Lynchburg Hillcats complete sweep of Salem Red Sox

lynchburg hillcatsDorrsys Paulino crushed a leadoff solo homer in the eighth inning, giving the Lynchburg Hillcats the decisive run in a 6-5 victory over the Salem Red Sox on Thursday night at Lynchburg City Stadium.

Tied 5-5 in the bottom of the eighth, Paulino took a 1-1 offering from Kyle Kaminska deep to left-center for a home run that cleared the scoreboard to give the Hillcats the lead for good, 6-5.

The Sox took their first lead of the series in the top of the first inning, ignited by Mauricio Dubon reaching on a one-out walk. He stood at second base when Kevin Heller smacked a single to left center, bringing Dubon home for a 1-0 Salem advantage.

Lynchburg answered in the bottom of the first, beginning with a leadoff walk to Yhoxian Medina. Nellie Rodriguez drove him home with a two-out single that tied the game at one.

The Hillcats took the lead in the second by tagging Aaron Wilkerson for two runs on three hits. Paulino singled and stole second, then moved to third when LeVon Washington singled. Claudio Bautista lifted a fly to center that was deep enough for Paulino to tag and score on the sacrifice fly. Medina then doubled, scoring Washington and giving Lynchburg a 3-1 lead.

Runs scored in the third and fourth to tie the game for Salem. In the third, Dubon singled and scored on an RBI fielder’s choice grounder from Heller, with Paul Hendrix trying unsuccessfully to throw out Dubon at home. The Sox tied the game in the fourth when Dubon skied a fly to right, deep enough for Cole Sturgeon to tag from third, equaling the game at three.

The Hillcats regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth by loading the bases for Eric Haase, who clobbered a two-run double off the base of the wall in the left field corner. Salem was able to tie the game on a pair of RBI from Yoilan Cerse. In the sixth, he lifted a sacrifice fly to right that scored Sturgeon, and he again drove in Sturgeon in the eighth, this time on a broken-bat single flared to left-center.

Wilkerson struggled with his command, as he gave up three runs on four hits and four walks with two strikeouts in four innings and did not factor in the decision. Kaminska (1-2) took the loss with three runs against on five hits in four innings out of the bullpen. Perci Garner (1-1) snagged the win for Lynchburg with a run allowed on two hits in just one inning.

Sturgeon scored three runs and went 2-for-2 with two walks and two stolen bases. Heller went 1-for-3 with two RBI and two walks. The Red Sox equaled their season high with their sixth consecutive loss, dropping them to 51-54 and 13-22 in the second half. Lynchburg improved to 52-53 and 19-16 in the victory.

Salem continues the road trip with a three-game series in Woodbridge, Va. against the Potomac Nationals beginning Fridaynight at Pfitzner Stadium. Kevin McAvoy (5-9, 4.40) will start the series opener against the P-Nats, who trot out Reynaldo Lopez (5-6, 4.62). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Fans can listen to the game on 1240 AM ESPN Roanoke, online at or via the TuneIn Radio app.

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