The Hillsboro Hops were shutout by the Everett AquaSox in a 1-0 loss this Sunday. With this loss, the Hops are now on a eight game losing streak. Six of those losses came this week at the hands of the AquaSox. The AquaSox appear to have Hillsboro’s number so far this season. Hillsboro has lost their last 11 games against Everett, and has an overall record of 5-12 versus the AquaSox.
It was a defensive battle at Ron Tonkin Field this Sunday. The batters on both teams struggled to capitalize on the few opportunities they were given. Scott Randall started at pitcher for the Hops and held the first five batters of the AquaSox scoreless. At the bottom of the inning, Fred Villarreal pitched a strikeout, a walk, a flyout, and a lineout.
The second inning saw the AquaSox earning the only run of the game. Victor Labrada would get on base off of a walk to open up the inning. Then, a line drive by Justin Lavey would earn himself a single and advance Labrada to third base. The third batter of the inning, Cole Barr, would hit a sac fly. Labrada would score and the AquaSox would be on the board. Immediately after Barr’s sac fly, the Hops would pull off a double play thanks to the efforts of Danny Oriente and Shane Muntz. Unfortunately for Hillsboro, the Hops batters would go three and out to end the inning.
In the third inning, Randall allowed back to back walks after a flyout on the first batter. Then, Randall closed out the inning after a mound visit with back to back strikeouts. Villarreal responded with his own pair of strikeouts to open the bottom of the inning. Ryan Bliss and Caleb Roberts would get on base after a fielding error and a single. They would both get into scoring position after stealing bases as well. However, another strikeout from Villarreal would close the inning.
The infield became the story of the game for the next few innings. In the next three innings, there were ten groundouts, six strikeouts, and two hits between both teams. The seventh inning saw clutch defensive plays from both clubs. For the Hops, Caleb Roberts and Ryan Bliss would catch Noelvi Marte attempting to steal second base. Marte would make up for it however, assisting in a double play with Dariel Gomez to close out the inning.
In the eighth inning, both teams first batters would hit doubles. However, the next three batters would be unable to find hits to bring them home. Eventually, the game would come down to the bottom of the ninth inning. Everett would bring in Kyle Hill to attempt to save the game. After a strikeout on the first batter, Neyfy Castillo would hit a double to keep Hillsboro’s chances alive. A pop up would follow after Castillo’s hit. Then, while Oriente was batting, a balk was called and Castillo would move to third. Unfortunately for the Hops, Oriente would be struck out.
The Hops will look to bounce back this week on the road against the Spokane Indians. Their first match is Tuesday, June 14th at Avitsta Stadium.