Volcano Chuckie Jones pops a fly ball to left field during a game with the Eugene Emeralds last week. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

For the Keizertimes

It took the strongest club in the Northwest League 11 innings, but the Everett AquaSox beat Salem-Keizer 4-2 Saturday at Volcanoes Stadium to sweep the three-game series.

Everett scored the first run of the game in the third inning, the Volcanoes went ahead by one in the fifth, and the AquaSox tied the score in the sixth. Errors hurt Salem-Keizer, but two bright spots were the starting pitching of Joe Biagini and the overall play of Ryan Jones.

Biagini picked off the only Everett baserunner in the first inning and struck out all three men he faced in the second. With one out in the third, he walked Michael Faulkner, who stole second base and went to third when Ketel Marte grounded out. Chris Taylor hit an infield single, driving in Faulkner, and a throwing error by shortstop Matt Duffy sent Taylor to second. The next batter flew out.

Jones, who had six fielding plays at second base and half of the Volcanoes’ six hits, was involved in all three outs in the top of the fourth, catching two pop flies and throwing the last batter out.

He doubled to left field to start the bottom of the fifth and went to third when a throwing error by third baseman Patrick Kivlehan put Sam Eberle on second. A sacrifice bunt by Kentrell Hill scored Jones and moved Eberle to third. Brennan Metzger was hit by a pitch from starting pitcher Jose Valdivia. Duffy was retired on a line drive that second baseman Marte barely snared with a dive to his right. Chuckie Jones singled to left, driving in Eberle.

With one out in the top of the sixth and Jamodrick McGruder on second base with a double, Chris Johnson came in to relieve Biagini. An error by new third baseman Stephen Branca put Taylor Ard on first. Johnson struck out Alfredo Morales. Duffy then made an error that allowed McGruder to score.

Valdivia hit Andrew Cain with a pitch to start the Volcanoes sixth, and Brandon Plotz took the mound. Plotz retired the next two batters, but Cain stole second. Eberle walked, but Hill popped out to end the threat.

In the bottom of the seventh and both halves of the eighth, the batters were retired in order. Ian Gardeck came in to pitch the ninth for the Volcanoes and gave up a single but struck out the next three AquaSox players.

Ryan Jones singled to lead off the Volcanoes ninth, with Dominic Leone pitching for Everett, and Eberle moved him to second with a sacrifice bunt. Michael Mergenthaler, pinch hitting for Hill, was intentionally walked. Metzger then grounded into a double play, forcing extra innings.

Mergenthaler stayed in the game as the left fielder, with Metzger moving to Hill’s spot in center. Gardeck retired the side in order with two strikeouts.

The Volcanoes went down 1-2-3 in the 10th. McGruder walked to lead off the 11th and scored on a double by Ard. After one out, Kivlehan singled Ard home and stole second and third. Gardeck struck out the next two men.

Ryan Jones singled with two out in the Volcanoe’s 11th, but Eberle struck out to end the game.

Leone was the winning pitcher and Gardeck the loser.

Manager Tom Trebelhorn of the Volcanoes, although he praised Biagini’s pitching, said the club had done a better job overall the previous night, when there were no Salem-Keizer errors.

Ryan Jones, asked about the quick improvement in his play after a few games with errors, said, “I finally stopped dropping.”

Biagini, who had been sent down from Augusta, the full-season class A club in the San Francisco Giants’ organization, was asked what he had been working on to knock down his earned run averages.

“Earlier in the year,” he said, I was having a couple of mechanical problems that were adjusted by the coaches.”

The attendance was 1,895.

EVE 00100100002    4  7  1
S-K 00102000000     2  6  3

W – Leone, 2-0
L – Gardeck, 1-1

Salem-Keizer struggles with Emeralds, Sox


For the Keizertimes


Wednesday, June 27:

Eugene 8, Volcanoes 4

The visiting Emeralds left with a sweep of their Salem-Keizer hosts.  A six-run sixth inning was all they needed, but they added two runs in the ninth.

The Volcanoes scored their first run in the first. Matt Duffy singled, went to third base on a double by Rafael Rodriguez and scored when Andrew Cain hit into a force out.

In the Eugene sixth, the Emeralds got half of their 12 hits of the game, two of them triples. Starting and losing pitcher Raymundo Montero was replaced by Franklin Noel after the first run of the inning and was responsible for two baserunners who soon scored.

In the Volcanoes seventh, Dashenko Ricardo doubled and scored on a single by Kentrell Hill, who then reached second on an error. Brennan Metzger was hit by a pitch, and Matt Duffy walked, loading the bases. Joe Rapp singled Hill and Metzger home.

Mark Picca was the winning pitcher in relief.


Thursday, June 28:

Everett 6, Volcanoes 4

The Volcanoes’ losing streak reached five in the first game of a home series with the AquaSox.

Joe Rapp got half of Salem-Keizer’s eight hits, including a two-run homer in the third inning, but his teammates struggled. The Volcanoes scored the first two runs of the game in the first and answered Everett’s two runs in the third with two in the same inning but failed to score after that.

Everett scored once in the fourth, on a solo home run by Alfredo Morales, and added two runs in the sixth and one in the eighth.

The AquaSox’ starting pitcher, Dylan Unsworth, was the winner, and Matthew Vedo had a save. Joe Kurrasch, the first of four Volcanoes relief pitchers, was the loser.


Friday, June 29:

Everett 7, Volcanoes 5

The AquaSox bombarded Salem-Keizer starter Mario Rodriguez for all seven of their runs, four in the first inning, two in the second and one in the fourth. The biggest of their 13 hits was a two-run homer by Patrick Kivlehan in the fourth.

Joe Rapp hit his second home run in two days for the Volcanoes, a solo shot, in their three-run second inning. The remaining Volcanoes runs came in the sixth, when Stephen Yarrow doubled, Dashenko Ricardo drove him in with a triple, and Jean Delgado scored Ricardo by grounding out.

Everett starter Ambioris Hidalgo was the winning pitcher. Oliver Garcia got his fourth save. Mason McVay relieved Rodriguez in the fifth inning, and Keith Bilodeau took the mound in the seventh.


Sunday, July 1:

Volcanoes 5, Vancouver 1

A losing streak ended at seven as the Volcanoes started a six-game series in Vancouver with a decisive victory.

Salem-Keizer led all the way. In the first inning, Matt Duffy singled, stole second base and scored on an error. With two out in the second, Stephen Branca walked, reached second on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Dashenko Ricardo.

The remaining three Volcanoes runs came in the third. Brennan Metzger singled, Duffy doubled and Joe Rapp reached first on a force attempt as an error scored Metzger. Michael Mergenthaler grounded out, driving in Duffy. Rafael Rodriguez singled Rapp home.

The Canadians scored their run in the fifth. Dan Klein walked and scored on a double by Ian Parmley.

Starter Joan Gregorio was the winning pitcher. Vancouver starter Eric Brown was the loser.


Monday, July 2:

Volcanoes 2, Vancouver 1

The Volcanoes made it two straight over the Canadians in a game that was scoreless through five innings.

Raymundo Montero, the starting pitcher, got his first win of the season and Keith Bilodeau his second save. Nicholas Purdy was the losing pitcher in relief.

The first Salem-Keizer run came from a solo homer by Chuckie Jones in the sixth inning. Jones scored the Volcanoes’ other run in the eighth after walking, moving to second base when a pitch hit Joe Rapp and reaching third on an error. Andrew Cain singled him home.

Cain had three hits, Jones and Sam Eberle two each.