By HERB SWETT
For the Keizertimes
Volcanoes fans celebrated both the Fourth of July and a series-opening 9-3 win over the Tri-City Dust Devils on Saturday.
A crowd of 4,303 saw Logan Webb get his second victory of the season and watched a six-run Salem-Keizer fourth inning. Independence Day ceremonies involving the military preceded the game, and a big fireworks display followed it.
The Volcanoes led all the way except for a 1-1 score in the top of the fourth inning and started the scoring in the first. Ronnie Jebavy doubled to left field, reached third base on a wild pitch by Tri-City starter Alex Constanza and scored as Steven Duggar grounded out.
Salem-Keizer threatened in the second inning, but Trey Wingenter relieved Constanza with two out and retired the side.
In the Dust Devil fourth, Jose Carlos Urena doubled to center, went to third on a ground out by Ty France and scored on a wild pitch by Webb.
The Volcano fourth wrote the story of the game. Jose Vizcaino Jr. hit an infield single and was forced out as CJ Hinojosa reached first on a grounder. Hinojosa stole second, and Mark Nelson walked. A walk to John Riley loaded the bases. Brad Moss grounded a single over second base, scoring Hinojosa. Jebavy struck out.
Then the Volcanoes showed that they could get tough with two out. Junior Amion singled to center, driving in Nelson and Riley, with Moss reaching third. Tri-City replaced Wingenter with Lou Distasio, who gave up a single to right center by Duggar that sent Moss home. Miguel Gomez singled to center, scoring Amion and moving Duggar to second. Gomez singled to center, driving in Duggar.
Armando Paniagua took over for Webb to start the sixth. Webb had allowed one run on three hits and two walks and struck out one. Paniagua faced four batters, walking one.
In the bottom of the sixth, Salem-Keizer faced a new pitcher, Griffin Russell. Jebavy reached first on an infield hit and second on a throwing error by third baseman Nick Vilter. A ground out by Amion sent Jebavy to third. Gomez hit a home run over the left center field fence.
Tri-City scored its remaining runs in the seventh. Allen singled to left. Paniagua retired the next two batters. Rod Boykin singled to right, A pitch hit Luis Urias on the helmet, loading the bases. With Peter Van Gansen at bat, a wild pitch scored Allen and advanced the other two runners. Boykin scored as an error by Amion at second base put Van Gansen on first. Eric Sim took the mound, retired the next batter and pitched the remainder of the game.
“It was nice to finally break through and get some two-out base hits,” Volcano manager Kyle Haines said.
Jebavy, who went straight from Middle Tennessee State to the Volcanoes, said wooden bats were not new to him because he had played in a wooden bat league. Asked about his club’s improvement, he said, “We just try to play our hardest every day.”
Gomez said through a translator that he hit his homer off a fastball. He is listed on the roster as a catcher and a third baseman and played Saturday’s game as a designated hitter. He said he was unsure where on the field he was likely to play eventually but just hoped to play wherever there was an opportunity.
Wingenter was the losing pitcher.