Hillsboro, OR (May 28, 2023) – The Hops and Dust Devils met for the 15th time in 2023 on Sunday at Ron Tonkin Field. For the second game in a row the Hops had a 3-0 lead after the first, but ended up losing. Hillsboro took the first three games
Hillsboro, OR (May 28, 2023) – The Hops and Dust Devils met for the 15th time in 2023 on Sunday at Ron Tonkin Field. For the second game in a row the Hops had a 3-0 lead after the first, but ended up losing. Hillsboro took the first three games of the series and the Dust Devils answered by winning the final three and securing the split. Jesus Valdez had a three-run homer and Ivan Melendez had a three-hit game, in the 6-4 loss.
For the second first inning in a row, the Tri-City starter would not make it out of the frame. Yesterday, the Hops chased Sammy Natera Jr. and today, Bryce Osmond exited after being hit by a line drive on his pitching elbow. Jose Salvador came in for Osmond and after already allowing two home runs in the series, he allowed another blast to Jesus Valdez. Valdez’s homer was his sixth of the season while extending his RBI total to a team-leading 26. Hillsboro led 3-0 after one.
Eli Saul had an efficient first two frames, but labored in the third against the top of the order. Saul gave up a single to Myles Emmerson and then walked Stewart and Placencia to load the bases. Gabe Matthews picked up his 22nd RBI on a sacrifice fly, but that’s all the Dust Devils would get. Saul struck out Gregorio for the second time in three innings to end the threat.
Zach Barnes was the Hops’ third pitcher of the game and quickly retired the first two hitters of the fourth. With two outs, Gustavo Campero launched a 407-foot home run off the netting in right field to bring the Dust Devils within two. D’Shawn Knowles reached on an errant throw by Jesus Valdez that would have ended the inning and the next hitter Myles Emmerson walked. A wild pitch scored a run and then an RBI single by Joe Stewart gave Tri-City the lead.
The next at-bat for Campero resulted in a walk and two stolen bases, including a steal of home that scored another run and extended the lead to 5-3.
Ivan Melendez led off the sixth inning with a double, his first of two in the game. Shane Muntz drove a ball deep down the left field line, home run distance near the foul pole that was ruled foul. Two pitches later, Muntz hit a blooper down the right field line for an RBI base-hit, but was thrown out trying to advance to second. Muntz appeared to be safe at second base and that prompted Hops’ manager, Ronnie Gajownik, to have a word with the base umpire. She was ejected from the game.
The Hops once again got a leadoff double from Melendez in the eighth, but he was stranded. Tri-City tacked on one more run in the ninth and took a 6-4 lead to the bottom of the inning.
Tall left-hander, Nick Jones, closed the door on the Hops with an easy one-two-three inning to lock in his third save of the season.
The seven-eight-nine hitters in the Dust Devils’ order (Campero, Knowles, Emmerson) scored all six Tri-City runs and had three of the six hits.
The Hops will head North to face Everett at 4:05 on Memorial Day, before having a day off Tuesday. The series will conclude Wednesday-Sunday at Funko Field.