AquaSox lose another against Salem-Keizer, 4-2

  • Aaron Coe / Herald Writer
  • Saturday, August 25, 2001 9:00pm
  • Sports

By Aaron Coe

Herald Writer

EVERETT – If the race wasn’t over already, the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes took another step toward cementing the North Division title Saturday night with a 4-2 victory over the Everett AquaSox.

The Frogs’ Northwest League loss at Everett Memorial Stadium was their third straight to Salem-Keizer and increased their deficit in the standings to 8 1/2games with only 11 remaining.

Everett (32-32) got eight hits, but could not manage to do damage when the Volcanoes (42-23) gave them the occasional opportunity.

Blake Woods, who doubled twice in Saturday’s game, said he believes the AquaSox are every bit as good as Salem-Keizer, but just can’t seem to find a way to beat the Volcanoes, who improved to 7-3 against the Frogs this season.

“It’s just coincidence,” Woods said. “For whatever reason, we just haven’t played well against them.”

Everett pulled within a run, 3-2, in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single from Greg Dobbs with one out. The Frogs, however, could not tack on more runs as Orlando Hernandez hit into a controversial double play. Dobbs was easily out at second, but all 4,576 AquaSox fans and manager Terry Pollreisz were certain Hernandez was safe at first.

And the Frogs quickly paid for the double play when Anthony Turco drove Everett reliever Glenn Bott’s first pitch of the evening over the center field wall for a solo shot and a 4-2 Salem-Keizer lead in the seventh.

The Frogs evened the score at a run apiece in the bottom of the third, but Everett had a chance to do much more.

With one out, AquaSox catcher Luis Oliveros singled, Woods doubled and Jose Lopez drove in Oliveros with a bloop single to center. Tim Rainey struck out with runners at first and third for the second out. Volcanoes pitcher Anthony Pannone, who twice faked double moves in an attempt to pick off Woods at third, finally got his man for the third out.

With Tim Merritt batting, Lopez took off for second as Merritt swung and missed. Instead of attempting to nail Lopez, Volcanoes catcher Anthony Turco threw back to Pannone, who immediately turned and gunned down Woods to end the inning.

“Just a bone-headed play on my part,” Woods said. “I was trying to get a good jump to home. With two outs, the play was to go home when they threw to second, but I just didn’t read it right.”

Salem-Keizer took the lead back in the top of the fourth on a solo home run from Rob Meyer, then made it 3-1 in the fifth on a pair of doubles from Micah Holst and Julian Benavidez.

The Volcanoes got the game’s first run in the top of the second on an RBI single by Meyer. Things could have been much worse for AquaSox starter Phil Cullen, who gave up a double and two singles in the inning. But the 6-foot-9 left-hander stuck out Turco and induced a pop-up from Miguel Miranda to prohibit further damage, though Cullen needed 25 pitches to get out of the inning.

Cullen, who began classes at the University of Utah earlier in the week, was flown in for Saturday’s game. He pitched six innings, allowing eight hits and three earned runs while striking out four. Cullen will continue his college basketball career at Utah this winter.

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