EVERETT, Wash. -- Ryan Kirby stayed scorching hot at the plate as he had three more hits, including a go-ahead homer in the 9th, lifted the Volcanoes over the AquaSox by a score of 9 to 7 on Friday night. Kirby is now 8 for 10 with seven RBIs in the series as he paces a Volcanoes offense that has now tallied at least eight hits in six consecutive games.
For the second time in as many nights, center fielder Malique Ziegler led off the game with a frozen rope to left field to get himself in scoring position with no outs. A pair of groundouts by Logan Baldwin and Bryce Johnson move Ziegler over and then push him across to give the Volcanoes the early lead at 1 to 0.
The Volcanoes wouldn't hold the lead for long as starting pitcher Stetson Woods ran into command problems in the first, issuing free passes to the first two hitters. With runners on second and third and nobody away, first round pick Evan White lofted a blooper to shallow right center just out of the reach of Ziegler, plating shortstop Chris Torres. The AquaSox added another on an infield single by second baseman Johnny Adams to give Everett the 2 to 1 advantage.
In the third, second baseman Orlando Garcia launched a big fly to straight away center field for his second homer in his last three games to knot the score at two.
Dalton Combs picked a great time to pick up his first professional hit by hitting a screamer down the right field line for a double that drove in two in the fourth, putting the Volcanoes on top by a score of 4 to 2. The Volcanoes tacked on another run in the inning when Garcia sent a fly ball to right, just deep enough to allow Combs to tag and score.
The Volcanoes were at it again in the 5th when third baseman Michael Sexton jumped on a 3-1 fastball, driving it to right centerfield for an RBI single.
Volcanoes ace Stetson Woods worked quickly as usual, scattering just three hits across his first five frames. Woods ran into trouble in the bottom of the sixth as a dropped fly ball by Ziegler in center threw off Woods' rhythm. Following the error, Woods issued two singles and a walk, and was pulled from the game for right hander Tyler Schimpf, who was making his professional debut. The AquaSox scored twice in the frame, but neither was charged to Woods due to the error. By the time the inning was over the AquaSox had narrowed their deficit to 6 to 4.
Schimpf took the hill again in the bottom of the seventh and put designated hitter Joseph Rosa aboard via a walk. Rosa would then score on a sacrifice fly, which looked to be the only run Schimpf would allow until Ryan Kirby committed an error allowing Adams to reach first base safely. That error would prove to be costly as catcher Juan Camacho sent a moonshot deep into the Everett night for a two run homer, giving the AquaSox the 7 to 6 lead.
Down by a run to lead off the ninth, Orlando Garcia hit a liner to center and wound up on third on a bunt base hit by Ziegler. Garcia would eventually score on an RBI fielder's choice by Baldwin to tie the game at seven. With Baldwin on first and two away, Ryan Kirby played the role of hero for the Volcanoes by mashing a fastball deep to center for a clutch two run homer, putting Salem-Keizer ahead at 9 to 7.
That is where the score would stay as Jason Bahr pitched a perfect 8th and 9th inning, striking out three and earning the win in the process.
The Volcanoes have now won 6 of their last 7 road games and will look to continue that success against the AquaSox on Saturday, July 8 when right handers Jose Marte and Andres Torres go toe-to-toe at 7:05 p.m. at Everett Memorial Stadium.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.