If this is indeed a preview of the future Northwest League championship series, get ready for a nail-biter of a series.Tri-City broke a 3-3 tie with a run in the seventh inning and the Dust Devils bullpen retired 15 of the final 16 Hillsboro batters with nine strikeouts in a
If this is indeed a preview of the future Northwest League championship series, get ready for a nail-biter of a series.
Tri-City broke a 3-3 tie with a run in the seventh inning and the Dust Devils bullpen retired 15 of the final 16 Hillsboro batters with nine strikeouts in a 4-3 win over the Hops at Ron Tonkin Field Monday night.
The two teams lead their respective divisions, with Tri-City playing for a playoff berth after finishing behind Vancouver in the first half of the season. The Dust Devils improved to 6-2 this season against the Hops, with five of the eight games decided by two runs or fewer.
Daulton Varsho went 2-for-3 for the Hops and hit a two-run homer to right off reliever Travis Radke in the fifth inning to tie the game 3-3. It was the only hit allowed by the former Portland Pilot southpaw, who came into the game in the second inning after Tri-City starter Henry Henry left with an injury. Radke, who has battled injuries of his own, both in college and during his professional career, pitched 3 2/3 innings of relief, striking out three without a walk, allowing one earned run.
Hops starting pitcher Tyler Keele departed after six solid innings, allowing five hits and three earned runs. Chris Mattison was involved in all three runs, driving an RBI triple to the right center field fence to plate Tre Carter in the second inning. With a runner on in the fourth, Mattison lifted a high fly ball to center that Hops center fielder Jorge Perez never saw. It dropped untouched in shallow center field, perfectly placed between Perez and shortstop Camden Duzenack. Mattison was able to race around to third, from where he scored on a wild pitch to give the Devils a 3-1 lead.
In the Devils half of the seventh, Jalen Washington singled to right with one out of and Aldemar Burgos was hit by a pitch from Hops reliever Kevin Ginkel. Robbie Podorsky hustled to first base after grounding into a 3-6 force out to stay out of a double play, giving Washington a chance to score from third on a Ginkel wild pitch for what turned out to be the game-winning run.
Tri-City's third pitcher of the game, Blake Rogers, got credit for the win, striking out four Hops batters in two innings with one hit allowed. Trevor Megill retired the side in the ninth with two K's for his second save, both against Hillsboro.
Tri-City is now tied with Spokane for first place, with Vancouver falling a game back in the second-half standings following an 8-6 loss to Boise. The Hops still lead Eugene by two games in the south, with Boise pulling into a second place tie with the Emeralds after defeating the Canadians.
Game four of the series is at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday with pregame airtime at 6:35 p.m. on Rip City Radio 620 AM.