Hillsboro spins 10-inning one-hitter

Hops carry no-no through nine frames, walk off on bases-loaded walk

Jared Miller was selected out of Vanderbilt University in the 11th round of this year's Draft. (Ted Kirk/AP)

By Ashley Marshall / MiLB.com | August 14, 2014 1:32 AM ET

Through nine scoreless innings at Ron Tonkin Field on Wednesday night, the Hillsboro Hops had collected one single while keeping the Boise Hawks out of the hit column.

And while the Hawks broke up the no-hit bid in the 10th, it was the Hops who got to celebrate a 1-0 victory when the winning run scored on, fittingly, a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the inning.

"It looked like things might change, but then it ended up going the same way all the way through," Hillsboro manager J.R. House said. "I've never been a part of a no-hitter through nine innings that wasn't over. I've been part of no-hitters before, but not one that lasted a little bit longer."

With Jared Miller on a strict pitch count in his second Minor League start, the Hops knew their bullpen would have to log a lot of innings.

Selected in the 11th round of this year's Draft out of Vanderbilt, Miller kept up his end of the bargain by working four hitless frames. He struck out two batters and walked two in his fifth appearance in pro ball.

"We were hoping to get him four innings to lengthen him out," House said. "I think he only needed 42 or 45 pitches through four innings, so he did really, really well.

"Out of the bullpen, he has not had to utilize his changeup much. Just power with the fastball. He's around 90 mph with the fastball and high 70s with the breaking ball. The changeup is usually 10 mph slower, so around 80. He didn't overdo his slider, but he used it when he needed to."

The first reliever out of the Hops bullpen was Nick Baker, who fanned four over two innings. Dustin Loggins worked around two walks in the seventh and Luis Ramirez struck out a pair in the eighth. Zac Curtis (2-1) set the side down in order in the ninth, but he saw the no-hit bid come to an end in the 10th.

Boise's David Bote flared a sinking live drive that got under the glove of diving right fielder Zach Esquerra for a one-out double, but Curtis retired the next two batters to send the scoreless deadlock to the bottom of the inning.

"[The bullpen] did a really nice job of answering the bell," House said. "[Pitching coach] Doug Drabek really challenged them today. They still have the lead in [team] ERA in the league and he has done a good job of keeping them locked in.

"It was definitely a good pitching duel, with our two hits and them ending up with one. Our guys came out there and threw the ball well and did exactly what we hoped they would do because they're a good hitting team. We wanted to see Curtis get the win and the no-hitter, but getting through nine innings is still pretty good."

Boise starter Joshua Conway walked one in three hitless innings and Ryan Williams struck out six over four one-hit frames to keep the game scoreless. James Farris pitched around a walk while recording four punchouts over two frames before the Hops finally broke through against Corbin Hoffner (0-1).

Hoffner gave up a leadoff single to Kevin Cron, uncorked a wild pitch, intentionally walked Jake Mayers and issued another free pass to Zach Esquerra to load the bases. The 21-year-old right-hander worked the count full against Taylor Ratliff before missing to force home the winning run.

The Hops' gem came three nights after four Spokane pitchers combined on an 11-inning no-hitter at Everett.

Ashley Marshall is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AshMarshallMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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