On a raucous Saturday night filled with solid starting pitching, the Hops clawed back to steal a thrilling 3-2 walk-off win over Spokane in the bottom of the ninth inning on a single from Jorge Perez.
The Hops took an early 1-0 lead when outfielder Perez singled to right, driving in Joey Rose. Hillsboro had the bases loaded, but only pushed across one as Indians starter Seth Nordlin settled down. Nordlin threw five innings, scattering three hits, one run, and striking out nine.
Spokane's Curtis Terry, the Northwest League Leader in home runs and runs batted in, hit a mammoth two-run home run onto the Frontier Family Berm, giving the Indians a 2-1 advantage. Brian Ellington, a major leaguer on a rehab assignment, threw an inning of shutdown ball, topping out in the upper 90s on his fastball.
Emmanuel Clase entered the game for the Indians attempting the four-out save. The flamethrower gave up a lead-off double to Rose, who was promptly removed for pinch-runner Jose Caballero. Outfielder Jake McCarthy followed with a fly ball to right center to move the runner over. Francis Martinez drove in Caballero, tying the game at two.
With two outs in the ninth and the winning run at second, the stage belonged to Perez. The speedy outfielder blooped a line drive over the second baseman's head to drive in the winning run in a dramatic victory for the Hops.
It was the fourth consecutive victory for Hillsboro to move their record to 10-6. With Salem-Keizer's loss earlier in the evening, the Hops and Volcanoes are now tied atop the Northwest League South Division.
Hillsboro faces off against Spokane again tomorrow afternoon at 4:05 pm. Catch the game on MiLB.tv or tune into 620 AM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.