Everett Wash. - Ethan Miller's shutout start and three Volcanoes home runs help the Volcanoes take the series against Everett with a 6-4 win Thursday night in front of 3,169 at Everett Memorial Stadium.
The Volcanoes jumped out to a 6-0 lead thanks to Miller's (2-1) best start of his 2014 Volcanoes season: six scoreless innings with just two hits and one walk allowed with six strikeouts.
Against Seattle Mariners rehab starter James Paxton (0-1), Sam Mende started Salem-Keizer off on the right foot, with a solo home run in the top of the second inning. Paxton went 2.2 innings on rehab after injuring his back after two starts with the M's in April.
Up 2-0 heading into the top of the sixth, Will Callaway put good wood to a ball from Noel De La Cruz over the left field wall, his second homer of the year to push the lead 3-0 after the sixth.
Salem-Keizer hung a crooked number with three runs in the top of the eighth, highlighted by a two-run jack by Skyler Ewing, his third of the campaign, to make it the full 6-0.
Everett's rally fell just short with four runs in the bottom half of the inning off Armando Paniagua and EJ Encinosa. Both Austin Cousino and Corey Simpson homered in the inning to draw the AquaSox closer. But, the Frogs could not complete the rally in the bottom of the ninth, as Encinosa notched his first save of the season.
The Volcanoes reached .500 with the win at 17-17 on the season.
More importantly, with the win, the Volcanoes' playoff aspirations still hang on also thanks to a Tri-City win over Hillsoro tonight. Spokane also knocked off Boise. With just four games left in the first half, the Volcanoes are three games back of first-place Hillsboro and just two behind the Hawks, who the Volcanoes face starting Saturday to start a three-game series. Salem-Keizer must win out and the Hops to lose the remaining four games of the season to win the NWL South Division crown, and then clinch one of the two available divisional playoff spots.
Up next: The Volcanoes wrap up the season series with Everett Friday night at Memorial Stadium. Jason Forjet will take the baseball for the Volcanoes opposite Everett's Lukas Schiraldi. The KBZY broadcast with Rob Schreier will begin at 6:05 with a special one-hour edition of "The Bullpen" followed by the first pitch at 7:05 p.m.