KEIZER, Ore-- Atop the standings for the Northwest League (NWL) are the Hillsboro Hops. However, just below them and fighting for a playoff spot are the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes and the Eugene Emeralds. Going into tonight's game, both teams were tied at 14-18 for the second half and fighting for that playoff spot with just six games left in the season and three of those versus each other. The Volcanoes were not able to take the lead in that race as they dropped Wednesday's game 6-5 and they now trail the Emeralds one game in the standings. Gregory Santos made his first start since returning from the DL and faired alright as he racked up four strikeouts and topped out at 98 mph. He would end up taking the loss after only going 2.0 IP and giving up 4 runs.
Every starter on the Volcanoes offense had at least one hit tonight. However, only one of those hits was an extra base hit and there was the problem for the team tonight. If some of those hits had been a nice double than the game could have gone very differently. The lone extra base hit was a powerful homerun over the centerfield fence from Joey Bart. It was Bart's first homerun since 8/17 and during that span he has hit .243 and seen his average drop from .323 all the way down to .305.
The Volcanoes tried to fight back late in this one but could not get the tying run across in the last inning when Diego Rincones flied out to the catcher and left Kyle McPherson on second.
They will be back out Thursday night to face the Emeralds again with Trent Toplikar on the mound to start.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.