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Blown away Late

Jey Young/ Ball Boy Media

The Dust Devils were welcome back to an excited crowd of nearly 1400 fans at GESA Stadium. It was a breezy night at the ballpark as the Dust Devils welcomed the Hillsboro Hops to open the 2nd half of the 2022 season. The Hops are the AZ D-backs High-A affiliate and have top 30 prospects such as 3B A.J. Vukovich(#7), SS Ryan Bliss(#15), C AdrianDel Castillo(#15), RHP Luke Albright(#25), RHP Conner Grammes(#30).

The top of the first got off to a quick start for SP Nick Mondak, but he was bit by the long ball as Vukovich hit an HR in the opening frame. Mondak posted a solid line in this game, going 6.1IP, allowing 5H, 3ER, and 7K. The Hops opened the series with a bullpen game against the Dust Devils.

The Dust Devils got to opener Ross Carver in the 3rd as OF Jordyn Adams hit an RBI single. OF D'Shawn Knowles followed it up with an RBI single to extend it to 2-1. DH Gabe Matthews scored another run on a throwing error to extend it to 3-1. 2B Osmy Gregorio hit a sac fly to push it 4-1.

The Hops got an excellent combined effort from RHP Marcos Tineo, RHP Gerald Ogando(who got the W), LHP Hugh Fisher, and LHP Kyle Backhus, who were able to shut out the Dust Devils for the remainder of the game. Monday wasn't able to work out of a jam in the 7th after allowing an RBI triple to C Caleb Roberts and an RBI single to INF Cam Coursey. RHP Glenn Albanese came on and got the final two outs in the 7th before coming back out in the 8th.

The 8th wasn't kind to Albanese as he allowed two singles before allowing a 2RBI double to Roberts as the Hops took back the lead 5-4.

RHP Nathan Burns in the 9th replaced Albanese, and he too struggled, allowing a lead-off single that was followed up by an RBI double by INF Jarrod Watkins that pushed the lead to 6-4. Burns then allowed two walks to load the bases full, and the command slipped him again as he walked C Adrian Del Castillo to extend the lead to 7-4. Vukovich delivered the finished blow with a sac-fly to put the game out of reach at an 8-4 lead going into the bottom of the 9th.

The bottom of the 9th started with Erik the Peanut guy getting the remaining crowd going with rally caps. 3B Kyle Kasser lead off the inning with a ground out. OF Edwin Yon followed it up with a LOUD double to CF. C Straton Podares was able to notch a walk and get the Dust Devils two on base. However, OF Jordyn Adams grounded into what looked like a fielder's choice to keep the inning going. However, he was called out on an atrocious call to end the game.

The kids around the park ran the bases- mine included and got some autographs from Dusty before heading home. Gabe Matthews extended his on-base streak in this game to 24 games in a row. It was also an absolute pleasure meeting Mathew and his dad from Mapping the Path and being able to talk to them about their journies.

The boys are back for Hawaiian night at GESA Stadium for game 2 of the 6-game set.

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