Lynchburg rocks Red Sox, 9-2
After a quiet day offensively for the Hillcats, the beginning of tonight’s game was anything but. Keith Couch began his outing with a walk to Mycal Jones. Nick Ahmed followed with double and Chris Garcia plated Jones with an RBI groundout to the ‘Cats the early 1-0 lead. Adam Milligan added another run with an RBI single that scored Ahmed to make it 2-0.
The top of the second was much of the same for the Lynchburg offense. Matt Weaver blasted his ninth homer of the year with one out to extend the lead to 3-0. Jones reached on a single and Ahmed would sacrifice him over to second. Again, Garcia came through, this time with an RBI single past the shortstop Xander Bogaerts to make it a four-run cushion.
The bottom of the second would be the only trouble Gus Schlosser would face on the mound. An error by Edward Salcedo on a ball hit my Michael Almanzar started the inning. Bogaerts walked to put runners at first and second. Lucas LeBlanc recorded the Sox first hit, but it stayed on the infield and the runners would move station-to-station. With the bases juiced, Schlosser focused and struck out Shannon Wilkerson to end the threat.
The top of the third saw a run score, but the official scoring was questionable at best. After a Braeden Schlehuber double, David Rohm hit a slicing fly ball out to right. LeBlanc raced from right field to the right field line to make the play, as LeBlanc tried to extend his arms to make the play, the ball went off the edge of LeBlanc’s mitt. Schlehuber raced home and Rohm cruised to third. It went down as an error on LeBlanc, so Rohm was not credited with the RBI. The score did move to 5-0.
In the top of the fifth, the ‘Cats would add to their lead. Salcedo went deep for the 10th time this season off of new pitcher Manny Rivera. The lead was extended to 6-0.
Salem’s offense finally showed life, albeit briefly, in the bottom of the seventh. A LeBlanc double off Ryne Harper got the offense going. Matty Johnson got involved with a liner out to left, LeBlanc raced home and slid underneath a Schlehuber tag to make it 6-1.
Lynchburg answered back in the top of the eight thanks to a lead-off triple by Rohm. Bobby Stevens got involved with a hit out to left field, Rohm scored, but Stevens was thrown out at second trying to stretch the hit to a double. However, the ‘Cats held a commanding 7-1 lead.
The lead exclamation point to the offensive outburst was put on by Garcia in the top of the ninth. With Ahmed at first, Garcia blasted his eighth homer of the season as he tied his career-high for RBI in a game with four. The score was now 9-1 in the Hillcats favor.
Juan Jaime came in to finish off the Red Sox, however it wasn’t that simple. The first three batters reached, two by way of hits and one by walk. With the bases loaded, Johnson grounded out to Ahmed at short to score Christian Vazquez and cut the lead to 9-2. However, that’s all the Sox could muster.
Schlosser earned his ninth win of the season, which ties teammate Cody Martin for the league lead. Schlosser went six innings, allowed four hits, walked two and fanned six. Couch (6-7) picked up the loss for his four innings of work. He allowed five runs—four earned—on eight hits. He walked one and struck out three.