Volcanoes Take a While But Take the Lead

Sometimes you have to wait for a Volcano to erupt. And sometimes, the eruption isn't as big as expected. But in baseball, a one run eruption can be enough, especially in extra innings. The Volcanoes pulled out a win Saturday in the 11th inning, and took a 2-1 series lead in the NWL Championship.

The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes broke the Northwest League record with 55 wins in the regular season.  They are now just one win away from cementing another milestone: the league Championship.

In a game marked by wildness (6 wild pitches and 3 hit batters), the winning run for the Volcanoes predictably came in on a wild pitch as S-K won 2-1 in 11 innings over the Boise Hawks.  The win gives S-K a 2-1 series lead in the Best-of-5 Championship, with both potential remaining games at home in Keizer.

With the score tied at 1 in the 11th, Nestor Rojas came  up for the first time in the game with one out.  Rojas had replaced regular catcher Adam Witter at the start of the 10th inning.  Rojas singled and then moved to third on a Bradley Boyer double.  Rojas then came in to score the winning run on a wild pitch by Boise reliever Rocky Roquet, who had two strikes on batter Michael McBryde before throwing one over McBryde’s head.

The tight game was marked by wildness, but the Volcanoes had 5 pitchers pitch 11 innings without giving up an earned run.  After starter John Odom went 4.2 innings, giving u p an unearned run, reliever Paul Oseguera came in with 2 out and 2 on base.  He struck out the first batter he faced, and would go on to strike out 7 in 3.1 innings to anchor the pitching staff’s performance.

The sole Boise run came in the 5th inning after a bizarre play.  With a man on first and nobody out, Boise DH Deryck Lewis hit into a groundout, but S-K Shortstop Emmanuel Burriss missed the catch at second.  However, Lewis was caught trying to turn the error into two bases.  The runner, Steven Clevenger, moved to third on the play and scored on a Matt Camp single.

Salem-Keizer opened up the scoring in the first.  Burriss led off the inning with a single and then stole second.  DH Christopher Todd sacrificed Burriss to third, and Burriss scored on a groundout by Bobby Felmy.  Burriss ended the night with 3 stolen bases.

The Volcanoes need just one win in the next two games to take the League Championship.  They will have the advantage of having the games both played on their home turf.  Sunday’s potential season ender will start at 5:05 PM Pacific time.  Kevin Pucetas (7-1, 2.17 ERA in the regular season) will go for the Volcanoes, while the Hawks will go with Jake Renshaw (1-3, 4.24 ERA in 5 regular season starts in the NWL).



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