By HERB SWETT
For the Keizertimes
The struggling Volcanoes showed signs of improvement but not enough to have a winning week.
June 24: Hillsboro 7, Volcanoes 2
Jared Miller’s pitching and Stephen Dezzi’s bat led the Hops to their second straight win over Salem-Keizer.
Hillsboro led all the way, starting with three runs in the first inning. The runs came on two singles, two walks and two sacrifice flies. In the fourth, a double and three singles gave the Hops three more runs. They scored in the seventh when Dezzi singled Zach Nehrir home.
Miller got his second win against no losses. He and two relievers scattered seven Volcano hits.
In the Volcano fourth, Chase Compton doubled, went to third base on a single by Miguel Gomez and scored on a sacrifice fly by Shilo McCall. Salem-Keizer’s other run came in the eighth, when Richard Amion, who had reached first on an error and stolen second, came home on a Gomez single.
June 25: Hillsboro 4, Volcanoes 1
Salem-Keizer suffered its first series sweep of 2015, taking a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the third inning only to give up four runs in the Hops third.
The Volcanoes’ run came on a third-inning homer by a newcomer, center fielder and leadoff batter Ronnie Jebavy. Starting and losing pitcher Nathanael Santiago gave up all four of the Hillsboro runs.
Doubles by Quinton Veras and Nate Robertson were the big blows of Hillsboro’s rally.
Eric Sim, who had been only a late-inning pitcher, replaced Santiago with two out in the third. Then Nolan Riggs took the mound for the Volcanoes for the rest of the way, striking out six in his five innings and allowing no hits and only one walk.
Cody Reed was the Hops’ starting and winning pitcher. Myles Smith had a save.
June 26: Spokane 4, Volcanoes 1
This home series opened with a game that was scoreless through five innings.
Andrew Leenhouts, Salem-Keizer’s starting and losing pitcher, gave up Spokane’s first two runs in the sixth with a two-run homer by Jamie Potts, but the blow came after two outs and an error, so Leenhouts had no earned runs for his six innings, in which he had five strikeouts.
The Indians added two runs in the eighth. LaDarious Clark reached third base on two errors and a steal and scored on a double by Leon Byrd. Byrd moved to third on a single and stole home.
The Volcanoes’ only run came on an eighth-inning home run by Mark Nelson.
Joe Palumbo was the winning pitcher in relief. Jason Hoppe had a save.
Saturday: Volcanoes 12, Spokane 3
The Volcanoes lived up to their name, using 15 hits to erupt from a slump to beat their visitors from Spokane.
Salem-Keizer led all the way, starting with three runs in the second inning. CJ Hinojosa and Jose Vizcaino singled, and starting and losing pitcher Nick Green hit Fernando Pujadas with a pitch, loading the bases.
A wild pitch scored Hinojosa. Steven Neff grounded out but drove in Vizcaino. Julio Pena singled Pujadas home.
The Volcanoes hit two home runs, one by Ronnie Jebavy with two on base in the sixth inning and a bases-empty shot by Miguel Gomez in the seventh.
Michael Connolly was Salem-Keizer’s starting and winning pitcher, going five innings, allowing four hits and one unearned run, and striking out four. Armando Paniagua, EJ Encinosa and Caleb Smith pitched in relief.
Sunday: Spokane 8, Volcanoes 0
The Indians, smarting from Saturday’s pounding, retaliated by giving Salem-Keizer its first shutout loss of the season.
Spokane outhit the Volcanoes 11-5, with TiQuan Forbes getting three of the Indian hits and Connor McKay scoring two runs and driving in two. Starter Cody Palmquist pitched five innings for his first win of the season.
Half of Spokane’s runs came in the second inning. Starting and losing pitcher Nick Gonzalez, who lasted only 1-1/3 innings, gave up a double and three singles in the inning, walked one batter, hit another and made a wild pitch.
Of the Volcanoes’ four relief pitchers, Jaret Leverett was the most effective, allowing no runs on three hits in 3-1/3 innings and striking out two.
Tuesday: Spokane 9, Volcanoes 7
Ouch! Salem-Keizer blew a 7-1 lead after six innings to give the Indians a series win.
In the top of the seventh, the Volcanoes gave up three runs to narrow their lead. Spokane scored five more in the eighth and stayed on top.
The first Spokane run came in the first inning, on a walk, a force out and a single. Starter Nolan Riggs held the Indians scoreless for the rest of his 5-2/3 innings.
The Volcanoes scored three times in their half of the first, with Steven Duggar hitting his first professional home run, with Chris Shaw and Miguel Gomez on base.
Two more Volcano runs came in the fourth, on two singles, a fielder’s choice and a ground out. Two more came in the sixth as Fernando Pujadas hit his second homer of the season with Jose Vizcaino Jr. on base.
In the Spokane seventh, with Nathaniel Santiago pitching, LaDarious Clark doubled and Dylan Moore was hit by a pitch. Both advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Jamie Potts.
Armando Paniagua took the mound in the eighth gave up two doubles, two singles and a sacrifice bunt. Eric Sim replaced him, and a run charged to Paniagua scored before Sim retired the side. The Volcanoes threatened twice in the next two innings, once on a long fly by Shaw that was caught just by the fence, but that was all.