Lynchburg Hillcats blast Salem Red Sox, 18-1
Lynchburg (18-17) knocked off Salem (17-19), to get above the .500 mark for the first time since they were 12-11 on April 30.
After Hillcats starter Tanner Tully (Win, 2-3) gave up an unearned run in the first, it was all Lynchburg the rest of the way.
In the third inning, the Hillcats tied the game at 1-1. Conner Capel ripped an RBI triple to the right-center gap, scoring Mitch Longo who singled with one out in the inning.
Lynchburg grabbed the lead with three runs in the fourth. Anthony Miler and Jodd Carter worked back-to-back walks to begin the inning. Later in the frame, Alexis Pantoja plated Miller with a sacrifice fly, and Carter came around to score on an error by Red Sox second baseman Brett Netzer. Dillon Persinger singled and eventually scored on another Salem error, making it a 4-1.
Ahead 8-1 in the seventh, Lynchburg received a two-run blast from Persinger, his first of the season. Two more runs scored in the inning, capped by Luke Wakamatsu’s sacrifice fly to extend the Hillcats lead to 12-1.
Leading by 11 runs with the bases loaded in the eighth, Longo unloaded on a pitch that cleared the right field wall, stretching the lead to 17-1. It was the first grand slam hit by the Hillcats this season.
Pantoja hit an RBI double in the ninth to finish the scoring, giving the Hillcats the historic 18-1 win.
Tully pitched 6.2 innings, and allowed just one unearned run on four hits. He had a stretch on Saturday when he retired 12 consecutive Red Sox hitters. Ben Krauth pitched 2.1 scoreless innings in relief.
Tanner Houck (Loss, 1-5) started for the Red Sox and did not make it out of the fifth inning. He departed after the first two hitters reached in the fifth, and allowed seven runs (five earned) on seven hits. Hildemaro Requena surrendered 10 runs (eight earned) on six hits in 3.1 innings of relief. Carlos Tovar, an infielder, came on to pitch the final 1.2 frames for the Red Sox.
The 18 runs were the most scored by Lynchburg since the team scored 21 runs on April 27, 2005 against Kinston.
All but one Hillcats starter recorded a hit in the game, and six registered multi-hit games.
The 18 runs allowed by Salem were the most since the organization became a Red Sox affiliate in 2009. Lynchburg also handed Salem their greatest defeat in the Red Sox era, surpassing the Hillcats 15-0 win against the Red Sox on July 4, 2015.
The Hillcats will go for the sweep on Sunday in the series finale. Right-hander Felix Tati (0-1, 3.60 ERA) will get the ball for Lynchburg against Red Sox right-hander Roniel Raudes (2-3, 3.71). First pitch is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. at Haley Toyota Field.
Max Gun and Matt Present will be on the air at 1:55 p.m. with the Hillcats pre-game show on TuneIn Radio and the Radio434 App.
For tickets or more information, visit lynchburg-hillcats.com, call 434-528-1144. or stop by the City Stadium box office.