Oh that computer magic. Nearly every professional baseball park is equipped with electronic gear that measures everything a baseball player can do. And the stats certainly back up what the naked eye reveals when it comes to Tri-City first baseman Chris Mattison.To put it simply...he hits the ball real, real
Oh that computer magic. Nearly every professional baseball park is equipped with electronic gear that measures everything a baseball player can do. And the stats certainly back up what the naked eye reveals when it comes to Tri-City first baseman Chris Mattison.
To put it simply...he hits the ball real, real hard.
Mattison had three hits, including a pair of early doubles that helped the Dust Devils to a 5-0 lead. The Tri-City pen took care of the rest, shutting down the Hops over the final three innings in a 5-2 win Tuesday night at Ron Tonkin Field.
With Spokane also victorious, the Devils remain in a dead heat with the Indians in the Northwest League's North Division, both teams tied for the league's best second-half record at 20-14. Hillsboro's lead over Boise slipped to one game after the Hawks won 10-4 at Vancouver. The Canadians loss also is significant for Tri-City, as the Devils have put the North Division first-half champs two games back in the standings with three games to play. The Everett AquaSox hang on by a thread after winning beating Eugene 10-5. Everett is two games back in the second-half standings and needs a sweep in its final series to reach the playoffs. Eugene falls three games behind the Hops in the second half and the Emeralds overall lead slips to one game over Boise as the teams head in to the final three-game series of the regular season.
Tri-City scored four runs in the third inning, knocking out Hops' starting pitcher Tyler Vail. Vail, coming off seven shutout innings against Boise, allowed six hits and five runs, three earned with no strikeouts and two walks. Hillsboro's bullpen nearly matched Tri-City out for out, but the Hops, after scoring two runs in the bottom of the third, failed to capitalize on additional scoring opportunities, few as they were.
Mattison, whose exit velocity on contact swings has been measured among the top in all of baseball, not just the minors, smashed a double to left center and scored on Luis Almanzar's line single over second base to put Tir-City on the board in the second inning. In the third, Robbie Podorsky walked, stole second and scored on Matt Batten's grounder to third as Batten reached base on a throwing error. Mattison followed with his second double and fourth extra-base hit of the series, plating Batten. Tre Carter followed with an RBI double and later scored on a Tyler Benson base hit.
Mattison, who hit two triples in Monday's 4-3 win over the Hops, had also homered against Hillsboro earlier this month in Pasco.
Former Oregon Ducks catcher Tim Susnara drove in both Hillsboro runs with a base hit in the third inning and finished 2-for-4 with a double.
Will Stillman pitched five innings to get the win for the Devils, who improved to 7-2 against the Hops this season. Elliot Ashbeck, a former high school teammate of Hops' catcher Daulton Varsho at Marshfield High School in Wisconsin, pitched the final two innings to record his first NWL save after two pefect innings of relief from Evan Miller.
The Hops wrap up their final homestand of the regular season with Fan Appreciation Night Wednesday night with a fireworks show to follow the 7:05 p.m. game. Pregame coverage begins at 6:35 p.m. on Rip City Radio 620 AM