Hillsboro Hops Sweep Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 4-1
The Hillsboro Hops swept the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes in their three game series. The last game featured more pitching than hitting, with the Hops winning 4-1.
The game started on a warm 89 degree day with two starting pitchers that have made it difficult for opposing batters in this early season. For the Volcanoes, RHP Nathaniael Santiago came to the mound and, for the Hops, it was LHP Cody Reed. Both pitchers threw four shutout innings in their previous appearances. The only scoring for both teams took place in one inning.
Salem-Keizer got it started in the top of the third when Ronnie Jebavy smacked a home run to left field near the foul pole. That would be all of the scoring for the Volcanoes.
The Hillsboro Hops answered back four times in the bottom of the inning. Fernery Ozuna walked on a full count. During Quinnton Mack’s at-bat, Ozuna stole second and then took third on an overthrow by catcher Miguel Gomez. Mack then rapped a single through the left infield easily scoring Ozuna. Mack moved to second on a wild throw by pitcher Nate Santiago who attempted to pick him off of first. Luis Veras joined the fun by slicing a grounder past first base and down the right field line. Right fielder Mark Nelson chased it down while Mack scored and Veras ended up at second. Stephen Dezzi walked putting men on first and second.
The Volcanoes brought in pitcher Eric Sim to relieve Santiago. Sim hit his first batter, Jose Queliz, to load the bases. Nate Robertson followed with a double to left centerfield scoring Veras and Dezzi from second and third. Robertson slid into second under the tag and Queliz moved to third. The Hops sent all nine batters to the plate and led 4-1 after three innings.
The rest of the game featured excellent pitching and fine fielding, but there were a few promising hits. For the Hops, Luis Veras hopped a ground rule double over the centerfield fence in the bottom of the first. In the top of the second, Volcano Mark Nelson jabbed a low grounder between third baseman Nate Robertson and the bag which almost scored Gomez from second. Left fielder Quinnton Mack quickly threw the ball back into the infield holding Gomez at third.
The Volcanoes Nolan Riggs pitched the last 5 innings and held the Hops to no hits and no runs with one walk and 6 strike outs. Nathanael Santiago (0-1), who suffered that fourth inning from the Hops, received the loss.
For the Hops, Cody Reed (1-0) was impressive, going six full innings. He allowed one run, four hits, no walks and eight strikeouts for the win. Myles Smith pitched two innings of no-hit relief to close the game and earn the save. On offense, Luis Vera managed to shine going 2 for 4 with both hits being doubles. He also scored one run and earned an RBI.
The Hops (5-3) will hit the road to Vancouver to battle the Canadians for a five-game series and then return home to battle their other instate rivals, the Eugene Emeralds.
The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes (3-5) will return home for their first homestand of the season to face the Spokane Indians.
By Greg Stoker