Salem-Keizer loses series-decider 7-5

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By HERB SWETT
For the Keizertimes

The Volcanoes lost the rubber game and the one home game of their series with Hillsboro 7-5 Sunday night.

Although Salem-Keizer led for a while and Jared Deacon and Will Callaway had their moments, too many things went wrong for the home team.

Deacon had three singles and showed defensive ability, and Callaway ran his hitting streak to 16.

The crowd of 2,183 saw the Hops go ahead by three runs in the first inning. With Jason Forjet pitching, Taylor Ratliff led off with a single to center field. Steve Nyisztor made an infield single out of a bunt, and then Elvin Soto did the same. Bennie Robinson singled to left, driving in Ratliff and Nyisztor. A sacrifice bunt by Pedro Ruiz scored Soto.

In the bottom of the first, the Volcanoes also loaded the bases. Travious Relaford walked with one out, Christian Arroyo singled to right and Skyler Ewing walked. Newcomer Sam Mende walked, forcing Relaford home.  However, Hillsboro’s Dan Savas retired the next two batters.

Salem-Keizer scored again in the second. Tyler Hollick walked, moved to second base on a ball and scored as Relaford singled.

The Hops added a run in the third. Nate Robertson hit an infield single, went to third on a single to center by Bennie Robinson and scored on a wild pitch.

The score remained 4-2, with Hillsboro’s Alex Byo coming in to pitch the fourth inning and Armando Paniagua taking the mound for the Volcanoes in the seventh, through 7-1/2 innings. In the Salem-Keizer seventh, with Mike Cetta pitching, Arroyo hit a one-out single to right and Ewing singled to center. Cody Geyer replaced Cetta and walked Mende, loading the bases.

Callaway singled to center, driving in Arroyo, and Ewing was thrown out at the plate. Shilo McCall doubled to right, scoring Mende and Callaway. Deacon singled to left, and McCall was thrown out trying to score. The inning ended with the Volcanoes ahead 5-4.

Hillsboro bounced back in the eighth. Ruiz singled to left center and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Irving, who was safe at first on a throwing error by Paniagua. Dusten Knight replaced Paniagua, and Garcia loaded the bases with a bunt single. Galli Cribbs scored Ruiz with a sacrifice fly to left. Ratliff walked, and the bases were again full. Nyisztor walked, forcing Irving home. Soto drove in Garcia with a sacrifice fly to center.

Cameron McVey, the Volcanoes’ last pitcher, set the Hops down in order in the ninth.

Facing Hillsboro closer Zac Curtis, Arroyo led off the Salem-Keizer ninth with a single to left. Ewing singled to right center, and Mende hit a deep fly to center, enabling Arroyo to reach third. Ewing got caught in a rundown, and Curtis struck out McCall to end the game.

Geyer was the winning pitcher and Paniagua the loser. Curtis had his eighth save.

“A lot of guys on base,” manager Gary Davenport of the Volcanoes said, not needing to add that they were left there.  He did comment that Deacon “looked good.”

“They had their stuff,” Deacon said of the pitchers he caught. “They (the Hops) just got lucky with their hits.”

Asked about his continued hitting success, Callaway credited hitting coach Ricky Ward and Arroyo with “evaluating my swing all the time.” He said Ian Gardeck, who has seen hitters in higher classifications, “watches me constantly.”

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