It's the first REALLY hot day out at Gesa Stadium, but the nice thing about night games — it can start cooling down in a hurry. I was standing outside the Dust Devils clubhouse about 1 1/2 hours before game time and it was quite amusing to watch the players' reactions when the late-afternoon heat hit them as they walked out of the much cooler temperatures inside.
But some are quite used to it. When Chad Bettis, the team's second-round draft pick out of Texas Tech, first got here back in June I asked him what he thought of the weather. He said it was just like back home.
Anyway, there's a pretty good pitching matchup tonight between Tri-City left-hander Edwar Cabrera and S-K righty Shane Kaufman. Cabrera is 0-1 with a 3.46 ERA, and Kaufman has been one of the NWL's best starters at 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA.
Also, the game features two of the league's top hitters in Volcanoes' left-hander Ryan Scoma (.400, first in NWL) and Dust Devils righty Chandler Laurent (.343, third).
Tri-City capitalizes on several defensive misplays by Salem-Keizer. Russell Wilson, the Dust Devils leadoff hitter, reaches first on a throwing error by the shortstop Carter Jurica. Then he advanced to second on a fielders choice when second baseman Julio Izturis' throw pulled Jurica off the bag.
Chandler Laurent then drove in Wilson when his flyball was misjudged by right-fielder Jesse Shriner for an RBI double. Kaufman then walked Jared Simon to load the bases and hit Dustin Garneau for a 2-0 Tri-City lead.
Volcanoes get one back on a misplay by Dust Devils right fielder Leonardo Reyes, who jogged up to a lazy flyball by Shriner and let it bounce away from him for an error. Shriner took third on an infield grounder by Scoma and scored to cut the lead to 2-1. Unfortunately, the gaffe cost Reyes, who popped out on the first pitch with the bases loaded an inning earlier. He was replaced in the third inning by Nathan Hines.
Josh Rutledge just started a twin killing that could make ESPN's Top Plays. He dove to his left to glove Scoma's grounder up the middle and, while still on his stomach, flipped the ball to Wilson on second base to force Shriner. Wilson, after snagging the ball with his bare hand, whipped it over to Chad Jacobsen for the double play.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Dust Devils padded their lead after a leadoff triple by Garneau. Dominic Altobelli drove him in with a bloop single to right to make it 3-1.