June 19, 2017 - Northwest League (NWL) - Hillsboro Hops
EVERETT, WASH. --- Riley Smith, a righthander who was limited to relief work in his pro debut season in 2016, was eager to become a starting pitcher. He tossed six innings on Monday morning-into-afternoon in Everett, allowing just one run in a 9-2 win. Second baseman Yan Sanchez tripled and homered, driving home four for Hillsboro. The Hops took three of five, and won the series in Everett for the fourth straight year.
Hillsboro got on the board in the first inning on a single by Domingo Leyba and a triple by Sanchez. They added a run in the third on a two-out opposite-field double to left-center by Bryan Araiza to make it 2-0.
In the meantime, Riley Smith had worked his way out of jams in each of the first two innings. Everett had runners and first and second and no one out in the first, and runners at first and third with none out in the second, and came up empty each time.
In the last of the third, Everett cut the lead to 2-1 on a double by Jonas Lantigua, but Greifer Andrade was thrown out at the plate on the same play, Bryan Araiza to Sanchez to Cole Thompson . That ended the inning.
Hillsboro broke the game open in the next half inning, with some help from shaky defense by the Sox. Paxton De La Garza and Stephen Smith singled and Thompson walked to load the bases with none out. With one out, Billy Endris singled home De La Garza to make it 3-1. Eudy Ramos hit a ground ball to third that should have been an inning-ending double-play ball, but Everett second baseman Joseph Rosa threw away the relay, allowing two runs to score. Two more runs came home when Sanchez homered on the next pitch.
Hillsboro added single runs in the fifth (on a base hit by Leyba) and the eighth (on a ground out by Sanchez). That would be plenty for Smith and Hops relievers Cal Becker and Anfernee Benitez . Becker allowed a solo home run to Juan Camacho in the seventh, but that would be it for the Sox.
Leyba had three hits, becoming the first Hop with more than two hits in a game this year. Endris, Ramos and Sanchez have each hit in all five games this year. Leyba has hit in all four games he's played, and Thompson has hit in all three of his games.
The Hops are at Ron Tonkin Field tomorrow (Tuesday) at 7:05 PM for their home opener against the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. RHP Matt Koch (pronounced "Cook") will start for Hillsboro, becoming the first player to appear for the Hops who already has major-league time. Koch made his major league debut in 2016 for Arizona, appearing in seven games with two starts. He was 1-1 with a 2.00 ERA, allowing just nine hits with four walks and 10 strikeouts in eighteen innings.
Tuesday's pregame show on Rip City Radio 620 AM and HillsboroHops.com begins at 6:35 PM