Hillsboro's 20th win and third walk-off win of the season comes in captivating fashion. In the third of five games with Tri-City, the Hillsboro Hops and Dust Devils played into extra innings, with the Hops emerging as 5-4 victors.
The Hops opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning, when Jose Caballero grounded into a fielder's choice knocking in Tra Holmes, however, the lead did not last long. Tri-City jumped out to a 3-1 advantage in the top of the third when Grant Little drove in Tre Carter. Olivier Basabe joined in on the attack driving in Aldemar Burgos and Little. The Dust Devils extended their lead to three runs via an Owen Miller sacrifice fly.
Hillsboro cut into the lead on a play eerily similar to former Kansas City Royals' first baseman Eric Hosmer in the 2015 World Series. Ryan Dobson struck out swinging and on the throw to first to complete the strikeout, Holmes timed the throw and scored.
Tri-City's lead did not last past the sixth, as Francis Martinez and Keshawn Lynch both drove in runs to tie the game at four. The Hops had the winning run thrown out at the plate when Burgos cut down Lynch on Holmes fourth hit of the night.
For the first time at Ron Tonkin Field the extra inning rule established throughout Minor League Baseball was put into effect. The Dust Devils began the 10th inning with a runner on second base. Ethan Larrison entered and deftly posted a zero.
The Hops came to the plate in the 10th with a runner on second knowing a run would win the game. Hillsboro quickly loaded the bases but Jake McCarthy tapped one harmlessly back to the mound and the Devils were close to escaping the threat.
It was all on the line for first baseman Francis Martinez. He and Tri-City pitcher Jordan Guerrero engaged in an epic battle. The crowd was raucous, waving rally towels as the hulking first baseman unleashed vicious swings on fastballs clocked at 97 miles per hour. Martinez finally emerged victorious without swinging the bat as Guerrero issued the fourth walk of his outing, forcing in the winning run. The playoff-esque crowd in Hillsboro went crazy, as Martinez was showered with baby powder, ice, and slaps on the head.
It was the third walk-off win for the Hops this season. Hillsboro has claimed the first three games of the five-game set, clinching a series victory. They will attempt to get greedy tomorrow night at 7:05 PM. The game will be televised on NBC Sports Northwest.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.