Sy’s two-run homer paces Volcanoes past Indians
Jeremy Sy understands the joke, although he usually doesn’t listen to it. Salem-Keizer’s opponents, such as the Spokane Indians, like to needle Sy by playing Psy’s “Gangnam Style” when he comes to the plate during Northwest League baseball games.
A better song for Sy might be “Bang Them Style.” Sy drove in three runs Friday night, including two with his sixth homer of the season, to guide the Volcanoes to a 5-2 win over Spokane in the middle game of a five-game series at Avista Stadium.
“To be honest, I didn’t even hear (the song),” Sy said. “I don’t notice it during the game. I’m kind of locked in. But, yeah, it’s always good to laugh at yourself.”
The South Division first-half champion Volcanoes lead the series 2-1 and the season series 5-3.
Sy, tied for second in the league in homers behind Vancouver’s L.B. Dantzler, hit his long blast to left field in the fifth off Spokane starter Collin Wiles (1-4) for a 4-1 Volcanoes advantage.
“(Wiles) made one bad pitch for a two-run homer, but other than that he threw a really good game,” Indians manager Tim Hulett said. “He just got a pitch up to a pretty good hitter, and (Sy) got a hold of it.”
Sy was drafted last year by the San Francisco Giants in the 12th round out of Louisiana-Monroe. He injured his elbow while throwing during his first day with the Volcanoes, leading to Tommy John surgery. The Illinois native has also had surgery on his wrist and hand.
“Anytime you’re away from this game for that long, it’s hard to just jump back into it,” Sy said. … “The good thing with Tommy John is a lot of the rehab is lifting and strengthening. I was kind of a doubles/triples gap hitter before, but with the strength I put on, the ball is carrying more.”
Sy added an RBI single to center in the first to score Tyler Hollick, who reached second base when Indians center fielder Jamie Jarmon dropped his shallow fly ball.
Cam Schiller got the run back for Spokane in the bottom of the first with a line-drive homer to right. It was Schiller’s first homer in 155 at-bats.
S-K took a 2-1 lead in the second on a double steal with runners at first and third.
The Volcanoes’ second pitcher, Jake Shadle (3-1) baffled the Indians with four innings of one-hit ball, striking out seven.
“(Shadle) kept us off-balance with his changeup, but his fastball was in the zone and he didn’t make many mistakes up,” Hulett said. “He pounded the zone, got ahead of us, and really forced us to swing at pitches that were tough to hit.”
Jarmon singled and scored on an infield throwing error in the seventh. Before Jarmon’s hit, S-K right fielder Randy Ortiz robbed Brandon Garcia of a homer with a grab over the short wall.
Infielder Janluis Castro’s .235 batting average is the highest among Indians regulars. … The Indians won’t name All-Star Game replacements for catcher/first baseman Kevin Torres (promoted) and right fielderRyan Cordell (wrist injury). Spokane’s representatives for Tuesday’s game in Everett will be pitchers David Ledbetter and Eric Brooks, and Castro.
Saturday: Salem-Keizer at Spokane, 6:30 p.m.