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Losing skid drops S-K to 3rd in South

Salem-Keizer’s Mark Nelson puts the ball in play in the game Tuesday, Aug. 18. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)
Salem-Keizer’s Mark Nelson puts the ball in play in the game Tuesday, Aug. 18. (KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald)

For the Keizertimes

The Volcanoes started with two victories in a road series but lost the next four games.

Aug. 12: Volcanoes 6, Spokane 1

Salem-Keizer bats and arms stayed hot for the opener of this five-game series in Spokane.

Several Volcanoes were heroes: CJ Hinojosa, who hit his fourth home run and drove in three runs; starting pitcher Michael Connolly, who ran his record to 4-1 with six strikeouts in his five innings; Scott Price, who went 4-for-4 and knocked in a run; and Steven Duggar, who had two hits and scored three times,

The Volcanoes scored two runs each in the first, third and fourth innings. In the first, Duggar walked, Hinojosa doubled and Miguel Gomez singled. Duggar led off the third with a single, advanced on two grounders and scored on an error. Duggar singled and was on base for Hinojosa’s homer in the fourth.

The Indians’ run came in the fifth. Yeyson Yrizarri singled, moved up on a grounder and a wild pitch, and scored as Leon Byrd singled.

EJ Encinosa relieved Connolly, striking out two in two innings. Armando Paniagua pitched the eighth and ninth, striking out four. Spokane starter Cole Wiper was the losing pitcher.

Aug. 13: Volcanoes 5, Spokane 0

It was another big night for CJ Hinojosa and a step up for Andrew Suarez.

Hinojosa cracked the .300 barrier with a double and two singles, scoring two runs and reaching a .302 batting average for the season. Starting pitcher Suarez, whose pitch counts have been carefully limited because of his full season in college this year, went five innings for the first time, enough to pick up the win.

The Volcanoes scored two runs in the first inning and one each in the third, fifth and eighth. They outhit the Indians 12-2. The first-inning runs involved several Salem-Keizer players, the biggest hit being a double by Chris Shaw. Shaw also hit his fifth home run to lead off the fifth.

Ronnie Jebavy, Shaw and Fernando Pujadas had three hits each for the Volcanoes.

Suarez allowed one hit and had two strikeouts. Nathanael Santiago pitched the next three innings, striking out three. Ryan Halstead pitched the ninth with a strikeout. Spokane’s Emerson Martinez, the first of five pitchers, took the loss.

Aug. 14: Spokane 5, Volcanoes 3 (11 innings)

The Indians prevented a series sweep, but it took extra innings for them to do it.

Spokane scored the first run, but Salem-Keizer led most of the way, scoring in the fourth, fifth and sixth. With two out and the bases empty in the bottom of the ninth and the Volcanoes ahead 3-2, the Indians’ Tyler Sanchez hit a home run. He walked off with a second homer in the bottom of the 11th with Leon Byrd on base.

Steven Duggar hit two doubles and a single and walked twice for the Volcanoes but did not produce a run. Miguel Gomez singled twice, drove in a run and scored one.

Jeffrey Springs was the winning pitcher and Jarret Leverett the loser. Logan Webb started for the Volcanoes, allowing four hits and a run in his five innings and striking out three.

Aug. 15: Spokane 4, Volcanoes 3 (11 innings)

The return of the Volcanoes’ error problem evened the series, allowing the second straight 11th-inning Indian walkoff.

After Salem-Keizer scored once in the top of the first, Spokane’s Dylan Moore reached first base on an error by first baseman Chris Shaw, moved to third on a single and came home on a double play to tie the score.

Shaw put the Volcanoes ahead by one in the fourth with his sixth home run. Spokane came back with two runs in that inning when, after another Shaw error put Leon Byrd on first and two outs followed, Todd McDonald homered.

Salem-Keizer retied the score in the eighth when Christian Lichtenthaler, who had walked and reached second on a single by Ronnie Jebavy, was driven in as Shaw singled. Pitching then dominated the game until the bottom of the 11th. LaDarious Clark, after being hit by a pitch from Ryan Halstead, went to second on an errant pickoff throw from Halstead, stole third and scored as catcher Fernando Pujadas’s throw went into the outfield.

Not one earned run was charged to any of the Volcano pitchers: Luis Pino, Rayan Hernandez, Eric Sim and Halstead. The winning pitcher in relief was Adam Choplick.

Aug. 16: Spokane 4, Volcanoes 3

Holes in Salem-Keizer gloves for the second straight day gave Spokane the rubber game of the series.

Drew Leenhouts, whose record went to 6-3, pitched a Northwest League rarity, a complete game, but only one of the Indians’ runs was earned. All the Volcanoes’ runs were earned.

The Volcanoes started the scoring in the top of the first inning. Steven Duggar walked, reached second base on a single by Ronnie Jebavy and third on a wild pitch by Spokane starter Peter Fairbanks, and scored as Miguel Gomez grounded out.

Their other runs came in the sixth. Gomez, who had walked and reached second on a single by Chris Shaw and third on a force out by Jose Vizcaino Jr. came home on a wild pitch. Vizcaino scored on a single by Fernando Pujadas.

Spokane scored twice in the second. After two outs and an error by CJ Hinojosa at shortstop, Connor McKay tripled to drive in Sherman Lacrus. A wild pitch sent McKay home. The Indians scored in the fourth on a leadoff home run by Jamie Potts and in the fifth when another Hinojosa error got Doug Votolato home.

Indian starter Peter Fairbanks had his first win and Jason Richman his first save.

Aug. 17: Hillsboro 8, Volcanoes 3

The visiting Hops opened the three-game series by winning their eighth of 10 games with Salem Keizer this season.

Hillsboro led all the way, scoring one run in the first inning, four in the third, one in the seventh and two in the eighth. Three of the runs came on home runs in the third, by Josh Anderson with Galli Cribs on base and by Trevor Mitsui with none on.