Hillsboro, OR (July 8, 2023) – The Hillsboro Hops jumped out to an early lead against the Vancouver Canadians at Ron Tonkin Field on Saturday night behind a seven-inning outing from Yilber Diaz, but couldn’t hold on in the late innings as the Canadians’ scored in the final four frames
Hillsboro, OR (July 8, 2023) – The Hillsboro Hops jumped out to an early lead against the Vancouver Canadians at Ron Tonkin Field on Saturday night behind a seven-inning outing from Yilber Diaz, but couldn’t hold on in the late innings as the Canadians’ scored in the final four frames to win 6-5. Former Hop Lyle Lin hit his first homer of the season, a solo shot in the top of the ninth that ended up being the difference. Gavin Logan hit an opposite field homer, his first professional homer, but the Hillsboro rally came up short.
Abdiel Mendoza had great success against the Hops so far in 2023, appearing in four games and allowing just two earned runs. Hillsboro would match that total in the first inning alone, scoring two runs against Mendoza on an RBI single by Manuel Peña and a wild pitch.
Hillsboro loaded the bases with nobody out in the second after three consecutive walks, but only had one run to show for. S.P. Chen hit a sacrifice fly, but the next two hitters Patiño and Peña were retired to end the threat. Mendoza left the game after three innings, allowing two earned runs and walking four.
Cooper Benson took the mound after Mendoza, another Vancouver pitcher with superb numbers against Hillsboro. Benson had not allowed a run against them in 9.2 innings pitched, but that would change. The Hops would again load the bases with nobody out and only score one run in the fifth. A sacrifice fly for D’Orazio scored a run to make it 4-0, but a double steal attempt by Melendez and Peña resulted in Manuel being thrown out at the plate to end the inning. Missed opportunities for the Hops with the bases loaded would prove to be costly.
Yilber Diaz was coming off his first six inning start of the season at Tri-City and continued that success against Vancouver. He had not allowed a run entering the sixth inning, when Devonte Brown homered for the second consecutive game. Brown’s seventh homer made it 4-1. Diaz retired the side in order after that, thanks to an incredible diving play by 3B Jesus Valdez to rob an extra-base hit.
The homer by Brown started four straight innings with runs for Vancouver. They would score a solo run in the seventh after Lyle Lin doubled and scored on a wild pitch and error. Diaz’s night was finished after seven innings, allowing just one earned run and striking out seven. The Hops were clinging to a 4-2 lead in the eighth, when Cade Doughty came through clutch by beating the shift with a two-RBI single that tied the game.
Lyle Lin broke the scoreless ninth inning tie with a home run to left field off Liam Norris, his first home run of the season. Lin entered the game with just one extra-base hit in 15 games and he had two in Saturday’s game. Norris Walked the bases loaded giving way to Eli Saul. Saul walked the first batter he faced, scoring a run and giving Vancouver a 6-4 advantage.
Eric Pardinho was on to finish the game in the ninth after two scoreless innings and struck out Kevin Graham. With one out, Gavin Logan brought the Hops to within one on his first pro homer. The opposite field shot would be all they would get in the ninth, falling by a final score of 6-5. Mendoza, Benson and Pardinho all pitched exactly three innings for the Canadians in the league-leading 48th win.
The series finale will be on Sunday at Ron Tonkin Field, with the pregame show starting at 12:50 and first pitch at 1:05 on Rip City Radio 620 and Bally Live.