With a chance to claim a second half title by going head-to-head with their playoff nemesis, the Hillsboro Hops have seized the opportunity with a kung-fu grip.The Hops got a brilliant pitching performance for the second night in a row as Tyler Holton (six innings, three hits, 11 K's, one
With a chance to claim a second half title by going head-to-head with their playoff nemesis, the Hillsboro Hops have seized the opportunity with a kung-fu grip.
The Hops got a brilliant pitching performance for the second night in a row as Tyler Holton (six innings, three hits, 11 K's, one walk) and Nick Snyder (3 innings, no hits, six K's, two walks) combined on a three-hit shutout in an 8-0 win over the Eugene Emeralds at P.K. Park.
The win clinched the series and gave Hillsboro (17-10 second half, 41-24 overall) a tiebreaker edge should they finish the season tied with the Emeralds (14-13, 30-35) in the Northwest League second half South Division standings. Hillsboro has opened up a three-game lead over the Ems with 11 games left to play.
The Hops scored single runs in the first and second innings on an Eddie Hernandez solo home run and a wild pitch before blowing the game open with four runs in the third. Andy Yerzy drove in two with a single and Dom Canzone followed with an RBI base hit.
Holton (3-0) pitched his third straight masterful game. The southpaw was drafted in the ninth round of the 2018 draft out of Florida State despite requiring Tommy John surgery that limited him to just four innings during the college season and wiped out any chances of pitching as a pro that year. Holton has won his last three starts, while striking out 28 batters over 16 innings with one walk, six hits and no earned runs allowed. Snyder has followed in each Holton's starts and has been nearly as dominant. The 6-7 lefty from West Virginia University fanned the side in the seventh and ninth innings, while allowing no hits and no runs.
Yovanny Cruz (0-1), a 19-year-old right hander, ranked as the #19 prospect in the Cubs organization by mlb.com, routinely hit 96-97 with his fastball, but gave up six earned runs on five hits with three strikeouts and three walks in his second start for Eugene
Canzone finished with two doubles and two runs scored, going 3-for-4 on the night. Hernandez reached base four times, scoring twice and Yerzy went 2-for-4 with a double, two runs and two RBI. Two of Eugene's three hits were leadoff extra base hits, but neither base runner was able to advance after Alexander Guerra led off the second with a double and Jake Washer tripled off Holton leading off the fifth.
The Hops have outscored the Emeralds 13-0 and outhit the home team 17-6 over the first two games of the series. Now with ten shutouts this season, half of them coming against the defending NWL champ Emeralds, the Hops are one shuttie away from matching the 2015 championship team's NWL record of 11.
Now 11-3 in the season series, Hillsboro goes for the sweep Thursday night as Diamondbacks' first-round draft pick (26th overall) Blake Walston makes his NWL debut against former Washington Husky Josh Burgmann. Pregame airtime is at 7 p.m. with first pitch at 7:05 on NBC Sports Northwest Rip City Radio 620 AM.