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Comeback Falls Just Short For Hops
Written by Matt Richert - HillsboroHops.com    Sunday, 16 June 2013 23:35   

A dramatic comeback left the Hillsboro Hops just one run shy of their first victory of the 2013 season Sunday night.

 

Down 7-0 after five innings, the Hops stormed back with six unanswered runs in the sixth and seventh innings, but lost 7-6 to the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. With the victory, the Volcanoes picked up their first series sweep in two years and the Hops fell to 0-3 in their inaugural campaign.

 

Jose Reyes (1-0) tossed five innings of 4-hit, shutout ball, but the game took an abrupt shift when the Volcanoes went to the bullpen to start the sixth inning. Hillsboro's Josh Parr sent the first pitch from reliever Chris Fern over the wall, just beyond the glove of leaping left fielder Shilo McCall for the first home run in Hops history. Parr finished the night 3-for-4 at the plate, his second straight multi-hit game.

 

After Wagner Mateo struck out, the Hops strung together five consecutive singles, with RBI base hits by Grant Nelson and Yogey Perez-Ramos plating Zach Esquerra and Brian Billigen. With the bases loaded and one out, number nine hitter William Castillo grounded into a force out at second but beat the relay throw with a headfirst dive into first base, allowing Nelson to score the fourth run of the inning.

 

Facing a new pitcher in the seventh, Mateo greeted Arturo Maltos Garcia with a double, then Zach Esquerra blasted a full count pitch over the right field wall for his first professional home run, drawing the Hops within one at 7-6. A hit batter and infield hit put the tying and go-ahead runners on base with none out, but Maltos Garcia fielded Perez-Ramos' sacrifice bunt attempt and fired to third to retire Brian Billigen. A fly out to center by Andy McCurry and a ground out brought the rally to a close.

 

The Hops would threaten again in the eighth, but Armando Paniagua struck out Billigen with runners at first and second to get out of the jam, before closer Reymundo Montero pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts for his second save of the series.

 

The teams combined for 26 hits and four home runs, with Salem-Keizer's Sam Eberle blasting a 2-run shot in the second inning and Jonathan Jones going yard with a solo shot in the third. Hops starter Karl Triana (0-1) suffered the brunt of the damage from the Volcano bats, allowing six runs, five earned on 10 hits in three innings.

 

Reliver Austin Platt came on with runners at first and second and none out in the fourth inning and induced a double-play to get the Hops out of trouble. Platt allowed one run on four hits in four strong innings of relief as the Hops mounted their comeback. Joimer Camacho retired the side in order in the eighth, striking out two in his first appearance of the season.

 

Esquerra finished the night 2-for-3 with two runs scored, his second multi-hit game in as many nights. Perez-Ramos added two hits, giving him six in the series. Eberle went 3-for-4 with a home run, double and two runs scored for the Volcanoes, while Tyler Hollick added three hits.

The Hops christen the brand new Hillsboro Ballpark with their home opener Monday night, first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
 

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