On Wednesday, a terrible crime took place at
Memorial Stadium in Garden City; the Boise Hawks were brutally murdered by the
Salem-Keizer Volcanoes in an 11-0 drubbing in front of a nearly-sold-out crowd.
Luckily, no fans were drowned in the bloodbath last night.
Slightly resembling a Hitchcock thriller, the Boise
Hawks completely lost control of a feasible win against their rivals, the
Volcanoes. Despite his 8.22 ERA at nights end, John Mincone pitched four
quality innings for the club, giving up three “earned” runs while fanning three
Volcanoes hitters and only walking one.
In the fourth inning, Mincone suffered his first so-called
earned run after Daniel Brock of the Volcanoes singled to Hawks center fielder,
Runey Davis, who, instead of attempting a throw to home to catch the rounding
Jose Medina, double pumped and proceeded to lob the ball into the awaiting
cut-off. This was just the first of many lackluster plays by the home team.
Don’t be mistaken, the Volcanoes crushed the ball
all evening, but it was the lack of concern by the defense that made this game inexcusable.
In his fifth inning, Mincone was given a wild pitch, after Boise catcher, Jeff
Vigurs once again couldn’t squeeze the pitch, allowing Carlos Quintana of the
Volcanoes to score. On the next batter, with a runner on third, Mincone forced
Salem-Keizer second baseman, Raynor Campbell to hit a sharp grounder to Brandon
May at third base. Instead of attempting the double play – there was also a runner
on first who was close to the base to begin with because of Mincone’s strong
pick-off move – or gunning out the runner at home, May went for the easy play
at first base, leading to Mincone’s removal from the game.
Earlier in the season, manager, Jody Davis, told me
that the main goal for them was to “train players to get to Chicago” and “if we’re
winning past the sixth inning we try to win the game.” But when a pitcher has
such a positive outing, only to be ruined by complacent fielding, shouldn’t
there be some disciplinary action even at such a low level of professional
After Mincone’s removal, the flood gates opened
wide. Salem-Keizer scored two runs in the fifth inning, followed by six in the
sixth and two in the seventh, to improve their already sizeable lead to 11-0.
The Volcanoes had 18 hits on the night to match Boise’s tow. Surprisingly,
though, the Hawks only committed two errors in their worst lost of the season.
The small error total is most likely due to Davis’
decision to remove starting shortstop, Arismendy Alcantara from the lineup – he
has made four of the team’s 11 errors in 2010 – while sliding George Mathues
over from his third base position, and putting Brandon May at third.
An interesting side not, to start the game, it appeared
that Davis wasn’t looking for run support for his starting pitcher, Mincone
(0-2), after multiple Hawks hitters were either looking for the walk with timid
approaches, or attempting to bunt for an infield hit.
Whatever the outcome of last night’s game, there’s
always another one waiting tomorrow – the beauty of short season baseball. The
Hawks will play Salem-Keizer in the fourth game of their five game series in which
Boise looks to get their second win at home in 2010.
— Typically, losing efforts are marked by distressed fans and heckling
critics, but in the Boise Hawks Monday night opener at Memorial Stadium,
baseball fans seemed satisfied with the Hawks 5-2 loss to the Salem-Keizer
Volcanoes. In the seventh inning, with a three run deficit, the sold out crowd
actively participated in their rendition of the timeless “Macarena” dance.
Kirk received the loss for Boise, going four innings and giving up five hits,
three runs and two walks. Though he gave up two homeruns in the game, Kirk
still showed strong movement on his pitches while earning five strikeouts.
the loss can be disheartening to a young ball club, the Hawks season opener was
highlighted by a complete offensive attack throughout the batting order,
something absent in their previous series against the Yakima Bears. The Hawks
won their in Yakima, 2-1.
of those guys down at the bottom [of the order] are more speed guys, so we have
to create a little havoc down there, so that we can at least put a little
pressure on the defense,” said first-year manager of the Hawks, Jody Davis.
they played the Bears, Boise was carried by the offensive production of Brandon
May, Jesus Morelli and Wes Darvill at the bottom of the order. They combined
for nine of the team’s 11 RBIs, 14 of the team’s 21 hits and five of the team’s
a relatively calm first two innings, Kirk began to lose composure in the fourth
inning when he gave up back-to-back homeruns to Salem Keizer right fielder,
Jose Medina and designated hitter, Jesse Shriner, on consecutive pitches over
the right and left field walls respectively.
was clear that newly appointed Davis aimed at giving Kirk a set amount of
innings before the start of the game after he chose to leave Kirk to finish the
fourth following a visit to the mound.
thought Kirk did a pretty good job even though he gave up those two home runs,”
said Davis. “We’re developing these guys, and they’re all on a pretty strict
pitch count and when they’re out there we expect to win some games. Developing
these guys and getting them to Chicago is the ultimate goal.”
narrowed the gap with the Volcanoes in the bottom of the fourth inning when
Richard Jones doubled to score Jesus Morelli from second after Morelli turned a
single into a double on an error by Salem-Keizer third baseman, Kyle Mach.
Jones was left on base to end the fourth with a 3-1 score in favor of the
Volcanoes. Jones was one of two Hawks left on base.
taking over for Kirk in the top of the fifth inning, right handed pitcher
Carlos Rojas took control of the game. Despite an error by Boise shortstop Arismendy
Alcantara that scored the Volcanoes’ fourth run, Rojas was able to force
Salem-Keizer into an inning-ending double play.
finished with one walk, three strikeouts and one earned run in three innings.
Darvill – one half of the 6-4-3 double play in the fifth – was able to cut the
Volcanoes lead down to two in the sixth, when his ground ball out scored Alvaro
Ramirez from third following a sacrifice by Boise catcher, Jose Guevara.
final blow came by way of a pass ball in the top of the eighth inning, scoring
Kyle Mach of Salem-Keizer, increasing the lead to 5-2 Volcanoes.
Huseby and Andres Quezada each pitched one inning for the Hawks. Huseby gave up
two hits and one run and had one walk with one strikeout.
a loss wasn’t the desirable way to kick off the season for anybody, the
fireworks show to cap off the night was met by cheers and laughter from
thousands of fans, relieved that the true first day of summer had finally
Hawks will try and once again emerge above the .500 mark with a win over the
Volcanoes tomorrow night. Game time is once again 7:15 pm, and gates will open
to fans at 6:45 pm.
Though only three games have been played by the Hawks in a still very young 2010 season, Boise has shown a very lopsided hitting performance throughout the lineup against the Yakima Bears.