EVERETT, WASH. (Sept. 9, 2022) --- For the second straight day, the Hillsboro Hops were shut out in the first half of the game by the Everett Aquasox. And for the second straight day, the Hops used a furious late rally to overcome a deficit. This time, Adrian
EVERETT, WASH. (Sept. 9, 2022) --- For the second straight day, the Hillsboro Hops were shut out in the first half of the game by the Everett Aquasox. And for the second straight day, the Hops used a furious late rally to overcome a deficit. This time, Adrian Del Castillo’s three-run double with two out in the top of the seventh inning on Friday afternoon at Everett Memorial Stadium turned a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 lead. Del Castillo came home on a hit to make it 4-2, and the Hops’ bullpen held the Aquasox scoreless from there.
Hillsboro starter Yilber Diaz worked four scoreless innings, but Everett broke through against reliever Collin Sullivan, who allowed a fifth-inning solo home run to Dariel Gomez --- his league-leading 26th of the year --- and a sixth-inning solo dinger to James Parker.
The Hops had just two runners into scoring position in the first six innings against Everett starter Jordan Jackson: Cam Coursey, who doubled leading off the game and was later thrown out at the plate; and Del Castillo, who doubled leading off the sixth but was left at second base. Jackson allowed just three hits, with three walks and four key strikeouts in his six shutout frames.
Hillsboro broke through against reliever Bernie Martinez in the seventh. Jarrod Watkins led off the inning with a single, and he was still at first base after Martinez whiffed the next two hitters. Channy Ortiz singled, and S.P. Chen was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Del Castillo then unloaded --- a shot down the right field line that brought home all three runners. Del Castillo then scored on a hard-hit ball into left field by Neyfy Castillo that went in the books as a hit, but could have been ruled an error on shortstop Parker.
Dillon Larsen came on to work a scoreless seventh for the Hops, pitching around a one-out walk. In the eighth, however, he issued another one-out walk, followed by a single from Parker. With the tying and go-ahead runners on base, Christian Montes De Oca came out of the bullpen and retired Trent Tingelstad on a pop-out to third base, then struck out pinch-hitter Spencer Packard to end the threat.
In the ninth, Montes De Oca retired Justin Lavey on a ground-out to short, then struck out Gomez. Robert Perez was hit by a pitch, and the number-three hitter, catcher Charlie Welch, came up representing the tying run. Montes De Oca fell behind 3-0, but came back to strike him out on the next three pitches to end the game.
Friday’s comeback comes on the heels of Thursday’s game, the Hops’ biggest road comeback ever, when they erased a 7-0 deficit to win 8-7.
With two games remaining in the season, neither Hillsboro (30-34 in the second half, 59-69 overall) nor Everett (27-37, 58-71) are playoff bound; but the victory puts the Hops alone in third place in the split-season’s second-half standings, one game ahead of plummeting Spokane. Everett has fallen into sixth place in the second half, one game behind fifth-place Tri-City.
And, with one win in the season’s final two games, the Hops can guarantee themselves the fourth-best record in the six-team league for the entire 130-game season. If they were to lose both, it’s possible they could finish sixth.
Saturday’s penultimate game of the season in Everett begins at 6:05 PM, with the radio pregame show at 5:50 on Rip City Radio 620AM and www.RipCityRadio.com.