in attendance at P.K. Park saw the Emeralds muster three hits and four runs off of Hillsboro closer Wesley Rodriguez, en route to a stunning 4-3 Eugene win.
The Ems got their first run on a Christopher Morel sacrifice fly, then used back-to-back ground rule doubles to tie it 3-3. Hops reliever Kai-Wei Lin then entered for Rodriguez, quickly throwing two wild pitches, the last of which plated Eugene's Gustavo Polanco to bring the Ems faithful to their feet and end Hillsboro's three-game win streak.
The loss marred an otherwise sterling Hops performance on the mound, with Hillsboro starter Adrian Del Moral throwing five shutout innings, then watching as relievers Brian Christian and Josh Green worked the sixth, seventh and eighth, allowing just a single hit before handing it to Rodriguez in the ninth.
The Hops scored the game's first two runs in the second when — following three consecutive walks to load the bases — Ryan Dobson scored on a wild pitch, then Jorge Perez trotted home on an Andy Yerzy single to give Hillsboro a 2-0 lead. They tacked-on a third run in the sixth on doubles by Joey Rose and Francis Martinez, but stranded two runners in the seventh with runners on second and third with no outs.
Dobson led the Hops with three hits, raising his season batting average to .311, while Rose tallied two hits in defeat.
The two teams will play the rubber match of the three-game series tonight at 7:05 P.M. at P.K. Park, before the Hops return home for the first of eight straight home games Wednesday, July 11, versus Tri-City.