Martinez's three HRs ties record
The Southern Oregon Timberjacks fattened up on the Everett AquaSox onceagain Monday night at Miles Field.
The Timberjacks slopped down another helping, devouring the AquaSox 13-5before 1,399, as they remained in hot pursuit of South Division leader Portland.
Right at the front of the serving line was right fielder Hipolito Martinez,who became the 21st Northwest League player to swat three home runs. Hetied another league record with 15 total bases.
Martinez launched a 365-foot solo shot to left-center field just to theright of the scoreboard on the first pitch he saw from left-hand reliefpitcher Matt Noe in the fifth inning. Facing another lefty, Brandon Nogowski,in the seventh, Martinez drilled a 3-2 pitch 350 feet to straight-away left.In the eighth, Martinez yanked a 1-2 offering from Pat Dunham 340 feet downthe left-field line.
This means a lot to me, something real big, said Martinez,gripping the record-tying ball that had been retrieved and given him bytrainer Blake Bowers. I didn't think I could hit that home run withtwo strikes.
It was the eighth home run of the season and fourth in seven at-batsfor Martinez, who also went deep Sunday against Salem-Keizer.
He's learned he doesn't have to pull the ball to be an effectivehitter, Southern Oregon manager John Kuehl said.
He's not chasing bad pitches, trying to pull them, and he's gettingbetter pitches because he's not behind in the count. He hit another one,the second time he was up, to the wall that had a chance to go.
The last NWL player to hit three homers in a game was Carls Beltran ofSpokane on July 23, 1996. The last Southern Oregon player to perform thefeat was Justin Bowles July 13 of last year at Bellingham. The previousthree-homer game at Miles Field was by Bend's Frederick Lundblade on Aug.3, 1985.
The 15 total bases matched Russell Rosburg's effort on Sept. 4, 1956.The Salem ballplayer did it against Tri-City, hitting two home runs, twotriples and a single.
I've been going with the pitch and trying to hit it up the middle,said Martinez, through interpreter Javier Flores. Hitting so manyhome runs like that is grand.
The victory upped Southern Oregon's record to 25-21, while Everett fellto 18-29 and saw its six-game winning streak end.
Martinez got his pitches and hit them out, Everett managerOrlando Gomez said. What really hurt was leaving too many men on base(14) and not driving in the runs when we had the chance.
The Timberjacks, who have now won five of six from the AquaSox, pickedup a run in the bottom of the first. With runners at first and third, BradGorrie got caught off first base by Everett starter Joel Pineiro. But whilethe AquaSox were chasing Gorrie down to second, Rodney Clifton took offfor home. Ramon Valera's throw was in plenty of time, but catcher Greg Connorscouldn't hold on and was charged with an error.
Martinez tripled to start the second and scored on Nicolas Sosa's groundout to make it 2-0.
The AquaSox, however, came back to tie it in the third when Harvey Hargrovesingled in one run and Mike Marchiano drove in another run on a grounderto shortstop.
The Timberjacks took the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth whenthey scored five runs on five hits and a walk. All that came with two out.
Jose Figueroa walked and then Adam Robinson doubled down the right fieldline. Clifton singled to left, scoring both runners. Eddie Lara followedwith a base hit that scored Clifton. Then back-to-back doubles by Gorrieand Roberto Vaz capped the rally.
We did what we had to do and got the big hits when we had to,Clifton said. And we finally played good defense again tonight no errors.
Marcus Jones, who pitched — 2/3 innings of relief, allowing two runson eight hits, notched his first win in three decisions, while Joel Pinero(2-1) absorbed the loss.
The second of a five-game series starts at 7:05 tonight.