Five ninth-inning runs wasted a great start for the Tri-City Dust Devils Friday night at Gesa Stadium, as they lost to the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes 10-7. The Dust Devils jumped out to a 7-1 lead after two innings, but 17 hits from the Volcanoes paced the Northwest League South Division first-half champions to the victory.
The runs for Tri-City (16-19), for the second consecutive game, all came in the first two innings. Aided by several Salem-Keizer (23-12) errors, four through two innings and six throughout the game, the Dust Devils drove in four runs in the first inning and three more in the second to take a commanding six-run lead. Right fielder Julian Yan led the charge at the plate, driving in a team-high two runs in the game and going 1-for-5 with a triple. First baseman Patrick Hutcheson, the Papa John's Hit Man of the game, also went 1-for-5. Since Hutcheson recorded a hit, everyone can head to papajohns.com and type in promo code "dustdevils" where you can buy any pizza and receive a second pizza of equal or lesser value for free. This promo code is valid tomorrow only, Saturday July 20th, at all Tri-City locations.
Dust Devils starting pitcher Konner Wade worked 4 2/3 innings for Tri-City, allowing two runs on six hits. Reliever Troy Neiman made his professional debut in the seventh-inning for the Dust Devils, going 1 1/3 innings and striking out three of the four batters he faced. Righty Eric Nedeljkovic (0-1) took the loss, allowing five runs, three earned, on four hits over 2/3 of an inning.
After a tough first few innings, the Salem-Keizer pitching staff dealt a gem. The Volcanoes did not allow a Dust Devils hit following the second inning until Hutcheson's hit with one out in the eighth. Reliever Tyler Rogers (2-0) earned the win for Salem-Keizer, working two shutout innings of relief.
Game three of five between the Dust Devils and Volcanoes is Saturday night at the ballpark with a post-game fireworks show presented by Hi-Line Engineering. Left-hander Sam Moll gets the start on the mound for Tri-City while righty Chris Johnson toes the rubber for Salem-Keizer, with first pitch at 7:15 p.m. To reserve your seat, contact the Dust Devils front office at (509) 544-8789 or go to www.dustdevilsbaseball.com.
Dust Devils Baseball… "It Will Blow You Away!"