S-K Wins Northwest League Title

For the 3rd time in the team's 10 year history, the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes are the champions of the Northwest League. With a 6-4 victory, strong starting pitching and timely hitting, the Volcanoes earned the title the same way they won the regular season.

The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes capped off their 10th anniversary celebration the same way they completed their first year of existance: a league championship.

The Volcanoes scored early, scored often, and held off a last minute charge by the Boise Hawks in Game 4 of their series, and ended up 6-4 winners for the clinching win in the series.

The series was clinched by the defense.  With runners on first and second and the Hawks staging a comeback, McBryde made a diving catch on a Steven Clevenger’s line drive, ending the inning and prevented the possible tying runs from scoring.

With the Volcanoes leading 6-0 in the 8th inning, first baseman Brett Pill dropped a fly ball hit by Boise’s Deryck Lewis.  The mistake cost the Volcanoes dearly, as Lewis drew a walk.  Pitcher Paul Lussier gave up a single sandwiched by two outs, but then Boise’s Tyler Colvin singled to load the bases.  The top Hawks hitter Russell Canzler singled to score two runs.  Alfred Joesph picked up another RBI single, and after Adam Paul relieved Lussier, Joshua Lansford singled in one more run.  Clevenger followed with the at-bat that resulted in McBryde’s game saving catch.

"[McBryde's catch] probably won the game for us," manager Steve Decker said.

The Volcanoes took an early lead with an RBI single by Adam Witter in the first, and a Pill home run in the second.  Witter also had an RBI double, and then scored in the third inning.  Two more runs came in on an error by Clevenger, missing a catch on a sacrifice bunt play.

That would prove to be enough, as Kevin Pucetas pitched 6 strong innings.  Pucetas scattered 5 hits and gave up no walks while striking out four, and leaving with the 6-0 lead.

After the Boise rally, Juan Trinidad gave up a single but nothing else in the 9th to pick up the save, his first in the postseason.

The win capped off a record season for the Volcanoes.  Their 55 wins in the regular season not only set a franchise record, but also a league record since the NWL adopted a 76 game season, and also included the franchise’s first ever cycle, hit by Witter on August 30th.

The Volcanoes moved to Keizer, Oregon, in 1997 from Bellingham, Washington, where the team drew poorly.  The Volcanoes went on to win the championship that year.  The Volcanoes also won the league championship in 2001, and were also Western Division champions in 2003.

Love me, hate me, idolize me, or laugh at me, just don't ignore me. Let me know what you think: write me at kevin@ugcfilms.com .

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