|© MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.|
Volcanoes emerge victorious in thirteen-inning battle, 2-108/25/2012 3:31 AM ET
By Josh Hauser
SPOKANE - Kentrell Hill waited out a lengthy at bat and drew a bases-loaded walk in the top of the thirteenth inning. Ryan Jones made a catch-of-a-lifetime type of play in the bottom of the twelfth. Tyler Mizenko struck out the final batter in the bottom of the thirteenth. A culmination of exceptional plays by Salem-Keizer's offense and defense alike steered the Volcanoes past Spokane in dramatic 2-1, extra-inning fashion in front of 6,857 at Avista Stadium.
With the victory, Salem-Keizer (15-16) grabbed the series lead at 2-1, and now sits at three and a half back of division-leading Vancouver. Spokane (13-18) continues to fall further behind the East's leaders - in the Boise Hawks - and now sits at seven games out of first.
Spokane opened up scoring in the third inning of Friday's contest with an RBI-single by Preston Beck to bring home Ryan Rua, representing the first run of the contest.
Salem-Keizer was held silent through the first seven innings, but they evened up the contest with a run in the eighth. Rafael Rodriguez singled to open up the inning and Kentrell Hill came up with a clutch, two-out RBI single to force the 1-1 tie.
Both teams were kept in check through the twelfth inning. Spokane made things scarily interesting in the bottom of the twelfth, however, as a pair of walks and a single loaded the bases for the Indians. Ryan Jones pulled through to keep the Volcanoes' hopes alive, as he made an outstanding catch on a line drive to second base to end Spokane's threat.
In the thirteenth, Andrew Cain led off the frame with a single to left field. From that point on, Spokane's pitching staff went south as three free passes throughout the course of the inning eventually brought home the go-ahead run for the Volcanoes.
Another Indians' threat arose in the home-half of the thirteenth, as two singles in the inning placed runners on the corners for Spokane. But Volcanoes' closer Tyler Mizenko came through as he has all year, and he struck out the final batter to close out the contest while picking up his twelfth save.
Lorenzo Mendoza surrendered just five hits and one run in his five-inning start on the mound for Salem-Keizer. Mascon McVay, Keith Bilodeau, Matt Graham, and Tyler Mizenko all followed up Mendoza's effective start with combined shutout relief innings. Graham earned the win while Mizenko earned the save.
Connor Sadzeck was superb in his start for the Indians, going six full innings while not giving up a single hit to Salem-Keizer. Carlos Melo was handed the loss after playing a part in filling the bases for the Volcanoes in the thirteenth.
Salem-Keizer did not need the hitting advantage to win the contest, as Spokane posted twelve hits while the Volcanoes only had five. No one had a multiple-hit performance for Salem-Keizer, but Kentrell Hill drove in two RBIs to lead the offensive efforts. The Indians' bats were led by Brandon Garcia and Ryan Rua, who each had three hits each in the game.
Salem-Keizer and Spokane will take to the diamond for game four of the series, set to get underway at 6:30p.m. from Avista Stadium on Saturday evening. The Volcanoes will go for the series-clinching win while Spokane looks to even the series and force a series-finale rubber match. Saturday's contest will showcase Chris Stratton (0-1, 2.76) taking the mound for Salem-Keizer and Eric Brooks (2-3, 3.61) opposing him for Spokane.