By HERB SWETT
For the Keizertimes
The Volcanoes ended their 2010 season with a 9-4 win over the visiting Eugene Emeralds.
The victory meant Salem-Keizer’s only four-game winning streak of the season. A crowd of 2,875 saw the home club hit three home runs, and starting and winning pitcher Taylor Rogers set a Volcanoes record with 16 starts. Eugene starter Deiber Sanchez took the loss.
In the first inning, the Volcanoes got two more runs than they needed for the win, Eugene had scored the first run of the game in the top of the first, with Rico Noel tripling and Tyler Stubblefield’s sacrifice fly sending him home.
Salem-Keizer responded with two home runs that accounted for all five in the first. Carter Jurica singled to left center field, Mike Murray singled to left, Adam Duvall walked, and Devin Harris hit a grand slam to left. Jeff Arnold then came up and cleared the left field fence as well.
Eugene threatened in the second, when two successive errors by second baseman Duvall, who had made only six errors for the season, put runners on second and third. However, Duvall threw the next batter out to retire the side.
The Volcanoes scored again in the second. Jurica singled to center, stole second base and reached third on a passed ball. After a walk to Jose Medina, a sacrifice fly by Duvall brought Jurica home.
A new Eugene pitcher, Matt Irsfeld, faced the Volcanoes in the third and struck out the side.
In the top of the fourth, the Emeralds’ Wes Cunningham struck out but reached first base when catcher Arnold failed to catch the third strike. Cunningham stole second base, went to third on Rocky Gale’s single and scored when Connor Powers hit into a fielder’s choice.
The Volcanoes did not score in the bottom of the fourth, but Irsfeld lost his control, hitting Gary Brown, who was thrown out trying to steal second, and walking Murry and Medina before Duvall’s grounder ended the inning.
Eugene added a run in the fifth. Jorge Minyeti singled, went to second on Noel’s single and third when Stubblefield grounded out, and scored on a single by Cunningham.
In the bottom of the fifth, Alessio Angelucci took the mound and gave up a single to John Eshleman and a walk to Carlos Quintana, but no runs scored.
Edward Concepcion relieved Rogers in the sixth. Powers led off with a double, but Concepcion retired the next three batters.
In the Volcanoes’ sixth, Jurica greeted reliever Rob Gariano with a homer over the right field fence. Medina hit an infield single and was forced out on a grounder that put Duvall on first. Duvall went to second on an error and scored on Harris’ single to center. Arnold doubled down the left field line to score Harris.
Mario Rodriguez pitched the seventh and eighth for Salem-Keizer, allowing no runs. Eugene’s Chris Franklin pitched the eighth and gave up a single to Medina, who went to third on an error, but a double play retired the side.
Jake Dunning, the last Volcano pitcher, gave up a triple to Noel, who scored the last run of the game on a double by Stubblefield.
Manager Tom Trebelhorn, after noting that his Volcanoes had completed their best winning streak of the year, observed: “We were undermanned a bit this season. We didn’t always coordinate.”
The Arizona League Giants, the lowest-level club in the San Francisco Giants’ organization, just completed an excellent season. Trebelhorn, noting that many of the rookie club’s players could be Volcanoes in 2011, said, “They ended up with more of the 2010 draft than we got here.”
One of the bright spots for 2010 that Trebelhorn noted was that Ryan Scoma was named a Northwest League all-star outfielder,
Harris, who did not start the season as a Volcano, observed, “The team got better while I was here.”
Rogers, whose pitching improved over the season, said, “I try to rely on my sinker for the most part, focus on getting them out of the batter’s box as quickly as I can.”