By HERB SWETT
For the Keizertimes
The Volcanoes didn’t quite blow their lead July 31, but it was a wild one for the crowd of 3,029.
Everett scored twice in the first inning at Volcanoes Stadium, and Salem-Keizer responded with seven runs in the bottom of the first. Then the AquaSox scored twice in the second and were answered by one Salem-Keizer run.
In the third, Everett made it an 8-7 game, and that’s where the score stayed until the end.
It was Striking Out Substance Abuse night, featuring pregame police demonstrations and an appearance by McGruff the Crime Dog, brought in by helicopter.
The Volcanoes’ starting pitcher, Mac Marshall, was a starter at Chipola College and has had rough starts since joining the Volcanoes but is still considered to have the potential to keep that role. In 2-1/3 innings he gave up seven runs, four earned, on eight hits but struck out three and walked none.
In the top of the first, the AquaSox’s Shawn O’Malley doubled to center field, went to third base on a wild pitch and scored as Corey Simpson doubled to left center. Erick Mejia hit an infield single and reached second on a throwing error by second baseman Christian Lichtenthaler. Simpson scored on the play.
In the Salem-Keizer first, CJ Hinojosa walked with one out and reached second on a single to right by Ronnie Jebavy. Miguel Gomez doubled to right, scoring both baserunners. Jose Vizcaino Jr. doubled to right, with Gomez moving to third. Fernando Pujadas singled to left, scoring Gomez and sending Vizcaino to third. John Riley brought Vizcaino home with a single to right. Lichtenthaler bunted a single to load the bases.
Joe Pistorese then took the mound to replace starter Darin Gillies, who became the losing pitcher with a 1-2 record. Steven Duggar singled to left center, driving in Pujadas and Riley. Duggar was in a rundown trying to steal second but made it when shortstop O’Malley missed a throw. Lichtenthaler scored on the play.
Everett’s PJ Jones led off the second with a single to center and went to second on a wild pitch. Yordi Calderon reached first on a throwing error by third baseman Gomez that allowed Jones to score. Calderon stole second, went to third on a grounder and scored on a balk.
Jebavy led off the second with a home run, his fifth, over the left field wall. Gomez hit an infield single and went to second as an error by third baseman Logan Taylor put Vizcaino on first. Pujadas loaded the bases with an infield single, but Pistorese struck out Riley and got Julio Pena to hit into a double play.
The Volcanoes made double plays in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings.
In the Everett third, Simpson hit a one-out double to left and scored as Mejia doubled to center. Luis Liberato scored Mejia with a triple to right, and Jones singled to left to send Mejia home. Luis Pino, who became the winning pitcher with a 3-0 record, came in to relieve Marshall and retired the next two batters.
Nobody got farther than second base for the rest of the game. Jaret Leverett pitched the sixth and seventh for the Volcanoes and Lance Thonvold the sixth, seventh and eighth for the AquaSox. David Owen pitched the eighth for Salem-Keizer, and Caleb Smith pitched the ninth for his fifth save.
“When we started, “Volcanoes manager Kyle Haines said, “I didn’t think there was any way we’d win 8-7.” He added that Marshall, whose innings were limited this spring, was still projected as a starter.
Jebavy, who has stood out in most phases of the game and has gradually improved his batting average (.270 at the end of this game), said, “I’ve been working in the cage with Ricky (Ward, hitting coach).”
Owens, playing his first professional season, said he was not ready to guess what his eventual role would be. He called his curve his best pitch.