By HERB SWETT
For the Keizertimes
An 11-2 loss to the Vancouver Canadians, last year’s Northwest League champion, opened the 2014 season for the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes June 13 at home before a crowd of 3,552.
Drew Leenhouts, an all-star pitcher last year, had a rough start, giving up two runs in the first inning and one in the second before settling down for the third, fourth and fifth. He was the losing pitcher; Vancouver led all the way.
Tyler Hollick and Christian Arroyo combined for three of the Volcanoes’ four hits. Hollick hit a single and a triple and scored both Salem-Keizer runs. Arroyo had a single and drove in both runs.
In the Canadian first inning, Franklin Barreto hit a one-out infield single and scored when David Harris tripled to center field. Harris scored as Boomer Collins grounded out.
The Volcanoes responded with one run in the first. Hollick walked and reached third base on a wild pickoff attempt by starting pitcher Alberto Tirado. Arroyo brought him home with a single to right.
Jonathan Davis led off the Vancouver second with a triple to left center. Sean Hurley walked. Christian Vasquez hit into a double play that allowed Davis to score.
Errors that put Travious Relaford and Geno Escalante on base in the bottom of the second gave the Volcanoes hope of catching up, but Tirado retired the other batters.
Salem-Keizer’s other run came in the third. Hollick led off with a triple to right center and scored as Arroyo grounded out.
Starlin Suriel came in to pitch for Vancouver in the fifth, and Geno Escalante led off with a double down the left field line. Randy Ortiz reached first on a fielder’s choice that caught Escalante in a rundown between second and third. Suriel, who ended up as the winning pitcher, retired the next two batters.
Eury Sanchez took the mound for the Volcanoes in the sixth. He gave up five runs on two hits and three wild pitches. Collins led off with a double down the right field line and went to third as Seth Conner singled to left. A wild pitch got Collins home and put Conner on second. Davis moved Conner to third with a sacrifice bunt. Conner scored on a wild pitch. Hurley and Vasquez walked, and another wild pitch moved them up. Roemon Fields reached first base on a throwing error by Relaford at third base that scored Hurley and moved Vasquez to third.
Armando Paniagua replaced Sanchez. Fields stole second, and a throwing error by catcher Leo Rojas allowed Vasquez to score and Fields to reach third. Barreto singled to center, driving in Fields.
Andrew Case pitched the sixth and seventh innings for Vancouver.
In the Vancouver seventh, Conner grounded a single to center and went to third as Davis doubled to left. Hurley walked, loading the bases, and Ian Gardeck came in to pitch. Conner and Davis scored on wild pitches.
Mark Biggs pitched the eighth inning and Brett Baker the ninth for the Canadians.
EJ Encinosa pitched the ninth for the Volcanoes. Davis led off with a triple to right center and scored the last Vancouver run on a wild pitch. Salem-Keizer set a club record for wild pitches in a game with seven.
Asked about Leenhouts’ early-inning trouble, Volcanoes manager Gary Davenport said, “I think a lot of it was that the catcher had never caught him before.”
Leenhouts, asked whether he had made any adjustments after the first inning, said: “Not really. Early in the game, I wasn’t pitching to my strength.”
Hollick summed up the loss as “just one of those days, I think.”