After getting no-hit through 6.1 innings, the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes tied the game with a two run homer in the seventh. But the Eugene Emeralds rallied right back scoring in the bottom of the inning and holding on for a 3-2 victory, winning the series in front of 3,573 at PK Park.
With the game tied at 2-2 and momentum swinging in favor of the Volcanoes (1-2, 21-20), Luis Diaz used that moment to get his first base hit of the game, a triple to right center that almost went over the wall. Fernando Kelli then used the pulled in infield to his advantage, shooting a ball between short and third for a single and scoring Diaz to give the Emeralds (2-1, 16-25) a lead they would not give up.
Paul Richan started for the Ems and pitched expertly, throwing three innings of no run and no hit ball. He also delivered four strikeouts on 31 pitches, 22 of them for strikes.
Casey Ryan then stepped in and was equally effective, keeping the Volcanoes off the bases over two innings of work, throwing 15 of his 21 pitches for strikes and striking out one.
Eugene had the offense working early in the game to back up their great pitching. Levi Jordan walked to lead off the bottom of the first and, after a fly out, moved to second on a wild pitch strikeout. Nelson Velazquez, who had a pair of RBI in last night's game, came through once again, singling in Jordan to give the Ems an early 1-0 lead.
They would extend that lead in the second when Gustavo Polanco singled with one out. A Diaz grounder would get Polanco out at second, but the throw to first went wide and into the Ems dugout allowing Diaz to move to second.
Kelli would preview what would happen later in the game, driving the first pitch he saw on a line drive to center, scoring Diaz and making it a 2-0 lead.
Salem-Keizer got its first baserunner of the game in the seventh, when Kyle McPherson walked to lead off the inning, breaking up the perfect game with Stephen Ridings (1-1) pitching for the Ems.
After a mound visit settled Ridings down he struck out Aaron Bond before David Villar took the first pitch he saw and went up and out over the left field wall, tying the game at 2-2 and breaking up the no-hitter.
Yan De La Cruz (1) came in the ninth gave up a lead-off single. De La Cruz quickly got the next two batters out on a pop out and a strikeout. A Wander Franco single gave the Volcanoes on two on and two out, but De La Cruz struck out Robinson Medrano to end the game.
In addition to the pair of RBI, Kelli also stole a pair of bases, giving him 22 on the year, leading the Northwest League.
A 5-game road trip is in store for the Ems before coming back home on Wednesday, August 1st for a contest with the Spokane Indians. It will be Dino Night at PK Park, along with a Kids Eat Free Wednesday presented by Carl's Jr. so bring the family. Reserve seats now at emeraldsbaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.