HILLSBORO, Ore. - The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes offense was held at bay in their 3-1 loss in the rubber match on August 10 at Ron Tonkin Field thanks to a dominant outing by one of the Hillsboro Hops relievers.
Hillsboro turned the tables on Salem-Keizer, whose bullpen pitched eight scoreless innings in the second game of the series, when its bullpen threw six shutout innings of its own last night. This time, however, instead of stringing multiple relievers together like the Volcanoes did, the Hops relied on one reliever in right-hander Matt McCanna.
McCanna threw what would have been a quality start if he was the first arm out on the mound for the Hops, tossing six shutout innings while surrendering two hits and one walk and striking out five hitters.
Prior to McCanna's outing, Salem-Keizer utilized some small ball tactics as well as some good fortune to secure the early 1-0 edge against Hops starting pitcher Brian Shaffer in the top of the third inning. Catcher Chris Corbett, who was hitless in a Volcanoes' uniform at the start of the ballgame, led off the inning with a single for his first base hit with the squad.
Center fielder Malique Ziegler then bunted Corbett over to second base for the first out of the inning. Corbett eventually advanced to third base on a ground out to the right side of the infield by left fielder Bryce Johnson. With right fielder Logan Baldwin, Shaffer hurled a wild pitch that allowed Corbett to score the first run of the contest.
Meanwhile, Volcanoes starting pitcher Jose Marte sailed smoothly for the most part through the first couple of innings. In the bottom of the first, Marte walked two batsmen in the inning, but was able to strand both runners and prevent the Hops from scoring.
Those were the only two base runners Marte relinquished over the first three frames, as the right-hander churned out back-to-back 1-2-3 innings in the second and third home halves.
The Hops recorded their first hit of the night when second baseman Camden Duzenack reached first base via an infield single to kick-start the bottom of the fourth inning.
The tightly wound ball of yarn began to unravel thereafter for Marte. After a pop out by Hillsboro first baseman Pavin Smith, Duzenack stole second base during third baseman Drew Ellis' at-bat and eventually came around to score the tying run when Ellis singled to left field.
Marte then threw two wild pitches during an at-bat against Hops left fielder Dan Swain that permitted Ellis to zoom his way from first to third base. Swain then hit a ground ball to Volcanoes third baseman Shane Matheny, which plated Ellis as the Hops led 2-1.
Despite there being two outs and no runners on, the Hops still had their sights on piling on more insurance against Marte. The next two Hops batters singled, and center fielder Jorge Perez chopped a two-bagger high over the leap try of Volcanoes first baseman Ryan Kirby and down the right field line that scored just one.
Hillsboro could have tacked on another run on the Perez's hit if not for a strong throw from Baldwin to second baseman Orlando Garcia, who relayed the throw home to Corbett who tagged out the second runner before he slid into home plate. Regardless, the Hops were able to extend their lead to 3-1, which would prove to be the final score at the conclusion of the game.
Shaffer only pitched through the first three innings for the Hops before being relieved by right-handed pitcher Kevin McCanna, who utterly confounded Volcanoes batters, the rest of the way.
The only trouble McCanna endured was in the top of the sixth inning when Garcia walked, swiped second and reached third on a passed ball with one out, but the righty maneuvered out of the threat by inducing a fly ball out off of the bat of Kirby to right field.
After six quality innings from Marte, right-handed reliever Andy Rohloff pitched the last two innings for the Volcanoes and kept his ball club in position to rally in the top of the ninth inning.
Rohloff encountered some high pressure in the bottom of the eighth when Smith doubled off of him with one out, but the righty recorded the next two outs on a ground ball and a strike out to hold the Hops scoreless in the inning.
In the top of the ninth, Garcia singled with one out as Kirby stood in the batter's box representing the tying run for the Volcanoes. Kirby flew out to left for the second out in his at-bat, passing the baton to shortstop Manuel Geraldo, who struck out swinging to conclude the game and clinch the series win for the Hops.
McCanna earned his second victory after his gem of a performance out of the bullpen and raised his record to 2-0 on the season. Marte's record dipped to 1-3 on the year after surrendering three runs in six innings. He yielded five hits and three walks and struck out two Hops hitters.
The Volcanoes will travel north of the boarder to Vancouver, Canada to start a five-game series against the Vancouver Canadians on August 11 at Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium. Right-handed starting pitcher Jason Bahr (2-1, 3.86 ERA) will pitch against Canadians right-handed starting pitcher Juan Nunez (2-5, 6.25 ERA). First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.