Boise, Idaho --- The Hillsboro Hops aren't used to being on this end of things. Entering Wednesday's series opener at Memorial Stadium, Hillsboro was 8-1 in extra-inning games, and 8-1 in walkoffs. However, it was the Boise Hawks who walked off with a 10-inning, 4-3 victory. Boise remains three games out of second place in the South Division --- and three games out of a playoff berth --- with five games remaining in the regular season.
Hillsboro scored in the first inning on an RBI groundout by L.T. Tolbert, and added a pair on back-to-back solo home runs by Andy Yerzy and Francis Martinez in the fourth.
Boise answered in the bottom of the fourth. Hops starter Ryan Weiss had retired the first nine hitters he faced before leadoff man Terrin Vavra reached on an error leading off the inning. One out later, center fielder Luke Morgan belted an opposite-field home run off Weiss to cut Boise's deficit to 3-2.
Kai-Wei Lin posted scoreless fifth and sixth innings for Hillsboro, but Boise tied the game against Ryan Miller in the seventh. Daniel Jipping led off with a triple, and scored on Trey Jacobs' ground-out.
Trevor McKenna tossed scoreless eighth and ninth innings for the Hops, allowing only one baserunner. But the Hops kept wasting chances, leaving eight men on base in the first nine innings, six in scoring position.
In the top of the 10th, the Hops came up empty after Geraldo Perdomo was caught off second base on a comebacker hit by Tolbert.
And in the bottom of the 10th, Boise won it on Jacobs' RBI base hit down the right-field line.
Boise (12-21 second half, 33-38 overall) can advance to the playoffs by winning their five remaining games, as long as Salem-Keizer loses three of their remaining five. (The Hawks can actually afford one loss to the Hops, but only if all of the following happens: Eugene and Salem-Keizer split the final two games of their current series; Boise sweeps Eugene this weekend; and Hillsboro sweeps Salem-Keizer this weekend.)
Hillsboro (23-10 second half, 47-24 overall) has won both halves in the South Division, and will open their first-round playoff series next Wednesday against the South Division club that finishes second in the second half.
Game two of the three-game series is Thursday night at 6:15 (Pacific). The radio broadcast begins at 6:00 on NBC Sports Northwest Rip City Radio 620 AM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.