By HERB SWETT
For the Keizertimes
A 7-3 win over Boise ended the series and the losing streak for the Volcanoes on Monday.
After trailing 3-2 in the middle of the fifth inning, Salem-Keizer went ahead 4-3 in the bottom of the fifth and kept the lead.
The crowd of 2,255 at Volcanoes Stadium saw the home team hit two home runs, one by Dylan Davis and one by Skyler Ewing. Kevin Brown hit one for the Hawks.
After the Whitaker Middle School brass quintet played the national anthem, two scoreless innings were played before the visitors scored three times in the third. Bryant Flete led off with a double to center field, starting pitcher Jose Reyes retired the next two batters, and Charcer Burks singled to left, scoring Flete. Brown then hit the ball over the right field fence.
The score stayed 3-0 until the Volcanoes came to bat in the fourth. On a 3-2 count, Oregon State product Dylan Davis led off with his homer, over the right center field wall. Hunter Cole hit an infield single, Travious Relaford bunted for a hit and Cole was picked off second base with a throw from catcher Mark Malave to shortstop Flete. Brett Kay walked, and with Austin Slater at bat, a wild pitch by starting pitcher Trevor Clifton moved Relaford to third. Slater grounded out but batted in Relaford.
At the start of the fifth, manager Gary Davenport of the Volcanoes was ejected for arguing too heatedly over umpire Tom West’s pickoff call.
Ryan McNeil took the mound for the bottom of the fifth. Christian Arroyo doubled to left center, and Ewing – who wears the same No. 44 that sluggers Hank Aaron, Willie McCovey, Reggie Jackson and Howard Johnson did – gave Salem-Keizer the lead by driving the ball over the right field fence.
Reyes, who had struck out six in his 5-2/3 innings, was replaced by left-hander Steven Neff because a left-handed hitter, Justin Marra, was coming to bat. Marra singled to left, but Neff retired Jesse Hodges on a force out.
A new pitcher, Trey Lang, faced the Volcanoes in the sixth. Relaford led off with a walk and reached second on a sacrifice bunt by Kay. A throwing error by Lang put Kay on first and Relaford on second. Seth Harrison singled to center, driving in both baserunners.
In the Volcano seventh, Davis hit an infield single and went to second on a throwing error by third baseman Hodges. Relaford’s sacrifice fly to right scored Davis.
Dusten Knight pitched the top of the ninth. He put two men on base, a double play followed, then a walk, but pinch hitter Charlie White lined out to Relaford at third to end the game.
“We needed this one bad,” Davenport said. “This game was good.”
“We just kept putting it together,” Arroyo said of his club’s performance.
Neff described the team effort as “just trying to make a playoff run.”