Salem-Keizer Volcanoes Crush Hillsboro Hops 14-3
The euphoria from the opening night road victory was all too soon replaced by the barrage of Salem-Keizer Volcanoes bats hammering a 14-3 win over the Hillsboro Hops. The beginning game seemed it would be the exact opposite: a hard fought pitchers’ duel. The Hops even took an early 1-0 lead. But, twenty two hits by both teams later, Salem-Keizer left no doubt who was going to win this game.
First blood came in the top of the second when the Hops took their only lead of the game. The Hops’ Luke Lowery took every advantage to move around the bases. Lowry gained first on a walk to open the inning, moving to second on a wild pitch by Volcanoes starting pitcher Hengerber Medina and then to third on a Justin Chigbogu ground out. Lowery scored on a Paxton De La Garza sacrifice fly.
The Volcanoes bats managed to stay quiet until the bottom of the third and the barrage was on its way. With one out, Ashford Fulmer was hit by a pitch from Hops starting pitcher Tyler Mark. A Kevin Rivera single moved Fulmer to second and then Fulmer scored on a Juan Rodriguez single that moved Rivera into scoring position. Rivera then scored from second on a Leo Rojas single. John Riley doubled home Juan Rodriguez for the fourth run of the inning. Volcanoes up 4-1.
Two more quick Volcano runs came the next inning when Gustavo Cabrera singled and scored on a Manuel Geraldo single. Geraldo was able to score on the second Juan Rodrigues RBI single of the night.
Hillsboro inched back with one run in the fifth when Billy Endris homered with no one on base. The Volcanoes came up to the plate ahead 4-2. The game to that point paled in comparison to what the Volcanoes would do in just the fifth inning alone.
The Hops Jose Martinez took over the mound for Tyler Mark. Martinez started with a strikeout and then two walks to John Riley and Chase Compton. Third baseman Nic Coffman bobbled a grounder from Gustavo Cabrera allowing the batter to reach base and Riley to score. Ashford Fulmer doubled to center chasing home both runners for two more runs. The second error of the inning, this time by Martinez on a ball hit back to the mound, allowing Kevin Rivera to reach base. Manuel Geraldo followed with a double to left scoring Fulmer. Juan Rodriguez and Leo Rojas were both hit by pitches, the latter giving Rojas an RBI for scoring Rivera.
That was it for Hops pitcher Jose Martinez. After one strikeout, two walks, two errors, two doubles, six runs and two batters hit by a pitch, Tommy Eveld replaced Martinez on the mound. Eveld opened with a wild pitch letting Geraldo score another unearned run. Two ground outs later, the Hops retired the side, behind 13-2.
Both teams scored one more run each in the sixth for the final score. The Hops Paxton De La Garza walked and scored on a Manny Jefferson single. The Volcanoes followed with Ashford Fulmer walking and then scoring on a Manuel Geraldo single, 14-3.
For the Hops, Nic Coffman went 2 for 3 for the second night in a row. Tonight, he had no base runners to bring home. Billy Endris had a solo home run and went 2 for 4.
Eight of nine starting Volcanoes batters had a hit. Manuel Geraldo led the bats going 3 for 6 with 3 RBI and scored twice. Juan Rodriguez, Leo Rojas, John Riley and Kevin Rivera had two hits each. Rodriguez, Rojas, Riley and Ashford Fulmer had 2 RBI each.
Starting Hops pitcher Tyler Mark (0-1) took the loss going four innings giving up 6 earned runs on 8 hits. Volcano pitcher Kendry Melo pitched the 7th and 8th innings for the win, striking out 4.
The game was a grounding experience for the young Hops as they know how easy it is to go from the opening game high to a blistering low on the next night. But, this also can show they can return to that same high with the next game. Each night will be different.
The Hillsboro Hops (1-1) fell into a second place tie with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (1-1), one game behind South leading Eugene Emeralds (2-0). Both teams play Sunday night, the 19th, for the final game of the three-game homestand for the Volcanoes. The series is currently tied at 1-1. Monday night, the Hops return home for their season opener. Fireworks await the two-time defending Northwest League Champions.
by Greg Stoker