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Five-run eighth pushes Salem Red Sox past Hillcats

salem red soxThe Salem Red Sox got six consecutive hits in the eighth inning to score five runs and beat the Lynchburg Hillcats 6-3 Wednesday night at LewisGale Field.

Trailing 3-1 entering the eighth, Mauricio Dubon got the rally started by doubling off the wall in left, and scoring on an Andrew Benintendi single. Nick Pasquale was removed in favor of Luke Eubank, who allowed back-to-back singles to Nick Longhi and Rafael Devers to score Benintendi and tie the game at three.

Danny Mars then delivered an RBI single to plate Longhi, and Mike Meyers busted the inning wide open with a two-run triple to give the Sox (23-9) a 6-3 lead. Austin Maddox pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his fifth save of the season.

Lynchburg (22-10) struck early against Red Sox starter Trey Ball, when Bobby Bradley launched a two-run homer to put the Hillcats up 2-0 in the first inning.

Ball settled in afterward, and only allowed one more earned run – coming in the fifth – in his 6.0 innings of work. The 2013 first-round pick notched his second consecutive quality start, allowing the three earned runs on four hits, walking four and fanning two.

Salem got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth against Lynchburg starter Justus Sheffield thanks to a Deiner Lopez solo home run, cutting the lead to 3-1. The switch hitter’s long ball extended his hitting streak to nine games, which dates back to April 13.

After issuing a leadoff walk to Mars in the top of the seventh, Sheffield’s night was finished as Pasquale came in for the Hillcats. A wild pitch allowed Mars to advance to second, but Pasquale came back to strike out the side and stifle the threat.

Mario Alcantara tossed two scoreless frames in relief and got the win to improve to 3-0 on the season, while Eubank (1-1) was tagged with the loss.

The comeback was Salem’s 11th on the season and the fourth when trailing by at least three runs.

The Red Sox look to sweep the three-game series with the Lynchburg Hillcats Thursday night at LewisGale Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm. Salem will send lefty Matt Kent (1-2, 5.91) to the mound, and the Hillcats will counter with righty Mitch Brown (1-2, 5.22). For tickets and more information call (540) 389-3333 or slide to www.salemsox.com/tickets.


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