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Volcanoes Win Wild One over Hops, 6-5Salem-News.com Sports
To lead off the third inning, Mende collected his first hit as a Volcano.
(HILLSBORO, Ore. ) - It was a wild ending to another nail-biter from Ron Tonkin Field, as the Volcanoes relied on a game-ending, bases-loaded strike out from Eury Sanchez in the bottom of the ninth to claim a 6-5 victory on Saturday night.
The Volcanoes entered the home-half of the ninth inning with a 6-4 lead in hand. Salem-Keizer reliever Eury Sanchez surrendered a two-out ground-rule double to Hops' nine-hole hitter Justin Gonzalez on a ball that bounced off of the outfield turf and cleared the outfield wall.
However, the base umpire ruled that the hit was a home run, sending Gonzalez in to score much to the surprise of the 4,997 in attendance.
Sanchez took time to regain his composure following the curious ruling, hitting two batters and walking one to load the bases. However, Sanchez collected himself just in time to strike out Hillsboro's Jake Mayers to end the game with the tying run 90 feet away.
Salem-Keizer did, at one point, have a somewhat comfortable 4-0 lead through three innings, plating runs in the first and third frames.
Hops' starter Brent Jones struggled to find his control in the early goings, walking Johneshwy Fargas and T Relaford to begin the evening. Christian Arroyo knocked in the Volcanoes first run on an RBI single before newcomer Sam Mende scored another on a fielder's choice.
To lead off the third inning, Mende collected his first hit as a Volcano, singled to left field. On the ensuing at bat, Skyler Ewing blasted his second home run of the season over the left field wall to put the Volcanoes ahead 4-0.
Hillsboro came back to tie the score thanks to runs in the fourth and sixth inning off of Volcanoes' starter Ethan Miller. Back-to-back doubles by Hillsboro in the fourth scored a pair of runs, while three singles and some pitching miscues did the same in the sixth.
Salem-Keizer did not take long to reclaim their lead, scratching across a pair of runs in the top of the seventh. Will Callaway upped his league-leading hit streak to 15 games on a go-ahead RBI single. Hops' reliever John Pedrotty uncorked a two-out wild pitch to score Ewing later in the inning and grant the Volcanoes a 6-4 lead.
Steven Neff, Jake McCasland, and Sanchez combined to throw 3.2 innings of one-run baseball, bringing home the win for the Volcanoes. Neff was credited with his first win for Salem-Keizer while Sanchez earned his third save.
Salem-Keizer's offensive box score was highlighted by Relaford, Ewing, and Callaway - all of whom notched multi-hit performances for the Volcanoes.
Up Next: The series shifts to Keizer for the rubber match, a 5:05 p.m. first pitch from Volcanoes Stadium. Jason Forjet (2-0, 3.33) will climb the hill for Salem-Keizer, going up against Oregon State alumnus Scott Schultz (1-2, 5.16). The Volcanoes look to narrow Hillsboro's lead to just two games in the Northwest League South Division standings with a victory on Sunday.
Source: Salem-Keizer Volcanoes
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