For the second night in a row the Hillsboro Hops played deep into the night at Ron Tonkin Field.
Juan Rodriguez's tripled in a run and scored in the top of the 13th inning as the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes avenged a 12-inning loss in the series opener with a 5-3 victory over the Hillsboro Hops.
Rodriguez had three hits and two runs scored for the Volcanoes, who evened the three-game series at a game apiece heading into Thursday's afternoon finale.
2016 NWL All-Star Anfernee Benitez, now pitching out of the bullpen for the Hops, suffered the loss, allowing four consecutive base hits in the inning. John Timmins bounced back from the previous night's loss to record the win. Timmins allowed a walk and two hits in the 12th inning Tuesday night, but struck out three in two scoreless innings of relief to get the win on Wednesday.
The Volcanoes blew a 6-0 lead in the opening game of the series, but trailed early in game two after the Hops plated two runs in the first. After Salem-Keizer scored in the top of the inning on a Malique Ziegler triple and Kevin Rivera RBI fielders choice, the Hops strung together three hits against Volcanoes' starting pitcher Stetson Woods. Bryan Araiza singled and scored on Eudy Ramos' double into the left center field gap. Yan Sanchez followed with a bloop single down the right field line to give Hillsboro a 2-1 lead.
Salem-Keizer evened the score in the fourth when Rodriguez singled, advanced to third on Ryan Kirby's ground rule double down the right field line and scored on Manuel Geraldo's grounder to the right side.
The dynamic Ziegler, a speedy second-year center fielder from Iowa, put the Volcanoes in front with his wheels in the fifth. Ziegler singled with two outs, stole second and third on consecutive pitches, then scampered home when Hops starting pitcher Jhoan Duran spiked a pitch in front of home plate for a wild pitch.
Duran, Hillsboro's opening night winner, surrendered three earned runs on four hits with three strikeouts and a walk, showcasing a fastball that clocked between 95-97 mph on the scoreboard radar reading.
The Hops got brilliant work out of the bullpen for the second consecutive night of the series as Cal Becker and Junior Garcia combined to hold the Volcanoes to two hits and no runs over seven innnigs. Becker wiggled out of a challenging tenth inning, that featured a controversial call at third base on a wild play. With Geraldo aboard on a leadoff walk, pinch-hitting Christoph Bono showed bunt then pulled the bat back and chopped a slow-moving hopper past the drawn-in third baseman Eudy Ramos. Hops left fielder Yan Sanchez, normally an infielder, charged in nearly to the infield and threw back to ramos at third as Geraldo tried to advance an extra base. The throw beat the Salem-Keizer shortstop in plenty of time and the tag was clearly applied well before his fingers touched the bag, but mystifyingly he was called safe by the home plate umpire. Hops manager Shawn Roof argued his case briefly and passionately, but did not draw his first ejection. Salem-Kezier pitching coach Matt Yourkin did later in the game, following in the footsteps of manager Jolbert Cabrera, who was given the heave-ho the previous night.
Geraldo's new life wouldn't last. He got caught off the bag on A.J. Ramirez' grounder to short and was tagged at the plate in a rundown. Salem-Keizer would eventually load the bases, but Becker got Kevin Rivera to fly out to left, Sanchez making a running, sliding backhand catch to keep the game tied.
Timmins came into the game in the twelfth inning, inheriting runners at first and second on back-to-back base hits by Ramos and Sanchez. The Omaha righthander struck out Paxton De La Garza looking at a fastball at the belt, then plunked Kyle Smith to load the bases. Stephen Smith whiffed on a high fastball to end the threat. The Hops stranded 14 runners on the bases on the night.
Sanchez and Ramos each extended their hitting streaks to seven games. Sanchez went 3-for-6 at the plate before departing with leg cramps. Ramos and Araiza each had two hits.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.