First place never felt so good.
The Hillsboro Hops capped an already successful week by defeating the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 4-3 Monday, July 15, at Ron Tonkin Field in Hillsboro, and in the process moved past the visiting Volcanoes into first place in the Northwest League's South Division.
The win was the fifth in sixth games for the Hops, and the second straight over Salem-Keizer following their 7-3 win the night before. Hillsboro fell behind by two in the first, tied it in the second and again fell behind in the fifth before taking the lead with two runs in their half of the fifth inning, then watched as their bullpen put the Volcanoes down over the last four innings.
After allowing two first-
inning runs, Hillsboro starter Luis Frias settled in, allowing just two hits over his next three innings while striking out eight and walking one.
Seven Hops players landed hits in the game, including Jesus Marriaga, who continued a white-hot stretch that has included 13 hits in his last eight games.
Trailing 2-0 to start the second, Kristian Robinson led off with a single to left, then Tristan English tripled-in the star centerfielder before scoring himself and tying the game 2-2 two batters later on a Volcanoes fielder's choice. Salem-Keizer took the lead back in the fifth on a Sean Roby RBI double, but Hillsboro again answered, this time with two runs on three straight hits to start the bottom of the inning, the last of which was a two-RBI double by Daniel Wasinger that gave the Hops the lead for good.
Erin Baldwin got the win for Hillsboro and was part of a quartet of Hops relievers — including Justin Garcia, Eduardo Herrera and Bryan Menendez — who held the Volcanoes to just five hits over the final five innings while striking out six.
With the win, the Hops took a one-game lead over Salem-Keizer and would look to build on that lead in the final game of their three-game set July 16, after this paper's print deadline.
Hillsboro will travel to Eugene for three games with the Emeralds,starting July 17, then will return home for three more games with the Ems, starting July 20, at Ron Tonkin Field.
July 9 — Hillsboro 8, Boise 2
All or nothing — that's what it feels like for the Hillsboro Hops of late.
After being shut out and only managing four hits in a 3-0 loss to Boise July 8, Hillsboro reignited their bats in an 8-2 win over the Hawks Tuesday afternoon, July 9, at Ron Tonkin Field.
Hops (16-10), playing the game in Soñadores de Hillsboro jerseys, scored one run in the second, another in the third and blew things open with six in the fourth to claim the last of a three-game home set with Boise and secure two of the three games.
Hillsboro's Luis Frias was brilliant — again — on the mound, allowing just a single earned run over 4 2/3 innings, surrendering three hits while striking out nine and walking four. The hard-throwing right-hander threw consistently in the mid-90s while tying the visiting Hawks (13-13) hitters in knots with a wicked curveball that left the visitors shaking their heads. In Frias' six starts in a Hops uniform, the 21-year-old has yet to relinquish more than two runs and has allowed just 18 hits in nearly 30 innings, accruing a 1.82 ERA and averaging more than 1.5 strikeouts per inning.
The Hops got things started in the second inning when Daniel Wasinger plated Jesus Marriaga with a broken-bat single to center. They added a second run in the third when Robinson went yard for the fifth time this season, lacing a line drive over the left field fence to make it 2-0. Then Hillsboro opened things up an inning later when they scored six runs on five singles, two doubles and two free passes, highlighted by a two-RBI single to centerfield by first baseman Andy Yerzy.
Robinson and Tristin English led Hillsboro with two hits apiece. In all, nine Hops recorded hits in the game.
Stevens (2-0) got the win for Hillsboro and starting pitcher Eris Filpo (2-1) took the loss for Boise, allowing six earned runs in 3 1/3 innings of work.
July 11 — Hillsboro 3, Boise 1
For the second game in a row, it was pitching and early offense that led the Hillsboro Hops to a 3-1 win over the Boise Hawks Thursday night, July 11, at Memorial Stadium in Boise, Idaho.
Michel Gelabert, in relief of Andrew Saalfrank, threw seven shutout innings, allowing just four hits while striking out six and walking none. After struggling, allowing seven runs over four innings in his last outing versus Spokane, the second-year pitcher took a three-run lead and rode it to his third win of the season.
The Hops scored all three of their runs in the third inning. Jesus Marriaga led off with a single to left, then back-to-back doubles by Lyle Lin and Daniel Wasinger plated the first two runs. After Ricky Martinez grounded into the inning's first out, Nick Grande flew out to deep right field, scoring Wasinger and giving Hillsboro all the runs they'd need.
Saalfrank started the game for the Hops, allowing a single hit and striking out one before giving way to Gelabert in the top of the second. Eduardo Herrera and Bryan Menendez finished the game for Hillsboro, with Herrera getting the hold and Menendez his third save of the season.
Wasinger and Lin had an RBI apiece and were two of five Hops with a single hit in the game.
Will Etheridge took the loss for Boise.
July 12 — Hillsboro 12, Boise 3
Welcome to Mr. Robinson's neighborhood.
The 18-year-old sensation continued his torrid pace this past Friday night, going 4-for-4 with four RBIs, raising his season batting average to .337. Three more Hops — Steven Leyton, Jesus Marriaga and Ricky Martinez — added three hits apiece, while Hillsboro tallied 16 hits in all.
Not to be outdone, Marcos Tineo dazzled on the mound, throwing five shutout innings, allowing just four hits while striking out seven. Tineo has been on fire on the bump, allowing just two earned runs over his last 19 innings while striking out 16 and walking four. The right-hander is one of three Hillsboro starters with an ERA at or below 2.00, and is part of a Hops staff that leads the Northwest League with a team ERA of 2.44.
Hillsboro scored five runs in the first and six in the second, then capped their night with a Leyton solo homer in the ninth for the team's third straight win.
Aaron Schunk led Boise at the plate, going 3-for-5 with a run scored.
Breiling Eusebio took the loss for the home Hawks, allowing seven earned runs in just one inning of work.
With the win, Hillsboro improved to 18-10 on the season and remained a game behind first place Salem-Keizer.
July 13 — Boise 6, Hillsboro 3
On a night that saw 2019 second-round draft pick Ryne Nelson make his professional debut, the Hawks thought better than to allow the visiting Hops to get a sweep in the finale of their three-game set in Boise.
The Hawks scored two in the second, one in the third and three in the fifth before Hillsboro's late rally fell short.
Nelson, the 56th overall pick by Arizona in last month's draft, started and threw one inning, allowing a single hit and striking out one before handing the ball to Wilfry Cruz, who struggled through three innings, allowing two earned on five hits and a walk.
Trailing 6-0, the Hops scored two runs in the seventh on a Nick Grande two-RBI single to center, and Andy Yerzy pulled Hillsboro within three an inning later when the second-year Hop hit a solo homer to left, his third of the season. But Boise relievers Wil Tribucher and Jacob Wallace finished the Hops in the eighth and ninth to secure the win.
Hillsboro's Justin Garcia pitched 2 1/3 innings of hitless relief, striking out two and walking two.
Offensively, the Hops were led by Yerzy and Ricky Martinez, who had two hits apiece. It was the fifth hit for Martinez in his last two games.
July 14 — Hillsboro 7,
Despite falling behind early, the Hops quickly put first place Salem-Keizer on notice, scoring two runs in each of the second, third and fourth innings en route to comfortable home win in the first of a three-game set with the Volcanoes.
Jesus Marriaga led Hillsboro with three hits but was joined by four other Hops — Jorge Barrosa, Ricky Martinez, Nick Dalesandro and Tristin English — with two apiece. Dalesandro had four RBIs, while Marriaga continued his torrid pace of late, recording his 12th hit in his last seven games and raising his season batting average to .343.
Deyni Olivero started the game for the Hops, getting the win and improving to 4-1 on the season. The right-hander threw 5 2/3 innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits.
Volcanoes starter Alex DuBord took the loss, allowing four earned runs in three innings of work.
With the win, Hillsboro improved to 19-10 and moved into a tie with Salem-Keizer for first place in the Northwest League's South Division.
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