Volcanoes' Witter hits for cycle

Catcher caps feat with homer in 10-run seventh inning

(Salem-Keizer Volcanoes)

August 29, 2006 10:22 PM ET

A cycle is rare enough, but it's especially unusual when a catcher turns the trick.

Adam Witter hit for the cycle Tuesday night, powering the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes to a 19-3 rout of the Vancouver Canadians at Nat Bailey Stadium.

Witter, a non-drafted catcher out of East Carolina University, got the hardest part out of the way immediately when he hit a two-run triple in the top of the first inning.

"As a catcher, triples don't really happen every day," said Witter, who had none in his first 55 games. "I'm usually good for one a season and that's about it for me. It's a pretty big ballpark here, so that helped the ball find a gap, and I'm just glad I saved my one up for tonight."

The 23-year-old banged a two-run double in the third before drawing a two-out walk the fifth. The Volcanoes (49-18) put the first four batters on board in a 10-run seventh as Witter singled to load the bases. Eight batters and seven runs later, he belted a pitch to dead center field for a three-run homer, capping the cycle and the inning.

"I've never hit one before and after that home run, it was just such an awesome feeling," Witter said. "It was just indescribable. When I first hit the triple, the thought kind of crept into my head, and I had some of my teammates get on me in the dugout. But when we were ahead by so much, my manager (Steve Decker) told me I should go for it."

Even though Witter has been playing baseball since early February with East Carolina, fatigue wasn't a factor on Tuesday. Salem-Keizer had a day off on Monday and the weather in the Pacific Northwest also helped.

"The weather up here is a bit different and it's a lot easier to play in," said Witter, who went 4-for-4 with seven RBIs and four runs scored. "I was just talking with some of my buddies from college and they're telling me how they've been in games with 100-degree heat and humidity.

"Up here, it's definitely a bit cooler and the humidity is lower, so you aren't feeling as tired as you would, especially with all the gear on behind the plate."

Robert Felmy and Michael McBryde chipped in three hits and three RBIs apiece, with Felmy doubling home two runs in the fifth.

Adam Cowart (10-0) remained perfect after yielding four hits over five scoreless innings. He struck out three without issuing a walk and lowered his ERA to a microscopic 0.80. In 62 2/3 innings, the 35th-round pick by San Francisco in this year's draft, has allowed seven runs and five walks.

The Canadians (35-32) ended the Volcanoes' shutout bid in the sixth when Greg Dowling and Alexander Valdez hit back-to-back doubles.

Jermaine Mitchell beat out an infield single in the first to extend his hitting streak to a league season-high 21 games.

Vancouver starter Scott Deal (7-4) suffered the loss as he was charged with nine runs -- six earned -- on six hits, four walks and a hit batter over 4 2/3 innings.

Michael Echan is a contributor to MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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