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Jarvis Gem Leads Hops To Second Straight Win

Hops win battle of first-round 2020 draft picks in 7-2 victory at Everett
June 4, 2021

When you pitch at Everett Memorial Stadium, you have to resign yourself to the fact that home runs will happen in the cozy confines of Funko Field. Hillsboro starting pitcher Bryce Jarvis (1-1) surrendered a pair of home runs to the AquaSox (16-11), but little else in a brilliant seven

When you pitch at Everett Memorial Stadium, you have to resign yourself to the fact that home runs will happen in the cozy confines of Funko Field.

Hillsboro starting pitcher Bryce Jarvis (1-1) surrendered a pair of home runs to the AquaSox (16-11), but little else in a brilliant seven inning start and the Hops (12-15) defeated Everett 7-2 to take a 2-1 series lead Thursday night.

The focus Thursday was on the two starting pitchers, each drafted in the first round in 2020. Emerson Hancock, selected sixth overall out of Georgia, is working on a restrictive pitch limit and did not pitch at all in Everett's prior series at Vancouver. Perhaps shaking off a little rust from his idle week, Hancock walked the first two Hops batters he faced, later surrendering a 2-RBI single to Tristin English as Hillsboro took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first.

By contrast, Jarvis went five innings the prior week at Tri-City and lasted 6 2/3 innings in a week two loss at Eugene. The 16th overall pick out of Duke University in 2020 fanned the first two batters he faced, but Kaden Polcovich drove a 2-0 pitch off the Funko Boy mascot in right field to put Everett on the board in the bottom of the first.

The AquaSox evened the score in the third inning with another solo home run when Miguel Perez lined a shot that just cleared the wall to the left of the hand-operated scoreboard in right center field, where the fence is just 330 feet from home plate, a ball that wouldn't have come close to clearing the wall in practically any other minor league ballpark.

Hancock settled in after his first inning command issues and did not allow another ball out of the infield after English's single, but he was done after three innings. Michael Limoncelli (0-2), a dominant high school pitcher from New York coming back from Tommy John surgery, was all over the place with his command in his second pro outing, but got through the fourth inning unharmed.

In the top of the fifth, Nick Dalesandro led off with a double to the left field corner, then advanced to third on a balk. Ricky Martinez walked and stole second before a wild pitch that bounced a couple of feet in front of home plate allowed Dalesandro to score and Martinez to reach third. Reece Hampton drove a Limoncelli pitch to the right field track to score Martinez on a sac fly to give the Hops a 4-2 lead.

Jarvis breezed through the rest of his outing, retiring nine in a row after the Perez homer. The AquaSox managed just two harmless singles off Jarvis as he struck out a career-high 11 batters with no walks through seven innings. The Hops capitalized on two Everett errors to plate three insurance runs and Nick Snyder pitched two scoreless innings with three strikeouts and no walks to nail down the save, handing Jarvis his first pro victory.

The Hops played error-free defense and stole six bases for the second consecutive night. Spencer Brickhouse doubled and scored a run to extend his hitting streak to nine games. Dalesandro scored twice and Cam Coursey drove in two runs with a ninth inning single and also scored a run. Leodany Perez stole two bases and is now third in the High A West League with 13 steals in 14 attempts.

The Hops will send their second pick in the 2020 draft, Slade Cecconi to the mound Friday night in game four of the series. Everett will counter with George Kirby, a 2019 first-rounder, who has not pitched for three weeks. The game will be aired live on Rip City Radio 620 AM with pregame coverage beginning at 6:50 p.m., first pitch at 7:05.