Volcanoes can’t overcome fifth inning onslaught

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Michael Mergenthaler takes a cut during a game Sunday, July 29, vs. the Eugene Emeralds. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

By HERB SWETT
For the Keizertimes

The Volcanoes never recovered from a five-run blowout in the Eugene half of the first inning Saturday and lost the second game of their home series 11-6.

Despite outhitting the Emeralds 13-12 and showing life in the ninth inning, the Volcanoes failed to get rallies going at other times and showed the crowd of 2,827 uncharacteristic weaknesses. Eugene’s starting pitcher, Brandon Alger, allowed one hit and no runs in his three innings. Teammate Maxx Tissenbaum hit two home runs.

Raymundo Montero, who has been Salem-Keizer’s most effective starting pitcher this season, hit a batter, walked two and allowed two hits including a home run in the first inning, running his win-loss record to 3-4. His batterymate, Dashenko Ricardo, normally strong defensively, made two errors for the game.

The game featured San Francisco Giants jerseys and caps to honor the Volcanoes’ parent club. In most cases, the uniform numbers were different from those of the regular uniforms.

In the Eugene first, a pitch hit Jonathan Roof with one out, and Dane Phillips and Jeremy Baltz walked. Tissenbaum singled to right field, driving in Roof and Phillips and moving Baltz to third base. Goose Kallunki hit an infield single, scoring Baltz, and a missed-catch error by Ricardo put Tissenbaum on third. A double steal followed, with Tissenbaum scoring and Kalunki reaching second. Kallunki tried to get to third but was caught in a rundown. Alexi Colon homered to right field. Montero then struck out Alberth Martinez to retire the side.

The Emeralds added a run in the third on Tissenbaum’s first homer of the game.

In the bottom of the fourth, with Will Scott pitching for Eugene, the Volcanoes scored three times. Joe Rapp singled to left, Chuckie Jones walked, and Mac Williamson doubled to left, driving in Rapp. Jones went to third on the hit and scored as Trevor Brown singled to left, with Williamson going to third. Ricardo singled Williamson home.

Ian Gardeck, who had relieved Montero at the start of the fourth, allowed a single and a walk in the fifth but pitched himself out of trouble. Matthew Shepherd, who was to become the winning pitcher, took the mound in the fifth and pitched through the sixth, allowing only one baserunner.

In the Eugene sixth, Corey Adamson walked with one out and reached second on a wild pitch. A sacrifice bunt by River Stevens put him on third. Roof walked, and Mason McVay came in to pitch. Phillips singled Adamson home, and Baltz walked to load the bases. McVay then retired the side with a force out.

Chris Nunn took the mound for the Emeralds to start the Volcano seventh. Kentrell Hill singled and Matt Duffy and then Rapp walked with two out, but Nunn stopped the rally by striking out Jones.

Stephen Johnson pitched the eighth for Salem-Keizer, walking Roof. Tissenbaum then hit his second home run.   The Volcanoes tried to respond in the bottom of the eighth, with Roman Madrid pitching, as Williamson reached first on an error by shortstop Stevens and Mitchell Delfino singled, but two strikeouts and a force out followed.

Randall Ziegler faced the Emeralds in the ninth, walking Martinez and giving up a single to Stevens. Roof singled Martinez home, sending Stevens to second. Adamson singled to right, and an error by right fielder Williamson allowed Stevens to score.

In the Volcanoes ninth, Hill singled and scored on a double by Rapp. Collin Reynolds came in to pitch with two out, Williamson doubled Rapp home, and Delfino drove in Williamson with a single. Brown grounded out to end the game.

“We didn’t get out of the chute good,” manager Tom Trebelhorn said of his Volcanoes. “We got buried a little bit early.”

McVay, who had the best performance of the Volcanoes’ five pitchers, said he had his fastball and changeup working well. He was a starter during part of his time as a college pitcher and said that although he liked to start, he was “probably better as a reliever.”

Hill, whose batting average has been steadily rising, attributed that to “just coming out and playing every day” but added that Andrew Cain, now on the disabled list, had been helping him a lot.

 

R  H E

EUG  501  001  022   11 12 1

S-K    000 300  003    6  13  3

 

Alger, Scott 4, Shepherd 5, Nunn 6, Madrid 8, Reynolds 9 and Dane; Montero, Gardeck 4, McVay 6, Johnson 8, Ziegler 9 and Ricardo.  W – Shepherd (2-1).  Loser – Montero (3-4).  HR – Eugene, Colon, Tissenbaum 2.

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