Hess holds down Salem Red Sox, 3-1

salem red soxThe Frederick Keys scored all three of their runs in the first two innings and beat the Salem Red Sox 3-1 on Saturday night at LewisGale Field, avoiding a series sweep.

Josh Hart led things off with a bunt single on the first pitch of the game and was moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt from Gregory Lorenzo. In the next at-bat, Hart took off for third base and catcher Jordan Procyshen fired the ball wild into left field, allowing Hart to score for the first run of the game.

In the second inning, Trey Ball retired the first two batters he faced, but gave up a two-out double to Austin Wynns before serving up a two-run homer to Conor Bierfeldt, pushing the Keys’ advantage to 3-0. Ball (6-6) settled down after that though, lasting 6.2 innings, which matched his career high. The southpaw gave up three runs, two earned, on six hits in the start, striking out three and walking two. He retired 10 of the final 11 he encountered.

A day after posting 11 runs on 11 hits, Salem’s offense was held in check by Frederick starter David Hess. Salem had a runner in scoring position in three of the five innings against Hess (3-4), but couldn’t find the clutch hit, ultimately going 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position on the night.

Thanks to Ball and Taylor Grover holding the Keys offense at bay, Salem stood with a chance to tie the game in the last of the eighth against Frederick closer Cody Wheeler, who loaded the bases with nobody out on two walks and a single. Wheeler, however, forced a double play from Yoilan Cerse, plating a run, but mitigating the damage.

Wheeler battled back to retire the Sox in order in the ninth, picking up his 10th save of the year, tying him for the league lead. Hess earned his first win sinceMay 12 with five scoreless frames, yielding three hits with four strikeouts and two walks.

Salem now turns its attention to a fresh three-game series with the Lynchburg Hillcats starting on Sunday at 4:05 p.m. Teddy Stankiewicz (2-8, 3.89) will climb the hill for the Sox while the HIllcats will counter with Michael Peoples (5-3, 5.68). The first 500 fans through the gate will receive a Mike Adams player poster, which he will sign after the game. In addition, kids will be able to run the bases after the contest. Fans can listen to the game on 1240 AM ESPN Roanoke, online at salemsox.com or via the TuneIn Radio app.

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