Deja Pew! Hops Drop Eugene Series Opener

Hops outhit Eugene 9-3, but relive 2016 series finale in frustrating fashion

By Matt Richert / Hillsboro Hops | June 27, 2017 12:55 AM

If the score sounds familiar, the game situation was even moreso for the Hillsboro Hops Monday night.

Hillsboro outhit defending Northwest League champion Eugene 9-3, but came out on the wrong end of a 2-1 loss to the Emeralds in their series opener at P.K. Park.

The Hops 2016 season ended with an identical score in the NWL South Division series. In that game last September, Hillsboro went 0-15 with runners in scoring position, when simply one hit may have extended the game or potentially extended Hillsboro's string of league titles.

Monday night, the Hops also had 15 trips to the plate with a runner at second, third or both. This time, they came up with two base hits. Eudy Ramos' two-out RBI single scored Paxton De La Garza and cut Eugene's lead to 2-1. However, Yan Sanchez struck out swinging with runners on first and second to end the inning.

Ramos could not deliver in the same situation in the ninth. With Billy Endris on second base following a Stephen Smith single, a fielders choice and a steal, Ramos grounded out to second to end the game. The Hops had two cracks and driving in the tying run in that inning, but Bryan Ariaiza flied out to left with one out.

Twice in the game, the Hops put two on base with none out. In the sixth Ramos singled and Sanchez followed with a double, extended his NWL-leading hit streak to a dozen games. With runners at second and third and none down, Eugene reliever Yapson Gomez fanned Kyle Smith and Daulton Varsho back-to-back before Tim Susnara grounded out.

Eugene managed just three hits off Hops starting pitcher Riley Smith, who fanned six, walked two and allowed just one earned run. The two Emeralds runs scored on a ground out and a wild pitch.

Ramos snapped out of an 0-for-11 skid and De La Garza led the Hops' nine-hit attack by going 3-for-4 with a double. Araiza's eight-game hit streak ended with an 0-for-4 day.

Alonso Garcia picked up the win for Eugene, allowing four hits and no runs over five innings with six strikeouts and a walk. Luis Aquino got the final out of the game for his third save.

The Hops bullpen continued to sparkle as Kevin Ginkel and Cal Becker combined to retired the final eight Eugene batters in a row with three strikeouts.

Game two of the series comes your way at 7:05 p.m. with the pregame show at 6:35 Tuesday night on Rip City Radio 620 AM.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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