Deja vu: Lynchburg beats Salem, 1-0
The 1-0 score was the same as last night’s gem by Cody Martin, but Saturday’s win for Lynchburg over Salem was a collaborative effort. Four pitchers combined for the shutout, the eighth of the season for the ‘Cats staff. Six of the 13 whiffs for the staff came off the powerful arm of J.R. Graham in the nailbiter.
Graham is used to facing top prospects, mainly his epic battles with former Myrtle Beach Pelican, Cody Buckel. This time, Graham was matched against the eighth-best prospect in the Red Sox organization, Matt Barnes. With all the hype between the two prospects, neither disappointed.
Each looked strong through a quit first inning, but it would be the Hillcats that put a notch in the scoring column first. Braeden Schlehuber reached on a fielder’s choice that got the lead runner, Edward Salcedo. David Rohm singled and Matt Weaver was hit by a pitch to load the bases. With one out, Emerson Landoni hit a shallow fly to center field, Schlehuber tagged and raced home, but center fielder Shannon Wilkerson did not throw it to the plate. Schlehuber easily scored to make it 1-0.
From there, Graham dealt, striking out a season-high six in five scoreless frames of work.
Barnes was nearly as good. He wouldn’t allow another run in his outing, while fanning three in total.
The staffs for each team came in and shut down the opposition’s lineup to keep the game at 1-0 for the second night in a row.
Graham (9-1) went five scoreless innings, struck out six and allowed just four hits. Matt Barnes (5-2) got the tough-luck loss in his five innings of work. He allowed just the one run on four hits, while walking two and striking out three. Ian Marshall earned his first save of the season by striking out the side in the top of the ninth.