Hitting, pitching come up short in loss to Boise Hawks

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By HERB SWETT
For the Keizertimes

The Volcanoes blew a lead Tuesday night to end up on the short side of a 7-4 game with visiting Boise.

A Hawk club that went into the game batting only .236 for the season got 17 hits, including a solo home run by Alvaro Ramirez as an insurance run in the eighth inning. A three-run rally in the sixth gave the Hawks all the runs they needed.

Salem-Keizer scored its first three runs in the second inning. Jesse Shriner walked and went to third base on Danny Brock’s double to right center field. Alex Burg singled to left to drive in Shriner. Julio Izturis reached first base by forcing Burg out at second, with Brock scoring. Carlos Quintana singled to right, sending Izturis to third. Chris Lofton grounded out, but Izturis scored on the play.

Boise’s first two runs came in the fifth. Alvaro Ramirez hit an infield single, went to second on a wild pitch and reached third when Pierre LePage grounded out. Jesus Morelli singled to left field to send Ramirez home, and Richard Jones doubled to right center, scoring Morelli.

The Volcanoes answered with a run in the bottom of the fifth. Lofton singled and came home on a triple by Raynor Campbell. Dustin Fitzgerald relieved starter Marcos Perez and retired the next two batters to end the inning.

Starter Shane Kaufman left the game with a 4-2 lead after five innings. Mario Rodriguez gave up singles to the first two Boise batters in the sixth, Elliot Soto and Micah Gibbs. A double play followed, with Soto scoring.

In the seventh, the Hawks went ahead for good. Ramirez singled with a bunt, and Kaohi Downing replaced Rodriguez. Ramirez went to third on a single by Morelli and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jones. Morelli reached second on a wild pitch, and Matt Szczur (pronounced “Caesar”) walked. Soto’s single to left scored Morelli and Szczur.

The Volcanoes threatened in the eighth, loading the bases after two were out and Aaron Kurcz relieved Fitzgerald, but Quintana, the next batter, hit into a forceout.

Boise loaded the bases in the ninth with one out, but a double play followed. In the Volcanoes’ ninth, Campbell hit an infield single with one out, but Kurcz struck out the next two batters.

“We didn’t take care of business early,” manager Tom Trebelhorn said of the loss. “They got a lot of hits. We’re lucky they didn’t score 10.”

He said that he was pleased with Kaufman’s pitching and that the starting rotation was improving.

Bob Mariano, roving hitting instructor in the San Francisco Giants organization, is here for the current home stand and Tuesday night saw this year’s Volcanoes for the first time.

Mariano said he knew the Salem-Keizer hitting was already improving.

Matt Graham, who pitched the eighth and ninth innings for the Volcanoes, commented, “We didn’t string together enough hits in a row.”

Campbell’s observation was, “We came through at some points in the game, but we had opportunities that we missed out on.”

Fitzgerald was the winning pitcher, Downing the loser.

Attendance was 1,952.

In other news:

Tonight (Friday, July 16), the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes celebrate its fifth annual “Striking Out Meth in Marion County Night.”

The event is sponsored by the Marion County Public Safety Coordinating Council.

See Marion County Sheriff Jason Myers arrive by helicopter. Myers will be joined on the field by other police, fire and safety representatives.

The Volcanoes will also wear their new “Striking Out Meth in Marion County” game jerseys.

After the game there will be a fireworks show sponsored by Carl’s Jr. Game time is 7:05 p.m., with gates opening at 6 p.m.

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