Salem-Keizer breaks out of slump against Everett

Volcanoes second baseman Jeff Houghtby prepares to fire to first after fielding a hard grounder to his left (KEIZERTIMES/Matt Rawlings).

The Volcanoes bats got hot on Sunday, Aug. 18, whipping their visitors from Everett by a score of 13-4.

It did not look promising at first to the home crowd of 2,014, because starting pitcher Jasier Herrera allowed three first-inning singles that produced two runs. He also gave up another single before getting his first out.

The AquaSox’s Kevin Santa led off with a single to left field. Cesar Izturis then singled to center, and a poor outfield throw allowed both runners to move up 90 feet. Utah Jones drove both runners home with a hit to right center field. 

Trent Tingelstad’s hit followed, which forced pitching coach Dwight Bernard to make a trip to the mound. Herrera then struck out Connor Hoover, walked Robert Perez, struck out Cade Marlowe and got Brennon Kaleiwahea to fly out to center to get out of trouble.

Herrera held Everett scoreless from the third through the fifth innings and came out of the game after giving up two runs early in the sixth. He still became the winning pitcher with a 2-1 record.

Salem-Keizer’s first rally came in the third inning. Facing Jorge Benitez, who had replaced starter Tim Elliott after two innings, Hunter Bishop drew a walk. Marco Luciano followed with a single to left, with Bishop reaching second, and a single to left by Alex Canario scored Bishop. Jairo Pomares was hit by a pitch and Armani Smith hit a bases-loaded triple to center, giving the Volcanoes the 4-2 advantage. 

The Volcanoes added two more runs in the bottom of the fifth. Luciano doubled down the left field line. Then, Pomares was hit by a pitch for the second time on the evening. Brandon Martorano later drove in both runners with a single to left field.

Everett’s remaining two runs came in the sixth. Connor Hoover singled to center and scored as Robert Perez doubled. Ben Madison relieved Herrera and retired the next batter. A pair of wild pitches moved Perez to third and then home.

The Volcanoes answered with two runs of their own in the sixth. After Yorlis Rodriguez singled to left, Brock Minich replaced Benitez on the mound. But he wouldn’t fair much better as Bishop homered off Benitez over the right center field fence.

Salem-Keizer added a run in the seventh when Smith singled to right, advanced on a passed ball and scored on a single to left by Rodriguez.

Four more Volcano runs came in the eighth with Fred Villarreal on the mound. Bishop tripled to right, Luciano walked, Canario drove in Bishop with a single to left and Luciano scored on a wild pitch. Pomares reached first on an error that let Canario score and Carter Aldrete drove in Pomares with a single to center field.

Tyler Schimpf pitched the eighth, setting the AquaSox down in order with two strikeouts.

Wednesday, Aug. 14: Eugene 4, Volcanoes 2

Two Emerald runs in the seventh inning extended the Volcanoes’ road losing streak.

Salem-Keizer and Eugene were tied at 2-2 when a single by the Emeralds’ Chase Strumpf scored Fernando Kelli and moved Edmond Americaan to third base. Americaan stole home moments later.

After that, the Volcanoes got nowhere offensively. For the game, they had only two hits, a single by Carter Aldrete and a double by Yorlis Rodriguez.

Yunior Perez was the winning pitcher in relief with a 2-3 record and Joe Nahas got his first save. The losing pitcher, also in relief, was Israel Cruz at 2-1.

Thursday, Aug. 15: Eugene 5, Volcanoes 3

Salem-Keizer never recovered from Eugene’s four-run rally in the second inning, which allowed their losing streak to increase to five.

The Volcanoes left 13 runners on base to the Emeralds’ four and were outhit 8-5. Their only highlights were Beicker Mendoza’s first home run of the season, Kwan Adkins’ two hits and reliever Miguel Figueroa’s two scoreless innings.

In the Eugene second, Jacob Olson doubled Grayson Byrd home and scored on a single by Pedro Martinez. Jake Washer later doubled Martinez home and scored on an error.

Bryan King was the winning pitcher in relief at 2-1 and Riley McCauley had his sixth save. Volcano starter Conner Nurse took the loss for an 0-3 record.

Friday, Aug. 16: Eugene 9, Volcanoes 2

The Emeralds ran the Volcanoes’ losing streak to six.

Eugene took charge from the two-run second inning and had an 8-0 lead before Salem-Keizer scored twice in the seventh.

Except for two doubles by Carter Aldrete and a bases-empty home run by Hunter Bishop, the Volcanoes showed almost nothing offensively, being outhit 13-6.

For Eugene, Edmond Americaan, Josue Huma and Caleb Knight had three hits each.

Kervin Castro, usually the Volcanoes’ most effective starter, left the game after allowing five runs, three earned, and saw his record go to 4-3. Blake Whitney was the winning pitcher in relief for a 3-0 record.

Saturday, Aug. 17: Volcanoes 8, Everett 0

The Volcanoes snapped their losing streak impressively before a crowd of 2,505.

Leading the way was the battery, with starter Travis Perry going five innings for his fourth win against two losses., while catcher Brandon Martorano had three hits and three RBIs and scored a run. Pitching in relief was Jorge Labrador, who had three strikeouts Clay Helvey fanned four in his relif appearance.

Another offensive star was Alex Canario, who had two hits, drove in three runs and scored a run.

Salem-Keizer had 13 hits to Everett’s five. The AquaSox had their troubles with the leather, making six errors to none for the Volcanoes.

Damon Cassetta-Stubbs was the starting and losing pitcher. His record went to 3-2.

Monday, Aug. 19: Everett 9, Volcanoes 7

Salem-Keizer never caught up after Everett’s five-run rally in the second inning.

Highlights for the Volcanoes were two-run home runs by Kwan Adkins and Harrison Freed. The AquaSox did not hit any homers but outhit their hosts 9-7.

Cade Marlow led the Everett attack with three hits, two runs, and two RBIs.

Luis Curvelo was the winning pitcher in relief at 1-1 and Travis Kuhn had his fourth save. Taking the loss was Prelander Berroa, his first against no wins.

Tuesday, Aug. 20: Volcanoes 5, Boise 3

Conner Nurse became the first Volcano starter to pitch into the seventh inning this year as he gained his first win in a Salem-Keizer uniform. He had nine strikeouts in 6.1 innings and gave up just a pair of earned runs.

Leading the offense was Armani Smith, who had four hits, drove in two runs and scored one. He raised his batting average to .310. Teammates Yorlis Rodriguez, Alex Canario and Beicker Mendoza had two hits each. 

Mendoza hit his second home run of the season.

The Hawks also had a homer, hit by Daniel Cope in the second inning.

Miguel Figueroa had his second save. Jeffri Ocando, who started for Boise, took his seventh loss against one win.