Dash win, wrap sweep of Sox
Dan Butler belted a two-run, two-out double in the last of the ninth to cap a four-run rally that tied it up, but the go-ahead RBI was elusive and the Red Sox fell by one run in ten innings for the second straight day against the Dash. Pinch-hitter Jake Oester slapped the first pitch he saw into center, driving in Ian Gac from third to put Winston-Salem ahead 6-5 in the tenth, and the Red Sox offense ran out of magic in the last of the tenth.
The Red Sox never led on Sunday as Dash lefty Joe Serafin stymied the Salem sticks through six scoreless innings, allowing the visitors to stake themselves to a 4-0 lead. The Red Sox, who twice stranded the bases loaded without scoring in the first eight innings, were down 5-1 heading to the bottom of the ninth when it became exciting. The frame began with consecutive walks to the eight and nine hitters—Zach Gentile and Michael Almanzar—issued by Dash reliever Ryan Kussmaul. Jeremy Hazelbaker singled to load the bases, and after Peter Hissey’s pop-up, Kolbrin Vitek singled to bring the Sox within three. Reynaldo Rodriguez drilled a deep sacrifice fly to center, but the Sox were down to their final out with the score 5-3.
That was when Butler, hitless in his previous 25 at-bats, came through in the clutch by lacing a double down the right-field line to score both Hazelbaker and Vitek to tie the game. Unfortunately, Shannon Wilkerson popped out, stranding the potential winning run at second, one of the ten men left on base for Salem.
The Dash quickly countered as Gac singled off Mitch Herold to begin the tenth. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, scooted to third on Nick Ciolli’s ground-out, and following Luis Sierra’s walk, Gac scored the winning run when Oester drilled a base-hit to center.
Gac, Sierra, and Saladino led the Dash with two hits apiece, while the Red Sox were paced by Reynaldo Rodriguez, who went 2-3 with a double and a walk to raise his average to .339, the top clip in the Carolina League.
Salem starter Pete Ruiz offered a quality outing but received a no-decision, tossing six innings of four-hit, two-run ball for the Sox. Winston’s Serafin was even better, tossing six shutout innings with just three hits allowed.
The Dash winner was Taylor Thompson, who improved to 2-1 despite blowing his third save of the season. Herold, who allowed one run on two hits in the top of the tenth, suffered his first loss of the season, falling to 1-1.
Salem remained in a virtual tie for first place with Myrtle Beach, who fell to Lynchburg on Sunday afternoon. The Sox homestand continues on Monday with the first tilt of a four-gamer with Wilmington. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05, and Salem will send Ryan Pressly to the mound opposite Noel Arguelles.