Hopping Around: Hillsboro Hops Weekly Recap
The Hillsboro Hops started the week with a win over the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, then ended it with a three-game series sweep over the Eugene Emeralds at Ron Tonkin Field in Hillsboro. In between, the Hops lost two to Salem-Keizer, but improved to 10-6 on the season and sit atop the Northwest League South standings, a game ahead of the second place Volcanoes.
The Hops continue to swing the bats relatively well, batting .253 as a team and trailing only Salem-Keizer (.254) in the team batting standings. However, while the Volcanoes are leaving the yard at an astounding rate — already with 18 home runs — the Hops are just .015 behind Salem-Keizer in OPS on the backs of 31 doubles and a league-leading on-base percentage (.359). Individually, the Hops were led by Andy Yerzy, who went 6-for-15 over five games with two RBIs and six runs scored, while drawing seven walks, along with Jorge Barrosa, who tallied seven hits and eight RBIs over a five-game stretch.
It's on the hill, however, that Hillsboro is really doing their damage, tallying a 2.14 ERA, .54 better than second place Spokane (2.68) and more than a full point lower than third place Tri-City (3.26).
Three Hops are amongst the top four in the league ERA standings, led by Deyni Olivero, who improved to 2-0 with a 1.26 ERA, while Luis Frias and Adrian Del Moral round out the league's four best. Frias has been virtually unhittable in four starts, throwing 20 innings and allowing just 11 hits, while striking out 29 and walking just four. The 6-foot-3 right hander threw five innings versus Eugene Saturday night, giving up just three Emeralds hits while striking out nine without relinquishing a walk.
Highlighting the week was the Hops' 6-2 win over the Ems June 28, on the franchise's inaugural Sonadores de Hillsboro promotional night as part of MiLB's celebration of the LatinX community. Also, the team celebrated its first walk-off win of the year when Barrosa drove in the game winner in the tenth inning of Saturday's 4-3 win over Eugene.
Hillsboro leaves for a three-game road trip to Vancouver Monday, July 1-3 (after this paper's print deadline). They will return home for a three-game series with Spokane at 7:05 p.m. on Thursday, July 4, and will host Boise for three games starting Sunday, July 7.
June 25 — Hillsboro 7, Salem-Keizer 0
Michel Gelabert, Franklyn Soriano and Justin Garcia combined for a two-hit shutout. Their efforts, along with home runs by Kristian Robinson and Ryan January, led the Hops to a 7-0 win over the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes and put them in first place in the South Division of the Northwest League.
Hillsboro scored three runs in the first when — following an error on a potential inning-ending double play — Kristian Robinson hit his first home run as a Hillsboro Hop, a three-run bomb to right centerfield.
The Hops added another run in the fourth and three more in the fifth, the last two on a two-out, two RBI Jorge Barrosa double to left.
Michel Gelabert, Franklyn Soriano and Justin Garcia combined to allow just two hits over nine innings, while striking out 10 and walking six.
June 26 — Salem-Keizer 5, Hillsboro 3
Despite and early 3-0 lead, Salem Keizer overtook the Hops with four runs over the game's final four innings. In all, Hillsboro tallied six hits, while the Volcanoes notched nine, including two apiece by Sean Roby, Franklin Labour and first baseman Tyler Flores.
The Hops scored two runs in the first inning on a Kristian Robinson single, followed by a Jorge Barrosa base hit to right. They added a third run in the second on a Eddie Hernandez single, but then watched as the home Volcanoes scored one in the bottom of the second, two more in the sixth and one apiece in the seventh and eighth before the Salem-Keizer bullpen finished what they started in the sixth, combining to allow just one Hillsboro hit over the final 4.1 innings.
Marcus Tineo was solid in his five innings of work for the Hops, allowing just four hits and no earned runs. But Hillsboro's bullpen failed to hold up their end of the bargain, beginning with Erin Baldwin, who allowed four hits and three earned runs in just a single inning of work.
Hernandez led the Hops at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a walk and RBI.
June 27 — Salem-Keizer 4, Hillsboro 2
The Hops lost their second in as many nights, falling behind early and failing in an effort to close the gap late.
Salem-Keizer scored two in the first and another in the third, then a fourth in the fifth inning before Hillsboro scored their first and only runs in the sixth.
The Volcanoes' first-inning runs came on a walk, a controversial hit-by-pitch, an RBI single from Ricardo Genoves and an error by Hops left fielder Ryan January. Salem-Keizer added a third run in the third inning on a Genoves ground-out, and another in the fifth on a solo home run by Harrison Freed.
The Hops' sixth inning runs were the result of a David Garza Jr. double, Steven Leyton single, and Eddie Hernandez base knock to center.
Hillsboro starter Adrian Del Moral (1-1) took the loss; the win went to the Volcanoes' Jesus Ozoria (2-0); and Bryce Tucker earned his first save for the Volcanoes.
June 28 — Hillsboro 6, Eugene 2
The Hops celebrated their LatinX community with the first of four "Sonadores de Hillsboro" promotions featuring different uniform combinations, feature food specials, along with replica jerseys as well as on field caps. On the field the team did their part, getting five early runs, then watching as starter Deyni Olivero and a group of Hillsboro relievers kept the Ems at bay en route to a relatively easy home win.
Olivero through 5.2 innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits.
Offensively, the Hops were led by Jorge Barrosa and Lyle Lin, who combined to go 4-for-7 with four RBIs.
The Sonadores struck first on a bases loaded sacrifice fly by outfielder Kristian Robinson in the game's opening inning, then continued from there as Barrosa took advantage of a two-on two-out situation by lacing a line drive to center field, scoring both Eddie Hernandez and Andy Yerzy to give Hillsboro a 3-0 lead. The home Sonadores then added two more in the third when Lin drove in two on a single to center.
Olivero got the win to improve to 2-0 on the season, while Justin Garcia and Bryan Menendez got holds and Jose Cuas got the save.
June 29 — Hillsboro 4, Eugene 3
Hillsboro defeated Eugene in the second of their three-game set — and they did so in dramatic fashion.
The Hops tied the game in the ninth, then finished the comeback with a walk-off Jorge Barrosa single to left in the tenth, scoring Andy Yerzy and setting off a raucous celebration in front of nearly 4,000 at Ron Tonkin Field.
Eugene scored two in the second on a single, a double and a Jake Slaughter triple. But the Hops tied it an inning later when Barrosa singled in Kristian Robinson and Andy Yerzy to make the score 2-2.
The Ems retook the lead in the sixth on a Slaughter sacrifice fly, but the Hops again tied it in the ninth when they took advantage of consecutive walks to start the inning before Ricky Martinez doubled to plate Jesus Marriaga and tie it 3-3, setting up Barrosa's game winner an inning later.
Luis Frias was brilliant on the mound for Hillsboro, allowing just three hits while striking out nine over five innings of work.
Offensively, the Hops were led by Barrosa, who tallied three hits and three RBIs. Martinez and Robinson each finished with two hits.
June 30 — Hillsboro 6, Eugene 4
The Hops completed their three-game sweep of Eugene, defeating the visiting Ems 6-4, thanks primarily to a five-run second inning, highlighted by an Andy Yerzy two-run bomb to right field.
In all, Hillsboro finished with nine hits, led by Yerzy, who finished 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs. Seven Hops had hits in the game.
Michel Gelabert started the game on the mound for the Hops and threw five solid innings, allowing two earned runs on three hits, while striking out three. The second year pro from Cuba gave way to Justin Garcia in the sixth, then watched as the hard-throwing righty combined with Erin Baldwin to hold the Ems to just one run (unearned) over the final four innings en route to the win.
Niels Stone started the game for Eugene, but was roughed up for five earned runs before being run from the game in the second inning. Fauris Guerrero and Chris Allen were impressive in relief, allowing just one earned run on four hits over the game's final 6.1 innings.