An eighth-inning RBI single by Luis Veras broke a 1-1 tie, and the Hillsboro Hops took Game 1 of the Northwest League championship series from the Tri-City Dust Devils 2-1 Thursday at Ron Tonkin Field.
Veras hit a hard grounder over second base to plate Dansby Swanson, who drew a one-out walk, off Tri-City relief pitcher Phil Maton.
Swanson easily gloved a bouncing ball up the middle from Tri-City’s Justin Pacchioli and stepped on second for the final out.
The play of the game, aside from Veras’ go-ahead RBI, came from Hillsboro catcher Alexis Olmeda and Swanson.
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Tri-City’s Austin Allen walked to start the frame, and then took off for second in a steal attempt. Olmeda hustled a throw to the keystone that was high, but Swanson jumped up to snag it and laid the tag on Allen for the first out of the ninth.
Hillsboro reliever Ariel Hernandez pitched 1 2/3 innings to earn the win. He allowed one hit and struck out two. He walked three batters, all in the ninth, but the defense carried the Hops to the victory.
Tri-City pitcher Nathan Foriest was saddled with the loss after 1 1/3 innings of work. He was responsible for the runner on third on Veras’ single.
Peter Van Gansen and Ty France each had two hits for the Dust Devils.
Game 3, Hillsboro at Tri-City, 7:15 p.m., Gesa Stadium