English & January with 5 RBI Apiece Lead Hops to Win
BOISE, IDAHO - Tristin English and Ryan January each collected five RBIs --- accounting for all of the Hillsboro Hops' runs --- in the team's 10-3 win at Memorial Stadium on Saturday night. English had the biggest blow of the night, a seventh-inning grand slam to put the Hops up 6-2 (the first slam by a Hops batter in more than three calendar years). January had two big hits --- a game-tying two-run double in the sixth, and a three-run home run in the ninth. January has driven home 12 runs in his last five games.
Hillsboro (23-13 second half, 47-27 overall) has won three straight, and the win secured for the Hops the outright best record in the South Division in the second half. There are two games remaining in the regular season.
Boise broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the third with a pair of runs off Hops starter Conor Grammes, and it looked for a few innings as though the Hawks would make the 2-0 lead stand up.
But with two outs and none on in the top of the sixth, Hops first baseman Andy Yerzy doubled to left, and Jesus Marriaga walked. January then stepped in, and hit his second key two-run double in the past two nights, tying the game 2-2.
In the seventh, Joe Gillette and Ricky Martinez singled, followed by a bunt single by Eddie Hernandez to load the bases. English then unloaded, belting a grand slam to left field, Hillsboro's first bases-loaded home run since Josh Anderson had one in Hillsboro against Boise on August 28th, 2016.
English doubled home another run in the ninth, and three batters later, he scored on January's three-run blast to right. (Entering the game, Hillsboro had hit just three home runs with more than one man on base all season, and on Saturday they hit two such homers.) The five runs batted in apiece for English & January are the most by a Hops batter this year.
Ten runs was plenty for the Hops pitching staff. After three innings by Grammes with three hits and two runs allowed, Tyler Holton worked a scoreless fourth. Holton --- projected to be Hillsboro's starter in game one of the South Division Series on Wednesday --- was limited to one inning in his final regular-season tune-up. Likewise for another Hops southpaw, Nick Snyder --- he worked a 1-2-3 fifth, striking out two. Justin Garcia worked two perfect innings, and Liu Fuenmayor pitched the eighth and ninth, allowing one run.
The Hops play their next-to-last game of the regular season on Sunday in Boise. First pitch is scheduled for 6:15 PM (Pacific) on Rip City Radio 620 AM and www.RipCityRadio.com.
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