Kevin Pucetas pitched six shutout innings Sunday as the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes held off the Boise Hawks, 6-4, to win their third Northwest League Championship in seven years.
Pucetas (1-0) gave up five hits and struck out four without walking a batter. The 21-year-old right-hander, who had a 2.17 ERA in 15 regular-season starts, left after the sixth inning with a 6-0 lead.
"It's easy to pitch when I've got these guys behind me to make plays," Pucetas said. "And when we got the lead, I could be more aggressive and attack the strike zone."
The Hawks stormed back in the eighth, scoring four unearned runs off Paul Lussier. Boise nearly tied it, but center fielder Michael McBryde made a diving catch to rob Steven Clevenger of a potential two-run double to end the inning.
"(McBryde's catch) probably won the game for us," manager Steve Decker said. "Clutch hits and the best defense in the league (won the championship)."
Juan Trinidad tossed a scoreless ninth to pick up his first postseason save as the Volcanoes took the best-of-5 series in four games.
Adam Witter, who led Salem-Keizer with 52 RBIs during the regular season, delivered a run-scoring single in the first and an RBI double in the third.
Brett Pill slugged a solo homer in the second and Matthew Weston lined an RBI single in the third for the Volcanoes. Emmanuel Burriss chipped in two hits and scored twice.
Russell Canzler went 2-for-4 with a two-run single for the Hawks.
Boise starter Jacob Renshaw (0-1) allowed four runs -- three earned -- on five hits over three innings, striking out four and walking three.
Max Lance is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.