Kopech dazzles in 9-1 Salem Red Sox win

salem red soxMichael Kopech limited the Potomac Nationals to only one hit and the offense provided more than enough support as the Salem Red Sox rolled to a 9-1 victory on Wednesday night at Pfitzner Stadium.

Coming off back-to-back 11-strikeout performances, Kopech (4-1) was masterful once again. The right-hander struck out 10 batters, the fourth time in his last five appearances he has reached double figures in K’s. He struck out at least one hitter in six of his seven innings while maintaining efficiency, needing only 89 pitches in his outing. Kopech finished seven frames for the first time in his career, capping the night off with back-to-back 100mph fastballs to strike out Alec Keller.

The 2014 first round pick ceded only one hit, a soft infield single to Max Schrock with one out in the fourth. The next pitch turned into a double play. Kopech walked two in the seven frames and lowered his season-long ERA to 1.23. His 81 strikeouts in 51.1 innings since joining the Red Sox on July 7 continue to lead MiLB.

Offensively, the Red Sox jumped on Nationals starter Austen Williams early. With two on and two down in the first, Michael Chavis collected his first Salem RBI with a single and scored on the next pitch, along with Bryan Hudson, on a two-run single from Jayce Ray.

That was the first of three separate three-run innings for Salem, as they also matched the feat in the fourth. Jordan Procyshen delivered the first tally with a double, although he was thrown out at third on the play. Jose Sermo then clocked an opposite-field solo homer for his seventh blast of the year, giving Salem a 5-0 lead. Deiner Lopez followed with a single and stole second before scampering home on a Joseph Monge RBI base hit.

Williams (4-5) bounced back to last seven innings for Potomac, yielding six runs on eight hits with three walks and five strikeouts.

Leading 6-0, the Red Sox tacked on three more in the eighth with RBI’s from Ray and Procyshen with a third run coming in on a Potomac throwing error.

The Nationals’ lone run came on a leadoff solo home run from Bryan Mejia in the last of the ninth against Simon Mercedes.

The three-game series culminates on Thursday night at 7:05 pm. Matt Kent (9-6, 3.83) searches for his 10th win for Salem against Potomac’s J.D. Martin (0-1, 5.73). Follow along with all the action on the Salem Red Sox Baseball Network, with pre-game coverage beginning at 6:45 pm.

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