Hillcats sweep Salem Red Sox
The Salem Red Sox were swept in a tightly-contested doubleheader with the Lynchburg Hillcats Wednesday night at Lynchburg City Stadium, falling 6-5 in 10 innings in the first game and 4-3 in the nightcap.
Game one of the twin bill started well for the Red Sox (27-12), when they put up a three-spot against Hillcats (27-12) starter Mitch Brown. The righty issued bases-loaded walks to Nick Longhi and Danny Mars, and a sacrifice fly to Mike Meyers to put the Sox up 3-0.
Matt Kent was terrific again on the mound for Salem, shutting down a formidable Lynchburg lineup. The southpaw stifled the Hillcats, allowing only two hits and striking out a career-high six in 6.0 shutout innings.
The Red Sox added to their lead in the sixth against Jordan Milbrath, when Meyers walked, stole second and came home to score after two wild pitches.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Hillcats came back against German Taveras and Jake Drehoff with four runs after there was one out recorded to send the game to extra innings.
Salem wasted no time in the eighth touching up Luke Eubank for a run. Longhi led the inning off with a hit, and then came around to score two batters later on a Jordan Procyshen single to make it 5-4. Longhi went 1-for-4 with two runs scored and his 29th RBI of the season in the opener.
Lynchburg battled back against Drehoff (0-1) to plate the tying run in the bottom of the eighth when a rally materialized out of thin air with two outs thanks to a hit batsman.
In the 10th, Mark Mathias chased home David Armendariz with the winning run as the Hillcats took game one 6-5. Cameron Hill got the win for the Hillcats, improving to 2-0 on the year.
The second game of the double dip began in control of the Hillcats, who scored a run in the first when Greg Allen dashed home on a Yankory Pimentel wild pitch.
Salem had opportunities, getting hits in each of the first three innings against starter Nick Pasquale, but all three times the runners were erased on double plays.
The Red Sox finally broke through in the fourth, tying the game up at one apiece. Deiner Lopez laid down a bunt single with one out, and then scored on a Danny Mars groundout later in the inning.
Lynchburg knocked Pimentel (2-1) out of the game with no outs in the fourth inning, and reliever Jamie Callahan allowed the two runners he inherited to score, as the Hillcats took a 3-1 lead. The ‘Cats would add an additional tally against Callahan in the fifth to expand the advantage to 4-1.
Salem rallied in the top of the seventh against Cole Sulser, bringing the tying run to the plate with no outs. A Yoan Moncada sacrifice fly scored Jordan Betts, and then a Lopez single scored David Sopilka to make it 4-3. Sulser was able to recover, getting Rafael Devers to ground out and close the game for his third save of the year.
The Red Sox complete the series with the Lynchburg Hillcats Thursday night. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 pm. Salem will send Travis Lakins (4-2, 4.33) to the mound, countered by Luis Lugo (2-1, 4.17) of Lynchburg. Follow along with all the action on the Salem Red Sox Baseball Network, with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:15 pm.