Salem Red Sox split doubleheader
Ryan Weber outdueled Kyle Stroup in game one, but the Salem Red Sox starter was superior in game two. Kyle Kraus tossed five strong innings to earn his first Carolina League win in Salem’s 5-1 triumph in the nightcap. Earlier, Lynchburg prevailed in the opener 2-1, a game that remained scoreless until the Hillcats plated a pair in the fifth. Matt Gedman went 3-for-3 in game two, while Henry Ramos finished the day with three RBI, including another solo homer, his sixth of the season.
In the opener, Stroup held the Hillcats to just one hit in the first four innings, but Salem could not capitalize on its numerous opportunities against Weber. In the last of the fifth, Kyle Kubitza smoked a double to left with one away and advanced to third on a wild pitch with two outs. Elmer Reyes smoked a one-hopper right at Deven Marrero, who misplayed the ball into an RBI single that gave Lynchburg its lead. Matt Weaver and Matt Lipka followed suit with back-to-back infield singles, nickel and diming Stroup for two runs on four hits in the inning.
The two-run burst proved to be enough, with the Sox scoring one in the top of the sixth against Weber, but Salem stranded the tying run in scoring position against Ronan Pacheco. Nate Hyatt tossed the final two-thirds of an inning to pick up his eighth save of the year. Both teams managed just five hits in the opener.
In game two, the offense locked in quickly, pounding six hits in the first two innings against Hillcats starter Greg Ross. Ramos’ RBI double scored Felix Sanchez to make it 1-0 in the top of the first, and Stefan Welch collected his first Carolina League hit and RBI by driving in Ramos with a single.
In the last of the second, Will Skinner blasted a solo homer off Kraus, the lone blemish to his otherwise sterling day. Kraus permitted just one run on four hits over five innings, striking out five and walking none. Salem added additional tallies in the fourth, fifth, and seventh, increasing the lead to four by the game’s conclusion.
The Hillcats did put two runners aboard against reliever Manny Rivera in the sixth and seventh innings, but double plays got the Red Sox out of trouble. Nate Striz entered with two on and one out in the ninth, inducing a 6-4-3 twin-killer to finish the Salem split. Striz picked up his third save by recording the final two outs.
The Sox and Hillcats will meet in another doubleheader on Sunday afternoon, beginning at 2:05. The pitching matchup in game one will feature Mike McCarthy against Navery Moore, while Mike Augliera gets the ball in game two against Jarrett Miller.