Day: June 24, 2014

MHS, PSU alum kicking for Thunder

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes It’s surprising to hear Zach Ramirez talk about his success at Portland State University as “unexpected.” Ramirez, who went by Zach Brown when he was a Celtic at McNary High School, started racking up school records as a sophomore and continued growth led to his being named as an All-American in numerous polls and venues after his junior season. His name is in the Viking record book for most career field goals and a field goal conversion rate of 89 percent among others, but he didn’t join the team as a kicker. “I was up there to be a receiver,” Ramirez said. “The transition was harder than I thought it would be because I wasn’t getting many minutes, maybe a few at the end of each game. It was difficult to have the whole team out there playing and watch it from the sideline.” Last week, a year after graduating from PSU, Ramirez signed on to play with the Arena Football League’s Portland Thunder as their place kicker. In his freshman year at PSU, the Vikings had a senior kicker and three more lined up right behind him. When his field time didn’t grow much in his second year, Ramirez made the decision to try out for kicker but he had to beat out the players in line ahead of him. “The...

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After All-Star win, Volcanoes hit wall

By HERB SWETT For the Keizertimes A 16-3 victory over a college all-star team June 12 helped prepare the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes for the 2014 season. The game, which featured home runs by Shilo McCall and newcomer Fernando Pujadas, showed the fans in Volcanoes Stadium several new as well as returning players as Salem-Keizer manager Gary Davenport made plenty of substitutions. Jason Forjet, the Volcanoes’ starting pitcher, allowed no runs and one hit in his four innings. He did not pitch long enough to get the win; that went to Kirk Singer, who pitched the fifth inning. The Volcanoes’ second inning was their first big one. Leo Rojas led off with a walk.  Travious Relaford hit an infield single.  After one out, McCall walked to load the bases. Tyler Hollick singled to right field, scoring Rojas and Relaford, and went to second base on a throw. Christian Arroyo doubled to right center, clearing the bases. Walks to Ryan Jones and Craig Massoni loaded the bases again, Rojas drove Arroyo home with a sacrifice fly, and Geno Escalante singled to left, scoring Jones. Salem-Keizer added a run in the third when Jones tripled to drive in Randy Ortiz, who had reached first base on a force out. McCall’s homer to right field led off the Volcano fifth. The All-Stars’ first run came in the sixth, when Kyle Dozier of Loyola Marymount...

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