3 stars: Carlos Hernandez, Hillsboro - 6.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 12 SO, W (1-0)
2 stars: Bryan Holtmann, Missoula - 6 IP. 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 SO
1 star: Nate Robertson, Hillsboro - 2-for-4, R, HR (1), three RBI
0 stars: Andrew Potter, Missoula - 1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO, L (0-1)
A-short Hillsboro 8, Salem-Keizer 0. A three-game series gives you precious little room for error, and after dropping Game One last night, the Hops were dropped straight into "win or go home" territory. But the team responded magnificently, starter Carlos Hernandez and two relievers combining on a three-hit shutout of the Volcanoes, to set up a deciding game tomorrow night, at at Ron Tonkin Field in Hillsboro. A crowd of 2,408 were on hand to see Hernandez strike out a dozen over 6.1 shutout inning, allowing only three hits, all singles and a pair of walks. Kirby Bellow got the last two outs of the seventh, and Will Landsheft tossed two perfect innings to seal the win.
The home team didn't have to wait long to get on the board, as three of the first four Hillsboro batters singled, 1B Trevor Mitsui giving them all the offense they'd need with an RBI hit. But it was a four-run third that blow the game open, the Hops taking full advantage of visitor wildness working a pair of bases-loaded walks. 3B Nate Robertson added a two-run homer in the fifth. He, Mitsui and CF Zach Nehrir each had two-hit nights, while LF Grant Heyman went 3-for-5 with a run scored and another batted in, as Hillsboro blanked a playoff opponent for the first time. Tyler Bolton will start tomorrow's decisive contest for them.
Rookie Missoula 1 @ Helena 3. The Osprey managed only two hits in total for their final regular season game, but actually had a 1-0 lead at the stretch. Bryan Holtmann spun six scoreless innings, allowing four hits and three walks with five strikeouts, and was in line for the W after DH Luke Lowery doubled home 1B Austin Byler, who had walked, with two outs in the seventh. However, Andrew Potter allowed three runs (two earned) in the bottom of the seventh, and took the loss. LF Matt Railey has Missoula's other hit. The Osprey will begin their playoff campaign in Missoula tomorrow night.