Andy Yerzy completed a successful first professional trip to his home country, going 3-for-3 with two runs batted in and reaching base five times as the Hillsboro Hops (24-14) defeated the Vancouver Canadians 6-3 Monday night at Nat Bailey Stadium.
Playing in front of a sell-out crowd of 6,413 in all five games, the Hops held on late after grabbing a 6-0 lead in the early innings. Vancouver (19-19) brought the tying run to the plate in the final three innings, but could come no closer than the final margin.
Ryan Miller (1-0) picked up his first professional win. Following two scoreless innings from former Oregon Duck Matt Mercer, Miller, a sixth-round draft pick from Clemson, recorded three ground ball outs in the third inning. He has yet to allow a run in five professional appearances with the Hops.
All nine players in the Hillsboro order had a hit as the Hops outhit the Canadians 14-6. But two Vancouver errors proved costly, leading to three earned runs, equal to the margin of victory.
Yerzy had RBI singles up the middle in the first and second innings, then singled in the sixth, putting Jorge Perez in position to score the sixth Hops run on a Joey Rose sacrifice fly. Earlier in the game, Rose hit a pair of doubles, giving him a league-leading 16 to go with a NWL-leading 20 extra-base hits.
The Hops rapped out ten hits in the first four innings off Vancouver starter Jake Winckowski (2-4), who allowed five runs, three earned with two strikeouts, a walk and a hit batter. Hillsboro had baserunners in all but one inning and hits in all but two, but stranded 13 runners as they failed to add to their lead.
Down 6-1 in the seventh, the Canadians loaded the bases on walks with two out. Josh Green came on to face leadoff batter Vinny Capra, who singled up the middle to drive in two. WIth Hunter Steinmetz at the plate representing the tying run, the C's attempted a double steal, but Green faked a throw to second, getting Brandon Polizzi caught in a rundown between third and home. Rose tagged out Polizzi to end the inning.
WIth two on and two out in the eighth, Green got Sterling Guzman to ground into an inning-ending double play. Then in the ninth with runners at the corners and two down, Capra grounded out to King at short to end the game.
Hillsboro returns home to face the Boise Hawks Tuesday night with the first of three games against the Chicago Cubs' NWL affiliate. All three games will air on NBC Sports Northwest Rip City Radio 620 AM with pregame starting at 7 p.m. and first pitch at 7:05.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.