Salem-Keizer lefty Deiyerbert Bolivar closed out the top of the ninth in the Volcanoes 6-3 loss to Hillsboro on Thursday, Sept. 5 (KEIZERTIMES/Matt Rawlings).
The Volcanoes first trip to the postseason since 2015 was a short one as Salem-Keizer was swept by Hillsboro in a best-of-three series, losing game one by a score of 2-1 on Wednesday, Sept. 4 in Hillsboro and then dropping game two at home 6-3 the following day.
Salem Keizer’s offense couldn’t take advantage of tremendous pitching performances from Kervin Castro and Travis Perry in game one. Castro got the start and retired the side in order in the first two frames.
Perry then came onto pitch five innings in relief, giving up three hits and no earned runs while striking out five.
Hillsboro starter Tyler Holton was perfect through three innings until Yorlis Rodriguez drove a 2-0 fastball over the center field wall to give the Volcanoes the 1-0 lead.
However, it would be the only time that a Volcanoes player would reach base for the entire game.
Holton would finish his six-inning outing with 10 strikeouts and gave up just the one hit for the contest.
Left-hander Nick Snyder came into throw three perfect innings in relief to be credited with the win.
After being shut out for the first seven innings, the Hops tied the game at 1-1 when Andy Yerzy hit an RBI-single to right field off Volcanoes righty Miguel Figueroa, scoring Corbin Carroll.
Despite giving up a run in the bottom of the eighth, Volcanoes acting manager Nestor Rojas elected to bring back Figueroa for the ninth.
The decision came back to bite the Volcanoes as Liover Peguero hit a walkoff ground-rule double with a runner on second to send Hillsboro to victory.
Offense was a little more prevalent in game two with Hillsboro jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
The Hops got a third run in the top of the second of Volcanoes starting pitcher Caleb Kilian, but Salem-Keizer responded in the bottom half of the frame.
After a single by Luis Toribio and a walk from Brandon Martorano, first baseman Tyler Flores lined a double to right field, scoring Toribio from second. Martorano would score moments later thanks to an RBI-groundout from Jeff Houghtby, trimming the deficit to 3-2.
Salem-Keizer’s Connor Nurse pitched in relief of Kilian and gave up a pair of runs in the fifth and another run in the seventh, giving Hillsboro the 6-2 advantage. Volcanoes slugger Harrison Freed, however, got one back in the bottom of the seventh with a solo blast to right field.
Despite the deficit, Salem-Keizer definitely made things interesting for the home crowd in the bottom of the ninth.
Hillsboro closer Eduardo Herrera struck out the first two batters of the inning, but walks from Flores and Houghtby, plus a single from Freed, loaded up the bases and brought the winning run to the plate.
Hops manager Javier Colina elected to take out Herrera and put in Mailon Arroyo to get the final out.
After getting ahead 0-1 in the count, Arroyo got Salem-Keizer right fielder Jairo Pomares to pop up to the third baseman, which ended the game and sent the Hops to the championship series.