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Volcanoes evade sweep in 7-6 win

Chris Stratton, the San Francisco Giants’ first-round draft pick, makes his debut as one of the Volcanoes in a game last week. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

For the Keizertimes

A 7-6 victory in 10 innings closed out The Volcanoes’ five-day road series with the Tri-City Dust Devils Monday, preventing a sweep.

Salem-Keizer scored the first run of the game in the first inning on a bases-empty home run by Joe Rapp, his sixth, but fell behind 5-1 after three innings. The Volcanoes made it a ball game again in the fifth, scoring five times.

In the bottom of the first, Derek Jones hit a one-out triple to right center field and scored as Tom Murphy reached first base on a fielder’s choice. A throwing error by third baseman Stephen Yarrow moved Murphy to second. Jarod Berggren scored Murphy with a single to left.

Another Tri-City triple, by Zach Osborne, started the bottom of the third. Jones singled him home, and Murphy drove Jones in with a double. Francisco Sosa reached first on a fielder’s choice and second on a throw, went to third on a single by Jarod Berggren and scored on a sacrifice bunt by Patrick Hutcheson.

The Volcano fifth inning began with a single by Mike Mergenthaler. Dashenko Ricardo singled, moving him to second. A single by Stephen Branca loaded the bases, and Kentrell Hill singled Mergenthaler home. Ryan Jones singled to drive in Ricardo, and the bases were still loaded.

Tri-City replaced starting pitcher T.J. Oakes with Chris Dennis, who made a wild pitch with Rapp at the plate to score Branca and advance Hill and Ryan Jones. Rapp struck out, but Chuckie Jones drove in both baserunners with a single.

To start the bottom of the fifth, Volcano manager Tom Trebelhorn replaced his starting pitcher, Raymundo Montero, with Matt Graham. Graham held the Dust Devils scoreless for two innings.

Tri-City tied the score in the seventh, when Randall Ziegler had taken the mound. Derek Jones walked, reached second on a single by Murphy and third when Berggren walked, and scored when a pitch hit Hutcheson.

The eighth and ninth innings were scoreless. Both halves of the eighth started with new pitchers, Joshua Slaats for the Dust Devils and Armando Paniagua for the Volcanoes. Paniagua became the winning pitcher and Slaats the loser.

In the bottom of the ninth, first baseman Rapp followed an errant throw by Paniagua on a pickoff attempt by firing the ball to third in time for Yarrow to put out Sosa.

In the top of the 10th, Rapp walked, and an error by Alec Mehrten put Chuckie Jones on first. Trevor Brown reached first on a bunt that forced Rapp out at third. Mergenthaler grounded into another force out, with Chuckie Jones scoring.

Lorenzo Mendoza pitched the bottom of the 10th and got his first save. He gave up a leadoff single but retired the next three batters.

“We gave them some runs; they gave us some runs,” Trebelhorn observed. He also had good words for the Volcanoes’ defense, saying that Rapp made a great throw to third to nail Sosa and that “Ricardo was solid behind the plate.”

Paniagua, who has pitched little this season, said through Ricardo as his interpreter that he had been working on a curve ball that retired some of the Dust Devils.

Ricardo said that he had been calling for the fastball first from his pitchers and telling them after that to see how hitters did with breaking pitches.

R  H  E

S-K   100 050 000 1   7  10  2

TRI   203 000 100 0  6   11  3

Montero, Graham5, Ziegler 7, Paniagua 8, Mendoza 10 and Ricardo; Oakes, Dennis 5, Slaats 8 and Ramirez. W – Paniagua (1-0). L – Slaats (0-3). S – Mendoza (1). HR – Rapp, Volcanoes (6).