EUGENE - Joan Gregorio got it done on the mound for Salem-Keizer and he had just enough offensive firepower behind him to allow the Volcanoes to escape from PK Park on Thursday evening with a 3-2 victory.
Gregorio allowed just two hits for the Emeralds through his first five innings of work while striking out six batters. His time atop the mound came to an end in the sixth frame after surrendering back-to-back base hits. Nevertheless, Gregorio picked up his sixth win after an effective start as a whole which saw him give up just four total hits on the day.
In the opening inning, Joe Rapp got things on track for the Volcanoes with a two-out base hit up the middle. Rapp would come around to score the game's first run after an RBI double by Andrew Cain to give Salem-Keizer the slim 1-0 lead.
The second and third Volcanoes' tallies came in the third inning. Kentrell Hill got things rolling with a line-drive single to left field before Rapp smashed a full-count pitch over the right field fence to put Salem-Keizer up 3-0. Rapp propelled himself to the upper echelon of the Northwest League's power hitters with his tenth home run, good enough to tie the league lead.
Both of Eugene's runs came in the sixth inning off of a two-RBI single courtesy of Maxx Tissenbaum.
Randy Zeigler, Keith Bilodeau, and Tyler Mizenko all successfully backed up Gregorio's quality start with solid relief innings. Zeigler tossed a full inning, Bilodeau threw two-thirds, and Mizenko closed out the final four outs to earn the save and bring home the Salem-Keizer victory.
Stephen Yarrow and Joe Rapp topped the Volcanoes' box score with two hits apiece. Rapp tagged along two RBIs to his stat line and was a key part in Salem-Keizer's seven hits as a team in the contest. Eugene matched the Volcanoes with seven hits of their own. Dane Phillips and Alberth Martinez led the Em's with two hits each.
Will Scott received the loss after giving up all three of Salem-Keizer's runs in his five innings of work. Matthew Chabot and Joe Church combined for four scoreless innings of relief for Eugene.
Coming off of their third straight series win, the Volcanoes can continue their hot streak with a game two win on Friday, which would clinch their fourth consecutive series. Joe Biagini (1-4, 4.57) will take the hill for the Volcanoes and will face an unnamed starter for the Emeralds. First pitch is set for 7:05p.m. from PK Park in Eugene.