Hillsboro native Ben Petrick will serve as a consultant for the first-year baseball team

The season is still more than three months away, but the Hillsboro Hops are already beginning to put the pieces in place for the club’s inaugural 2013 season.

The Class A Short Season minor league baseball team will be led onto the field by manager Audo Vicente. Vicente has managed in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization for five seasons.

The Hops will have a pitching coach who has much to teach them in Doug Drabek. The 13-year Major League Baseball veteran was the National League Cy Young Award winner in 1990 with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

J.R. House will be the Hops’ hitting coach for the second season following a promotion from Rookie League Missoula. House played parts of five seasons with the Pirates, Astros and Orioles.

The Hops will also have some local blood with Ben Petrick. The Hillsboro native and former Colorado Rockies catcher will serve on the Hops coaching staff as Consultant for the Arizona Diomandbacks.

Petrick will assist the young Hops players in getting acclimated to life as a professional baseball player.

The Hops are playing in their first season in Oregon after moving from Yakima, Wash. The Yakima Bears went 36-40 overall last season and 21-17 in the first half to clinch a playoff berth for the first time in club history.

The Hops begin their 38-game regular season on Friday, June 14 with a three-game series against the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes in Salem. The Hops will be making their home debut in their new stadium in Hillsboro on Monday, June 17 when they host the Eugene Emeralds for a three-game series.

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