The Hops began a five game set against the Northwest Leauge North Division leaders, Tri-City Dust Devils. Tyler Badamo made his sixth start in a Hops uniform and first since throwing in the eclipse game in Salem. The Dust Devils sent six foot eight lefty Ben Sheckler to the mound.
Tonight, it was the Dust Devils that got off to a quick start. Following a lead off bloop single to right field, Tri-City's Tre Carter laced a triple to center, just over the outstreched glove of Tra Holmes. Carter's triple padded his lead league even further as he now has eleven on the season. Catcher Jalen Washington knocked Carter in on a four-three put out.
Tri-City was at it again in the top of the fifth when first baseman Bryant Aragon doubled and advanced to third on a throwing error. Aragon swiftly came home on a Josh Magee single into left field.
Hillsboro took one back in the bottom of the fifth after designated Daulton Varsho and right fielder Dan Swain traded doubles. With his one out double Varsho became the lone record holder of most extra base hits in a season for the Hillsboro Hops with 25.
Lefty Jordan Watson made his 2017 Hops debut after returning from Tommy John surgery. His return went well as he threw one scoreless inning and punched out two Dust Devils. Righty Tucker Ward also returned to the mound at Ron Tonkin Field throwing a scoreless inning as well.
Hillsboro's offense went to work in the bottom of the eighth as they chased Dust Devil starter Ben Scheckler. Scheckler gave up a lead off single to Jorge Perez and Ryan Dobson reached on a throw that hit him in the back after laying down a bunt. Tri-City's manager Ben Fritz was ejected on the play. The Hops scored two runs on consecutive sacrifice flies by Ryan Grotjohn and Luis Lara.
Back at it again-Hillsboro and Tri-City entered extra innings, for the Hops it was their fourth time playing free baseball at Ron Tonkin Field. Appalachian State product Matt Brill entered in the top of the tenth inning to keep the game locked at threes.
Tri-City jumped in front in the top of the 11th inning following a one out walk to Matthew Batten and another Carter triple. Brill allowed his first earned run of the year on the play. Another Magee sac fly gave the Dust Devils a two run cushion. Left Fielder Robbie Podorsky added to the fun in the 11th with a three run bomb to left field off Hops reliever Luis Castillo.
Tri-City pitcher Andres Munoz came in throwing two scoreless innings in the ninth and tenth and touched 99 on the radar gun while striking out two flattening the Hops' hopes of back to back walk off wins.
Hillsboro looks to bounce back tomorrow at 4:05 pm. Tune in to Rip City Radio 620 AM for the game and catch the pregame show at 3:35 pm with Rich Burk and Matt Richert.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.