Hops hang on to beat AquaSox 7-6

HILLSBORO, Ore. — Hillsboro shortstop Justin Gonzalez hit a tiebreaking three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning, and a ninth-inning rally by the Everett AquaSox fell short for the second straight night as the Hops won 7-6 in a back-and-forth contest on Thursday night.

After Hillsboro (14-7) took a 7-4 lead on Gonzalez’s fourth home run of the season in the seventh, Everett (5-16) rallied for two runs in the ninth.

With one out, Adam Martin walked and Corey Simpson singled to put two aboard. After Phillips Castillo was called out on strikes, Sheehan Planas-Arteaga reached on an error by Hops’ second baseman Pedro Ruiz to load the bases. Kyle Petty singled to drive in two runs, but Chris Mariscal flew out to right field with the tying run on second to end the game.

Hillsboro reliever Alex Byo (2-0) pitched 21/3 innings of scoreless relief to earn the win.

Martin paced the Everett offense with three hits, including an RBI double in the fifth, and Petty added two hits.

The AquaSox opened up the scoring in the second. Petty singled, advanced to third base on a single by Mariscal and scored on a wild pitch from Hillsboro starter Ben Eckels.

The Hops bounced right back and took the lead in the bottom of the second. After a base hit from Bennie Robinson and a walk by Gonzalez, Pedro Ruiz doubled to right field to score Robinson and tie the game at 1-1. Taylor Ratliff was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Jordan Parr then grounded into a double play, scoring Gonzalez and giving Hillsboro the lead at 2-1. Elvin Soto struck out looking to end the inning and limit the damage. Everett tied the game up in the top of the fifth when Martin lined a double to left field, scoring Nelson Ward who earlier reached on a fielder’s choice.

Hillsboro again countered in the bottom of the fifth, capitalizing on three walks from Everett starter Dan Altavilla and two errors by third baseman Mariscal to take the lead at 4-2.

Altavilla was chased after 42/3 innings and allowing four runs, two earned, on five hits. He struck out seven and walked four.

In the top of the sixth, the Hops were the ones in the giving mood as Everett again tied the score, this time at 4-4. John Pedrotty replaced Eckels on the mound, and subsequently issued four walks, hit a batter and threw a wild pitch, all resulting in two Everett runs.

Six-foot, eight-inch, 230-pound Hawtin Buchanan pitched a scoreless inning of relief for Everett, striking out two in his pro debut.

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