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Hops Win Fourth Straight in 7-6 Thriller

May 26, 2023 – Northwest League (NWL) – Hillsboro Hops News Release

Hillsboro, OR – The Hops and Dust Devils squared off for the 12th time this season on Thursday at Ron Tonkin Field, in a game that ended up being one of the best contests of the year. The Hops scored in six consecutive innings in the back-and-forth game and Ivan Melendez came up with the biggest hit of the night, a two-out go-ahead RBI double in the 8th. Hillsboro won their fourth straight game in the 7-6 thriller.

19-year-old Tri-City starter, Caden Dana, made his second start of the season against the Hops in game three of the series. Dana had his good fastball working, routinely hitting 94 MPH and escaped the first two innings without damage.

For the third straight game, the Hops’ starter struck out the side in the first inning. Yilber Diaz in game one, Avery Short in game two and now Dylan Ray in game three.

Osmy Gregorio led off the third inning with a double and was followed by a D’Shawn Knowles single. There were two on with no outs with the nine-hole hitter Myles Emmerson at the dish. He grounded into a double play, but scored Gregorio and put the Dust Devils on the board.

The Hops would go on to score in six straight innings, starting in the third. Gary Mattis Jr. had his first of three hits in the game, a single to start off the inning. Gavin Logan later walked and just like the Dust Devils in the top half, Hillsboro had two on with no outs. After a strikeout and popout, Ivan Melendez extended his hit-streak to 17 games with an RBI infield single. The game was tied after three.

Hillsboro got one more run off Dana in the fourth, when Mattis recorded his second hit of the game, an RBI single. Dana exited after finishing the fourth, allowing two unearned runs and striking out five.

Dylan Ray was superb over five frames for the Hops, allowing just one run and striking out eight.

Hillsboro would add on to the lead in the fifth inning, after a Jesus Valdez single and the third Tri-City error of the game. The Hops had a 4-1 lead heading to the sixth, where Logan Clayton made his High-A debut after posting a 0.89 ERA in low-A Visalia to start the season. He allowed five consecutive hitters to reach base and recorded just one out while being charged with three earned runs.

Gary Mattis Jr. broke the scoreless 4-4 tie in the bottom of the inning, jumping on a fastball from Nick Mondak. His second homer of the season traveled 389 feet onto the berm in left field. Hillsboro added on an insurance run in the seventh, taking a 6-4 lead. The lead didn’t last for long, as the Dust Devils responded right back with two in the eighth to tie the game again.

The first two hitters for the Hops in the eighth were quickly retired, but a two-out rally followed. A hit-by-pitch and walk put two runners on for Melendez. Melendez continued his scorching hot hitting and drove a 1-0 pitch from Nick Jones to the gap for his second RBI hit of the game, giving the Hops a 7-6 lead.

Eli Saul pitched both the eighth and ninth innings for Hillsboro, securing the Hops fourth straight win.

Wilderd Patino and Ivan Melendez had two-hit games and Gary Mattis Jr. added a three-hit performance. All nine hitters in the Hops’ order reached base at least once. Adrian Placencia wore the golden sombrero, striking out four times in the game for Tri-City.

Hillsboro and Tri-City will play game four of the series at Ron Tonkin Field on Friday night. First pitch is at 6:35 with the pregame show starting at 6:20 on Rip City Radio 620 and Bally Live.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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