PASCO, WASH. --- Andy Yerzy homered for the second time in the series, and the Hillsboro bullpen combined for 5.1 shutout innings to lead the Hops to a 3-2 win over Tri-City on Friday night at Gesa Stadium. Hillsboro (10-12) has taken three of the first four games from the
PASCO, WASH. --- Andy Yerzy homered for the second time in the series, and the Hillsboro bullpen combined for 5.1 shutout innings to lead the Hops to a 3-2 win over Tri-City on Friday night at Gesa Stadium. Hillsboro (10-12) has taken three of the first four games from the Dust Devils (6-16) in the six-game series.
Reece Hampton yanked the first pitch of the game into the right field corner, and he was at third base when Yerzy came up. Yerzy smoked one out to right off Tri-City starter Davis Daniel --- his fourth home run in seven games with the Hops, and the second time in the series he's gone deep in the first inning. (In fact, all four of Yerzy's home runs with the Hops have come during the first inning.)
It was 2-1 Hillsboro when Hops second baseman Ricky Martinez led off the third with a triple to the right-center field power alley. Two outs later, Buddy Kennedy doubled him home.
The Devils pulled to within one in the bottom of the fourth on a two-out run-scoring single by Spencer Griffin to make it 3-2, but Wesley Rodriguez replaced Hops starter Slade Cecconi and got the final out of the inning. From that point on, Tri-City would have runners in scoring position in each frame --- the fifth through the ninth --- but the Hops' bullpen was up to the task each time.
With two out and none on in the fifth, the Dust Devils loaded the bases against Rodriguez on two singles and a walk, but Rodriguez retired Franklin Torres on a pop out to end the threat.
Kyler Stout gave up a leadoff double to Jose Verrier in the sixth, but retired the next three batters --- two on strikeouts --- to strand the runner.
Nick Snyder worked a 1-2-3 seventh, but issued a leadoff walk and a one-out single in the eighth. Snyder then struck out Spencer Griffin, and Joe Jones came out of the bullpen to retire Harrison Wenson on a pop-out to short to strand the tying and go-ahead runs on base.
The Hops, meanwhile, were having difficulties of their own offensively. They had a runner at third with none out in the seventh, and runners at second and third with none out in the ninth, but in neither case did they add to their lead.
Jones came back out for the bottom of the ninth with the 3-2 lead. He retired Brandon White on a fly out to Tra Holmes in center, but then walked Livan Soto on a 3-2 pitch. Brendon Davis, Tri-City's hottest hitter, grounded out to short, sending the potential tying run to second, but Jones retired Carlos Herrera on a ground-out to Martinez to end it.
Cecconi, the Hops starter, worked 3.2 innings, allowing three hits and two runs --- both earned --- with two walks and five strikeouts. Daniel, Tri-City's starter, became the first opposing pitcher in history to strike out more than 10 Hops in a game, as he whiffed 11 (the previous record of 10 had been accomplished four times --- three times in 2016 and once in 2019).
For the game, Hillsboro batters struck out 17 times, one shy of the franchise record. In the team's 577-game history, they've struck out 15 or more times on 20 different occasions --- and six of those 20 have come in the first 22 games of 2021.
The game took three hours and 37 minutes, matching the second-longest nine-inning game in franchise history.
The series continues on Saturday night at 6:30, with airtime at 6:15 on Rip City Radio 620 AM and www.RipCityRadio.com.