David Jacob hit his second home run of the season Wednesday night.
The Vancouver Canadians are on the verge of being swept in a five-game series at Nat Bailey Stadium for the third season in a row. The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes turned the trick in 2015 before the Eugene Emeralds did the deed in 2016. Now the Hillsboro Hops are one win away from joining the club after setting a club-record for most runs in a game as they slaughtered the C’s 19-7 Tuesday night.
The game was actually scoreless after three innings. Reggie Pruitt made a diving catch in center to rob Daulton Varsho of a hit to end the second just after Logan Warmoth started a 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Drew Ellis to erase a Pavin Smith walk. Wilfri Aleton had walked and plunked a batter over the first three frames but a single by Camden Duzenack and a double by Eudy Ramos were driven in by Smith. Aleton was one strike away from getting out of the inning but Tra’mayne Holmes delivered a soul-crushing RBI double to score Smith and Ryan Grotjohn would single home Thompson to make it 4-0 Hops.
The C’s cut into the deficit when Pruitt snuck one up the middle for a base hit and went to second when Cullen Large was hit by a pitch from Mitchell Aker. Brock Lundquist loaded them up with a single to the mound before Kacy Clemens drew a full-count walk after a nine-pitch at-bat to bring in Pruitt. A fielder’s choice by Deiferson Barreto brought home Large but David Jacob went down swinging for the final out.
The Hops dashed any hopes of Vancouver getting back into the game when a single by Duzenack was followed by an RBI double from Ramos, an RBI triple from Smith and an RBI single by Ellis to give Hillsboro a 7-2 lead. Miguel Burgos struck out the final two batters of the inning in relief of Aleton but Burgos was bombed for a three-run homer by Varsho after a two-out rally that saw a run score on an error by Warmoth at short. That outburst launch the Hops into double-digit territory in the run column.
Orlando Pascual had the best pitching line of the night by giving up just one hit and striking out the side in the seventh. Vancouver finally responded in their half of that frame when a Clemens walk and a Barreto base hit were driven home on a three-run dinger by Jacob to put the C’s within an unconverted touchdown at 11-5.
Hillsboro would pull away even further when Ellis connected for a three-run bomb off William Ouellette in the eighth. Grotjohn would double home another in the inning. Bobby Eveld served up a run-scoring double in relief of Ouellette to make it 16-5.
Vancouver would cut the lead to 10 when Clemens and Barreto walked with two outs before Jacob singled home Clemens. Barreto tried to score but he was thrown out at the plate on a 9-4-2 play.
Catcher Matt Morgan had to pitch in the ninth and he did not get away unscathed either as he was whacked for a three-run tater by Holmes. Back-to-back doubles by Brandon Polizzi and Warmoth resulted in the final run of the game as the C’s lost by a dozen.
Jacob had the lone two-hit night while Clemens walked three times. Pruitt singled and stole his 13th base before being replaced by Polizzi in center to start the seventh.
Radar Gun Rundown
Wilfri Aleton clocked as high as 95 miles per hour with a low of 78. He fell behind all six hitters he faced and it was just a matter of time that trend would catch up to him as he was bailed out by his defence in the second inning.
The C’s caught another break on the out-of-town scoreboard as the Boise Hawks laid the boots to Tri-City to keep the Dust Devils two games away from Vancouver for first place in the North. The C’s are now 18-15 on the season. The series finale between the C’s and Hops goes at 1:05 pm Wednesday afternoon. TSN 1410 and CanadiansBaseball.com will have the broadcast.