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Volcanoes Rally to Win Third StraightSalem-News.com Sports
After taking the series opener, the Volcanoes will look to clinch their first series victory of the season when the teams reconvene on Thursday evening.
(HILLSBORO, Ore.) - After going down by scores of 8-1 and 3-0 in the Volcanoes previous two outings, Salem-Keizer did themselves no favors on Wednesday evening by surrendering five first-inning runs to the Hops.
However, the Volcanoes scored eight unanswered runs of their own to defeat the Hops 8-6 in front of a record-setting crowd of 4,853 at Ron Tonkin Field.
Hillsboro didn't wait long to get the bats warmed up in their home opener, striking for five runs off of five hits in the bottom of the first. Starting lefty Drew Leenhouts (0-1, 10.13) was roughed up in the inning, highlighted by a two-run blast to deep center field in an inning where Hillsboro sent nine batters to the plate.
After recording just one out, Leenhouts was pulled in favor of Cameron McVey (0-0, 0.00) who compiled one of the best relief efforts in recent Volcanoes history. McVey tossed three and two-thirds innings of scoreless and hitless ball for Salem-Keizer, recording a career-high seven strikeouts while walking just one.
While McVey was taking care of business atop the mound, the Volcanoes' offense went to work trying to dig themselves out of the early 5-0 hole.
After failed attempts to get things going in the first and second innings, Salem-Keizer got the wheels turning in the third inning. Leadoff man Tyler Hollick singled through the hole at second base to plate the Volcanoes' first run of the inning. Later in the frame, Craig Massoni drove in Fargas on a sacrifice fly to right field.
Still trailing by three entering the fifth, the Volcanoes went back to work. The bases were loaded for the second time in three innings for Geno Escalante, who scorched a ball to deep right-center field, bouncing off the synthetic turf and over the wall for a two-RBI ground-rule double. With the deficit trimmed to one, Shilo McCall knocked in Leo Rojas to knot the score at five.
Eury Sanchez (2-0, 4.91) entered the game in relief for the Volcanoes, picking up right where McVey left off. Sanchez pitched two scoreless innings for Salem-Keizer and was credited with the win, benefiting from the Volcanoes continued scoring.
The Volcanoes broke the tie just one inning after they forced it as a leadoff walk drawn by Relaford came around to score on a wild pitch.
Seeking insurance runs in the seventh, the Volcanoes expanded upon their one-run lead thanks to a two-RBI double by Relaford on a ball that was lost in the lights by Hops' center fielder Taylor Ratliff.
The Volcanoes three-run lead was narrowed to two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, but it was a tale of too little, too late for the Hops who dropped to 4-2 on the season.
It was a well-rounded performance from the Volcanoes lineup with seven of the nine starters recording base hits. Two-RBI performances came off the bats of Relaford and Escalante, while Ryan Jones, Rojas, and McCall each recorded multiple hits. As a team, Salem-Keizer out-hit the Hops 10-9 to even their record on the season to 3-3.
Up Next: After taking the series opener, the Volcanoes will look to clinch their first series victory of the season when the teams reconvene on Thursday evening. It's a 7:05 p.m. first pitch from Ron Tonkin Field as right-hander Jose Reyes (0-1, 3.60) will take the mound for Salem-Keizer against Hillsboro starter Tyler Doran (0-0, 1.50).
Source: Salem-Keizer Volcanoes
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