Hops rally from 6-0 deficit to win home opener

Hops rally from 6-0 deficit to win home opener

HILLSBORO -- It was the home opener for the Hops Tuesday night and there was a special added attraction. Right-handed pitcher Matt Koch, who has pitched in the major leagues, was the starting pitcher for Hillsboro -- the first big-leaguer to ever appear for the team.

But in the end, all Koch did was put the home team in a 6-0 hole. Which it climbed out of, thanks to a sensational bullpen performance and a walkoff single in the 12th inning by Domingo Leyba that climaxed a 7-6 victory.

The Hops loaded the bases in the ninth after a two-out triple by Eudy Ramos on a bloop that turned into a triple after a failed attempt at a shoestring catch. But after two walks, a groundout ended the inning. And in the 10th they had runners at first and third with one out but couldn't score.

Koch, a former big-leaguer with the parent Arizona Diamondbacks, was making a rehab start for the Hops and didn't’t exactly get off to a smooth start.

The right-hander allowed a long, wind-aided home run to the first batter of the game, Malique Ziegler, and then singles to the next three hitters, upping the lead to 2-0 with still nobody out in the first.

But a pickoff at second, a strikeout and a groundout got Koch out of the inning.

He retired the side in order in the second but was touched for two more runs in the third and the same number in the fourth.

Koch finished up his start after five innings, allowing nine hits and five earned runs.

But the Hops didn't quit.

Designated hitter Kyle Smith got the home team on the board with a two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth, pulling Hillsboro within 6-2.

The Hops scored in the seventh on a two-out, two-run bloop double to right field by Yan Sanchez.  The tying runs were in scoring position after that, and Bryan Araiza got one of the home on a checked-swing infield single and the tying run scored moments later on a wild pitch.

By that time the 4,537 fans were in a frenzy after watching their team rally from the 6-0 deficit heading to the eighth. But they had to hang around a while as the night turned chilly to see the end.


Bellator 180 Looking To Steal The Show This Summer


Bellator 180 Looking To Steal The Show This Summer


On June 24th at Madison Square Garden, Bellator MMA will make their return to pay-per-view (PPV) with Bellator 180: Sonnen vs Silva. This will be the first time the company has put a product on PPV since Scott Coker took over as president and they are certainly putting their best foot forward. The card boasts three title-fights along with a co-main and main-event that feature some of the most talked about fighters in the history of mixed marital arts. This fight card has the chance to be the best MMA PPV of the summer and it just so happens to have two of Oregon’s finest on the main card.  The full card is listed below:

Main Card — PPV

  • Light Heavyweight: Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva
  • Heavyweight: Fedor Emelianenko vs. Matt Mitrione
  • Welterweight Title Fight: Douglas Lima(c) vs. Lorenz Larkin
  • Lightweight Title Fight: Michael Chandler (c) vs. Brent Primus
  • Lightweight: Aaron Pico vs. Zach Freeman

Preliminary Card — Spike TV

  • Light Heavyweight Title Fight: Phil Davis (c) vs. Ryan Bader
  • Featherweight: James Gallagher vs. Chinzo Machida
  • Welterweight: Neiman Gracie vs. Dave Marfone
  • Flyweight: Heather Hardy vs. Alice Yauger

Early On-line Prelims — Bellator.com

  • Welterweight: Ryan Couture vs. Haim Gozali
  • Lightweight: Jerome Mickle vs. Anthony Giacchina
  • Catchweight: John Salgado vs. Hugh McKenna
  • Cathweight: Matt Rizzo vs. Sergio da Silva
  • Lightweight: Nate Grebb vs. Bradley Desir

***As always, card subject to change

With 14 total fights there really is something for everyone on this card. Let’s break down what to watch for at Bellator 180.

Title Fights, Title Fights, Title Fights

There are three titles on the line at Bellator 180, and all three bring with them interesting matchups and fresh faces. First up, Ryan Bader will make his promotional debut for Bellator when he takes on Bellator light heavyweight champion Phil Davis. These two UFC cast offs are both 8-2 in their last 10 fights with Davis currently riding a 4-fight win streak and Bader having won his last 2. What makes this fight such an intriguing matchup is that these two have fought before and in fact Bader was the last man to hand Davis a loss. The fight was very close and won on a split decision. Davis will certainly be looking to wipe that loss off his record and Bader will be looking to make a huge splash in his promotional debut.

Next up, Michael Chandler will put his lightweight title on the line against Oregon’s own, Brent Primus. This fight is a huge step up for Primus and a major risk for Chandler. With Primus having so few fights, there isn’t nearly the footage available for Chandler to study while Primus has a good-sized library to watch on the champion. This fight pits the one time fresh face, Chandler, against the hot young upstart, Primus. This matchup really mirrors Chandler’s first title shot and could be the beginning of a new regime in the lightweight division. For more on this matchup, please see my recent article on this fight here.

Lastly, Douglas Lima will put his welterweight title up for grabs when he faces the recently signed Lorenz Larkin. Larkin comes to Bellator from the UFC riding a 3-fight win streak and looking more dominant than ever after dropping to welterweight from 185 lbs. His explosive striking and fast pace matches up perfectly with Lima, who has a very similar style. Lima has only lost twice in his last 18 fights and both were in championship bouts. In his last fight, Lima recaptured the welterweight title with an emphatic win over Andrey Koreshkov proving that he will not have problems facing larger welterweights like Larkin. This fight is going to be a barnburner and is my pick for fight of the night. Don’t blink this one might be quick.

Sonnen and Silva Finally Settle the Score

Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva have a beef that spans nearly a half a decade since the moment it was announced that they would coach opposite one another on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil. Some argue that this animosity on the show was fabricated; others say the editing made things look worse than it was in person. No matter how you slice it, there is video of Sonnen and Silva fighting on set during the filming of the show and since that time, people have wanted to see this fight. For Sonnen, this is a must win fight after losing his Bellator debut to Tito Ortiz. For Silva, this marks his return from a “lifetime” ban by the Nevada State Athletic Commission and his first chance at redemption. These two fighters are legends in the sport that hardcore fans adore. This fight is a must watch for the old school MMA fans of the world.

CSN to carry Friday night Hops games this summer

CSN to carry Friday night Hops games this summer

PORTLAND, Ore. June 14, 2017 — CSN Northwest presents six Hillsboro Hops baseball games live from Ron Tonkin Field in Hillsboro, Ore., beginning Friday, June 23 at 7 p.m. PT. In addition, CSN Northwest will present the Northwest League vs. Pioneer League All-Star Game on August 1. After going 42–33 last season, and finishing second in the league, the Hops look to bring home their third Northwest League in 2017.

The minor league affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Hillsboro Hops have been a staple of the Portland area since 2013. In 2014, The Hops finished with the best record in the south division in both halves of the season, and swept the playoffs winning the team’s first Northwest League Championship. Hillsboro repeated the feat in 2015, finishing with the best record in the south division once again and winning back-to-back NWL titles.

Since 2013, six former Hops players have gone on to play in the majors, including pitcher Aaron Blair and shortstop Dansby Swanson, who both debuted with the Atlanta Braves in 2016; pitchers Zac Curtis and Brandon Shipley plus first baseman Mike Freeman, who all debuted with the Diamondbacks in 2016; and pitcher Ariel Hernandez, who debuted with the Cincinnati Reds in 2017.

Below is CSN’s complete Hillsboro Hops schedule:



Time (PT)

Friday, June 23

vs. Boise Hawks

7 p.m.

Friday, June 30

vs. Everett Aquasox

7 p.m.

Friday, July 14

vs. Eugene Emeralds

7 p.m.

Friday, July 21

vs. Spokane Indians

7 p.m.

Tuesday, August 1

All-Star Game


Friday, August 4

vs. Vancouver Canadians

7 p.m.

Friday, August 18

vs. Eugene Emeralds

7 p.m.

McGregor-Mayweather reminds me of Ali-Inoki and could be the same sort of fiasco

McGregor-Mayweather reminds me of Ali-Inoki and could be the same sort of fiasco

The fight a whole lot of people seem excited to see -- Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather -- has finally been signed. It will happen in Las Vegas, of course, on Aug. 26.

It appears both fighters will get about $100 million for their time and this thing is likely to set records for pay-per-view numbers. And if you think that's high, just take a moment to remember how well McGregor promotes his fights. His wackiness (NSF) at some point before Aug. 26 is going to set this thing on fire.

But come on, a man who has never boxed in his life against someone who is considered perhaps the greatest technical boxer of all time? I know that Mayweather isn't a knockout guy but I'm having a hard time envisioning McGregor even being able to hit Mayweather. There is a real chance this whole thing will turn into a fiasco.

I remember a similar sort of bout many years ago. Does anyone recall Muhammad Ali vs. Antonio Inoki? That fiasco took place in 1976 and matched Inoki -- a pro wrestler -- vs. Ali, in Japan. Without getting into the specifics of the thing, somebody was supposed to lose this bout as a worked match, as in pro wrestling. But it didn't work out that way. What followed was one of the most boring exhibitions I've ever seen, bordering on  slapstick, with Inoki mostly on his back attempting to kick Ali and the boxer trying to avoid the kicks and screaming at Inoki to get up and fight.

But that spectacle made both participants a lot of money (an estimated 1.4 billion people watched it). It worked as a business venture, if not as entertainment. I would say this has a chance to be in the same league. You order this match for about 100 bucks and you'll very likely be sorry you did.

Will I buy it? Yeah, probably. By the time we get there, it's going to be pretty difficult to resist.


Tacoma to host Triple-A All-Star Game, but will any Rainiers get voted in?

Tacoma Rainiers

Tacoma to host Triple-A All-Star Game, but will any Rainiers get voted in?


While doing my mundane, weekly perusing of minor league baseball player stats a few weeks ago, I discovered the Triple-A All-star game will be hosted by the Tacoma Rainiers on the weekend of July 12 this year. That’s kind of cool for Seattle Mariners and baseball fans alike! The Pacific Coast League and the Independent League on the east coast are always loaded with prospects and promising players, but this year might be one of the best from an overall talent perspective.

While many of the minor league’s best – including Chicago White Sox third baseman Yoan Moncada (current leading vote-getter), Oakland shortstop Franklin Barreto and New York Mets shortstop Ahmed Rosario will likely be there, what about the host team? Who from Tacoma has a chance to represent the Mariners?


For those of you who haven’t voted for the Triple-A All-stars yet (don’t everyone raise their hands at once), the ballot includes a fair share of players from Tacoma – including Christian Bergman, Sam Gaviglio, Boog Powell, Tyler Smith and Ben Gamel.

If that list of names looks suspicious, it’s because they are all currently on the Mariners team, and contributing on a regular basis (for now…hopefully). I have no idea what the rules are as far as MLB service time and eligibility for the all-star game, but if I had to make an educated guess, I would word it as follows:

Any player currently on a major-league roster at the time of the Triple-A All-Star break will not be eligible to participate in the all-star weekend festivities. If a player was briefly called up or has ‘x-amount’ of innings pitched or fewer at the major-league level or ‘x-amount’ of at bats or fewer at the major league level this season and are currently assigned to the organization’s Triple-A team, then they are eligible to participate in the all-star game.

That’s not even remotely direct from a rule book. I just made that up, but I needed to establish a baseline for the rest of this column.


When I filled out my ballot a couple weeks ago, I was very conflicted with some of my PCL choices. I wanted to vote for Bergman and Caviglio, but I didn’t because they are up with the Mariners. Tuffy Gosewich, however, I didn’t feel compelled to vote for, nor did not voting for him make me upset. (Sorry Tuffers)

I was able to vote for Dan Vogelbach, who was with the Mariners briefly, but not enough to warrant not earning a vote. I also went with Tyler O’Neil – despite his .219 average. He does have 25 RBIs to go with six home runs and five steals.

Gamel, however, did not get my vote either. He might not see Triple-A again, but once the Mariners get healthy, who knows? It can make voting hard – especially if fans don’t know the guidelines.

For example, Cody Bellinger is on the ballot for first basemen. Last I knew he is the current favorite for National League rookie of the year and playing almost every day in L.A. Dodger fans would be pretentious enough to vote for him on the Triple-A ballot anyway. (Zing!)


There should be plenty of talent in Tacoma, even if some of the big-name guys get called up permanently within the next month. Aside from the three I already mentioned – Moncada, Barreto and Rosario – top prospect in Milwaukie’s system, outfielder Lewis Brinson, is putting together a strong season for the Colorado Sky Sox.

Derek Fisher in the Astros system seems to be leading the next wave of prospects to come out of the Houston pipeline. He is expected to make the trip to Tacoma along with Iowa’s catcher Victor Caratini to lead the PCL squad.

On the Independent League side, I don’t know if a lot of Canadians are voting or what’s going on, but barely behind the White Sox multi-million-dollar Cuban superstar investment Moncada in voting is the Buffalo Bisons’ (Blue Jays affiliate) Jake Elmore. Elmore, a second baseman, is hitting a mild .219, with zero home runs, 22 RBIs and eight steals. There are better second basemen to choose from – including Braves top prospect Ozzie Albies – hitting .262 with three home runs, 18 RBIs and 15 steals.

What are the Canadian voters doing to the Independent League voting? At least Rainiers fans have an excuse – all of their players are in the majors.

On a more serious note, if Rhys Hoskins of the Phillies doesn’t get called up soon, he will be a monster to watch in Tacoma in July as a first basemen representing the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (I just wanted to say Iron Pigs).


Good luck trying to vote for your all-stars, Tacoma and Seattle fans. Regardless of who gets in for the Rainiers (Gosewich will not), it will be a fun game to watch. Sometimes Triple-A games can be filled with aging players, trying to hang onto a career (Leonys Martin), or simply players who are better suited for the minor leagues than the big leagues (Gordon Beckham), but there is a good side to watching minor league baseball.

I drove to Buffalo back in the day to watch Stephen Strasburg’s Triple-A debut and it was arguably the best game I’ve ever been to. It had a World Series feel to it – seriously. I’ve been to both events, and seeing 99 on the ‘not-so-big screen’ to a packed house of maybe 20,000 cheering on the opponent’s pitcher was pretty awesome.

There will be plenty of star power on display in Tacoma. You might have to cheer for players from other teams this year, but think of it as you are simply enjoying the sport of baseball in an exhibition setting. It certainly doesn’t get much better than that.

The Mariners are winning again, so that’s good. The weather will get crappy-ish again, so that’s not as good, but enjoy your weekend anyway. If you get super bored, feel free to vote in the Triple-A All-Star game by visiting this link.

CSN takes home three regional Emmy awards

CSN takes home three regional Emmy awards

CSN Northwest won three Emmy Awards for excellence in television production this weekend at the Northwest Regional Emmy Awards ceremony, including awards for Promotion of a Sports Program, One Time Sports Special, and Graphic Arts. The awards were presented Saturday, June 3 by the Northwest Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences at the Fremont Studios in Seattle, Wash.

CSN’s marketing campaign for the Portland Trail Blazers took home the inaugural award for Promotion of a Sports Program. The campaign featured murals throughout Portland, Ore., created by local artists. Dotting the urban landscape, the murals highlighted the artistic spirit of the community and showcased members of the Portland Trail Blazers. 

Primetime special, Ashton Eaton - Quest for Gold, took home the Emmy for One Time Sports Special, marking the third time in four years that CSN Northwest has won the category. The 30-minute special highlights the bond between Bend, Ore., native and two-time Olympic gold medalist, Ashton Eaton, and his mother, Roz. The piece was produced by Senior Editor, Michael Stringfield. The special, in its entirety, can be found here.

CSN Northwest Graphic Designer, Kyle Parker, took home his third Emmy award for graphic design in four years. A six-year network veteran, Parker oversees all of CSN Northwest’s graphic packages, creating fresh and captivating designs for games, shows and events.

“We are proud of the achievements that our CSNNW team has made this past year,” said Senior Executive Producer Jeff Ingalls. “It is an honor to be recognized by our peers for our collaborative and successful work as storytellers.”

Video highlights from CSN’s winning categories are available here, and a complete list of winners is available at www.natasnw.org.

Portland’s Journey Newson to fight for CageSport Bantamweight Title

Portland’s Journey Newson to fight for CageSport Bantamweight Title


On July 15th, Portland’s own Journey Newson will square off against Anthony Zender for the CageSport Bantamweight title at the Emerald Queen Hotel and Casino in Tacoma, Washington. The two fought this past December with Newson coming out victorious and snapping the 6-fight win streak of Zender. Zender will undoubtedly be looking to exact some revenge on Newson while walking away with the belt. For Newson, this will be the first title shot of his professional career, and he aims to make a successful one by securing another stoppage victory over his veteran opponent.

Journey Newson has been on a very successful run since suffering his first loss this past October. Since the loss, he has secured back-to-back submission wins under the CageSport banner and most recently won his match at Submission Underground 4 by heal hook in regulation. His skills on the mat have evolved a great deal over the last two years and training with the team at Impact Jiu-Jitsu has made him one of the most competitive purple belts on the local scene. I had a chance to talk to Newson about his upcoming title fight and how he sees it playing out. For Newson, anything less than a finish is unacceptable.

“I am looking to finish this fight, and finish it a lot faster than the last time. The last fight he won the first round, I devastated him with ground and pound in the second round, and then in the third he shot in and I caught him with the guillotine. This time I just want to get the finish faster.”

With his recent string of submission victories, Newson also wanted to be clear that he isn’t just going in there hunting for the submission, he wants to show off his striking too.

“I really want to get in there and work some standup in this fight. You know, I had my last two fights finished with the sub. Then I took some time off from boxing to prepare for Submission Underground. I really want to show some hands in this fight, definitely show some boxing.”

More than anything, Newson just wants to fight and he knows that his opportunities at bantamweight might be limited, even with the belt around his waist. He expressed to me that he isn’t sure whom he would face next at 135lbs should he win the belt. Two things are certain though: he is perfectly fine with moving up to fight at 145lbs if he has to, and fighting at 125lbs is not going to happen. To use his own words, “Cutting to 125 would suck.”

Winning this title fight would put Newson in a new position in his professional career. There would be a huge target on his back and he wants nothing more than to keep that target squarely between his shoulders. He plans on heading north to Seattle to try and train with UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson, then head down south to train with Team Alpha Male in Sacramento. He is clearly ready for the pressure of being a champion and he expects that journey to begin on July 15th.

Prefontaine Classic Preview


Prefontaine Classic Preview


One of track and field’s yearly traditions will take place this weekend in Eugene Oregon. The Prefontaine Classic held at Hayward Field hosts some of the sport’s best athletes and will kick off the majority of their outdoor seasons. The beauty in the name of the meet embodies the high level of competition. Steve Prefontaine on many accounts is considered the best distance runner to come out of the storied University of Oregon program. Furthermore, Pre fought for athlete rights and compensation at a time when Olympians weren’t fairly paid. This essentially lead to these athletes having their current platforms and livelihoods. Below are the names and storylines to watch at Friday and Saturday’s meet.


There will be a host of Ducks participating in the meet. Jenna Prandini will have her hands full in the 200m with the decorated Olympian Allyson Felix. The women’s 400m hurdles brings a trio of runners with Olympic experience in Dalilah MuhammadAshley Spencer and Shamier Little. Muhammad and Spencer walked away from the Rio Olympics with gold and bronze medals. Lastly, the 100m hurdles field of runners includes Kristi CastlinNia Ali and Dawn Harper-Nelson. Nelson a 2008 Olympic gold medalist, Ali a 2016 silver medalist and Castlin a 2016 bronze medalist should give the fans a true treat.


Devon Allen headlines the men’s 110m hurdles and he’ll be accompanied by two former Olympians in Aries Merrit and the seasoned veteran David Oliver. The men’s 100m dash should be a thrill. If you were a fan of the race in the Rio Olympics you should recognize a few faces. The silver medalist Justin Gatlin will be participating along with the 2016 bronze medalist Andre De GrasseRonnie Baker is a name to keep in mind, as he’s the only runner in the field to run under 10.0s this year. We won’t have another LaShawn Merritt vs. Kirani James matchup this year, however the field does bring something to the table. Merritt (3rdplace in 2016 Olympics), Vernon NorwoodTony McQuay, and Baboloki Thebe, whom have all run under 45s, will be a part of this year’s race. The triple jump to the surprise of many may be the best event of the meet, which includes the silver and gold medalists from the 2016 Olympics. If you’re looking for fireworks, Will Claye and Christian Taylor should be able to provide the crowd with a few.  Finally, the Bowerman mile, the meets lead event will include a host of Kenyans, many of which are making their season debut.

The meet will begin Friday at 7 and there will be coverage on NBC enjoy!

Faber Learns, Schwartz Shines, And Shields Wins At Submission Underground 4


Faber Learns, Schwartz Shines, And Shields Wins At Submission Underground 4

Over the weekend, Chael Sonnen and the team at FloGrappling.com closed the books on another successful Submission Underground (SUG) event. SUG4 brought with it star power, top-level grappling, and a bit of drama. Urijah Faber was as charismatic as anyone who has ever competed at SUG, Phil Schwartz of 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu secured the most exciting submission of the night, and Jake Shields versus Dillon Danis came down to just an 8 second difference to declare a victor. Through all the action, Faber, Schwartz, and Shields stood out as competitors who gained the most at SUG4.

Faber Left with Something to Prove 

Urijah Faber was certainly the fan favorite of the night. The “California Kid” was welcomed with open arms by the Oregon crowd who even sang the recent UFC Hall of Fame inductee Happy Birthday (Sunday was Faber’s 38th birthday). All of that support did not help Faber out grapple his opponent, two-time Jiu-Jitsu World Champion, Paulo Miyao. While Faber was able to avoid the leg lock attempts of Miyao early, his use of pure power and speed did not put him in position to have Miyao in any danger in regulation. With regulation a stalemate, the overtime periods began and this was where many expected Faber to shine, as escape time often relates directly to explosiveness, which he has in spades. Miyao’s technique proved too strong even for the athleticism of Faber, however. After the match, Faber said he would love the opportunity to train with Miyao and pick his brain a bit. Going further, he seemed very enthusiastic about the potential of returning to the SUG cage. He expressed a desire to have a more focused training camp and seemed motivated by the loss. With more time to prepare and knowing better what to expect, don’t be surprised if Faber returns to SUG to right the ship.

***Potential Matchups – AJ Agazarm, Gordon Ryan

Phil Schwartz’s Star is Rising   

10th Planet Portland standout Phil Schwartz undoubtedly took home the submission of the night at SUG4. Schwartz squared off against Torryn “The Falcon” Heffelfinger in a match that was pure action from the very start. The two traded positions until Schwartz was able to secure a triangle choke. The sequence that followed was masterful by the 10th Planet brown belt. Schwartz pulled down on his shin before switching back to his opponent’s head. He then shifted his hips to tighten the triangle and hooked Heffelfinger’s outside leg, forcing a sweep to the mount. Schwartz made an adjustment on the arm from mount, falling back and extending the arm for what appeared to be an arm bar and forcing the tap from Heffelfinger. After the match, I had a chance to speak with Schwartz, who told me it wasn’t an arm bar at all; it was actually a move that he created called the Schwifty Lock. This lock is a modified Americana that Schwartz sets up by making space in the choke for his opponent and freeing up the arm. He then torques the arm to out and back to create pressure on the shoulder. This was Schwartz’s third appearance in the SUG cage and he has only been more impressive each time back. Expect a huge step up in competition for Schwartz on the next SUG card; the undercard can’t contain him much longer.

***Potential Matchups – Bryan Nuro, Dante Leon

Jake Shields Secures His Place at the Top

Jake Shields proved once again that he is one of the best grapplers on the planet. He outworked Dillon Danis to secure a win via fastest total escape time. Not that the match wasn’t close; Shields only bested Danis by an 8 second difference. Danis did get a hold of Shields’ neck and worked the squeeze on a tight guillotine, but it was not to be. Shields and Danis spent much of the opening frame in a classic wrestling standoff looking for dominant positions. For Danis, this was a huge mistake as Shields has a fantastic wrestling pedigree. For all the hype surrounding Danis, no one took him more seriously than Shields, who repeatedly praised the skill of the recent Bellator MMA signee. After the match, Danis fled the ring and then the building, answering no questions and making no statement. Shields has now won two SUG main event slots and is in position to ask for just about any opponent he chooses. When asked about who he’d like to face Shields, said his dream scenario would pit him against former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.

***Potential Matchups- Jon Jones, Georges St. Pierre