KEIZER, Ore. – The Everett AquaSox bats finally returned to form Friday night, but it was all for naught as Salem-Keizer’s offense also came to life in a 9-8 Northwest League decision in front of 3,179 fans at Volcano Stadium.
The AquaSox (15-16) lost their fourth consecutive game to fall below .500 while the Volcanoes won their third straight to hold onto second place in the West Division.
Salem-Keizer rapped 15 hits around Volcano Stadium, with Joe Dyche and Pablo Sandoval each collecting three hits. Eight of the nine starters had hits for the Volcanoes.
The sixth inning was the backbreaker for the Frogs as Salem-Keizer pounded out four hits and was assisted by a hit batter and an intentional walk. Mark Minicozzi’s two-out two-run single plated Pablo Sandoval and David Maroul to make it 9-5.
The Frogs valiantly closed the gap in the seventh. After Reed Eastley walked, Jeff Flaig and Ronnie Prettyman crushed back-to-back homers to make it to 9-8.
However, Salem-Keizer set-up man Alex Hinshaw and closer Brian Anderson slammed the door shut with two innings of one-hit ball to dash the Frogs hope for a late-inning comeback.
The Volcanoes got on the board in their half of the first as Michael Mooney, the Northwest League’s leading hitter, was plunked by a Robert Rohrbaugh pitch. Mooney stole second, advanced to third on a groundout, and came home on David Maroul’s blooper to short center field.
The Frogs tied the game in the second, as Trevor Heid and Daniel Santin cracked back-to- back singles, with Heid moving to third on a hit-and-run. Bryan Sabatella then dribbled a grounder in front of the mound that scored Heid.
The tie didn’t last, as Salem-Keizer bounced back with a pair of runs. Joey Dyche singled past a diving Luis Valbuena to drive in a pair of runs for a 3-1 Volcanoes lead.
The AquaSox took a 4-3 lead in the third as Heid’s bunt single got the ball rolling. A walk and fielder’s choice followed. Heid scooted home on a passed ball before Michael Saunders launched a two-run home run deep over the right field wall.
The Frogs’ lead lasted all of two pitches. S-K’s Andy Busch led off the bottom of the third with a rocket over the left field wall to make it 4-4. Mooney then singled, stole his second base of the night, advanced to third on a Gilmore wild pitch and scored on Pablo Sandoval’s third single of the game.
Trevor Heid led off the sixth with a double when Jose Yens lost a fly ball in the lights. Two fly balls to right brought Heid home and tied the game at 5-5.