EVERETT, WASH. (Sept. 8, 2022) --- Neyfy Castillo’s grand slam highlighted a six-run seventh inning, and the Hillsboro Hops rallied from a 7-0 deficit to beat the Everett Aquasox 8-7 on Thursday night at Funko Field. It was the second-biggest come-from-behind win in the Hops’ 794-game history, and
EVERETT, WASH. (Sept. 8, 2022) --- Neyfy Castillo’s grand slam highlighted a six-run seventh inning, and the Hillsboro Hops rallied from a 7-0 deficit to beat the Everett Aquasox 8-7 on Thursday night at Funko Field. It was the second-biggest come-from-behind win in the Hops’ 794-game history, and their biggest on the road.
Everett snapped a scoreless tie with a six-run third inning against Hops starter Marcos Tineo, highlighted by a three-run home run from Snohomish County native Trent Tingelstad, who played high school baseball in nearby Marysville and junior college baseball in Everett. The Sox added a run in the fourth to make it 7-0.
Everett starter Jimmy Joyce took a one-hitter into the sixth, before allowing a solo home run to Hops third baseman S.P. Chen, his first round-tripper with Hillsboro. Joyce worked six innings, allowing three hits and one run, while walking three and striking out nine.
The game turned in the seventh. Everett reliever Peyton Alford walked Cam Coursey leading off the inning, and issued a base on balls to Ramses Malave with one out. Then, with two out, Chen singled home a run to cut the deficit to 7-2. Adrian Del Castillo drew Alford’s third walk of the inning to load the bases, and Leon Hunter Jr. came out of the Sox bullpen to face Castillo. Castillo got ahead in the count 3-1, then lofted a fly ball into the net above the left-field fence. The grand slam cut the deficit to 7-6.
The next batter, Jarrod Watkins reignited the rally by tripling into the right-field corner. The newest Hop, Josh Day --- just up from Low-A Visalia --- flared one into right-center. Everett center fielder Victor Labrada’s diving effort came up empty, an RBI double for Day that brought home the tying run.
Hillsboro’s bullpen was excellent over the final five innings. Listher Sosa had allowed a pair of inherited runners to score as part of Everett’s six-run third, and hit a batter and allowed another run in the fourth. In the fifth, he struck out the side.
Justin Martinez came in to start the sixth for Hillsboro, and retired the first eight men to face him, six on strikeouts. He came out of the game after issuing a two-out walk to Mike Salvatore in the bottom of the eighth with the game still tied 7-7.
Hops manager Vince Harrison and pitching coach Jeff Bajenaru then turned to Hugh Fisher, the left-hander with major-league stuff who has battled command issues all season. Everett leadoff man Spencer Packard hit a tapper up the third base line. S.P. Chen charged it, had no play at first, and smartly threw behind Salvatore, who had rounded second by two steps. Chen’s quick, heady play left Salvatore with no margin for error, and Cam Coursey applied the tag for the final out of the inning.
With the game still tied, Del Castillo led off the top of the ninth by lofting a fly ball to right, likely an out in any other park in the league. But with the short-porch in right-center --- only 330 feet away --- the ball caromed off the wall for a double. Fox Semones pinch-ran for Del Castillo. Neyfy Castillo then tapped one up along third. Everett third baseman Justin Lavey charged it and threw wildly to first, allowing Semones to score the go-ahead run.
Fisher came back out for the bottom of the ninth, his highest-leverage situation in awhile. Fisher struck out Victor Labrada looking on a well-placed fastball on the outside corner. Everett DH Charlie Welch drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch, and James Parker came out to pinch-run. Alberto Rodriguez, a dangerous left-handed hitter, then struck out swinging, and Everett was down to their last out.
Sox manager Eric Farris called on Robert Perez Jr. to pinch hit. Perez --- with 25 home runs, and the minor-league leader in RBIs with 109 --- had hit a game-ending three-run blast on Tuesday night. Fisher, though, kept him in the yard. Perez singled to right, sending Parker to second. And with the tying and winning runs on base, Fisher induced Everett shortstop Ben Ramirez to pop out to Chen at third to end the game.
The only time the Hops have overcome a bigger deficit was on August 3, 2017, when they came back from an 8-0 hole to beat Vancouver at Ron Tonkin Field in Hillsboro. Twice in their history the Hops have overcome six-run deficits.
Though out of the playoff chase, Hillsboro is now tied for third in the second half with Spokane, with three games left to play.
The Hops have hit three grand slams this year, setting a new single-season club record. It was the ninth grand slam in the club’s nine-year history.
The fourth game of the six-game series will be a day game, Friday at 1:05. The radio pregame show begins at 12:50 on Rip City Radio 620 AM and www.RipCityRadio.com.