With playoff hopes hanging in the balance in Boise and Eugene searching for their first win of the season against the Salem-Keizer, the Volcanoes supplied an anti-climactic result as they would explode at the plate en route to an emphatic 15-1 win over the Emeralds.
For the second straight night the Volcanoes got started quickly at the plate scoring one run in the bottom of the first to take an early 1-0 lead before erupting for a whopping eight runs in the bottom of the second inning to quickly put the game out of reach. The Volcanoes would bat around the order and ride home runs by Ryan Tuntland (3), Tyler Horan (4), and Blake Miller (3) as Ems starting pitcher Tyler Hale, making only his second start, struggled mightily and was eventually pulled after recording just one out in the second inning.
The Volcanoes hit parade continued into the third and fourth innings as Salem-Keizer would tack on another run in the third before plating a whopping five runs in the fourth inning, thanks in great part to a Tyler Hollick grand slam.
Volcanoes' manager Gary Davenport would call off the dogs at that point and the Volcanoes offense would not score for the remainder of the game as meanwhile Volcanoes left-handed starter Andrew Leenhouts kept the Ems hitters off balance all day. After Leenhouts tossed five innings of one-hit, scoreless baseball it was the bullpen who took the reigns the rest of the way as the lone Ems run came on a solo home run in the ninth inning by shortstop Felipe Blanco.
That home run proved to be the lone blemish on the day for the Volcanoes who cruised to an easy victory and thus sealed the fates of the Hops and Hawks. Hillsboro needed to not only win their remaining two games to make the playoffs, but they also needed Eugene to win their final two games of the season against the Volcanoes. Despite blowing out the Hawks in Boise on Sunday evening, the Emeralds loss meant that the Hawks clinched the final playoff spot in the South and thus have a date with Salem-Keizer in the first round of the 2013 NWL playoffs.
With the win, the Volcanoes move to a perfect 11-0 on the season against the Emeralds and they'll try to finish off the perfect record in the season finale tomorrow afternoon. First pitch at Volcanoes Stadium is expected at 2:05pm, and as always you can catch all the action on 95.3FM The Score, www.EmeraldsBaseball.com, or on the free Eugene Emeralds smart phone app.