Lynchburg wins pitchers’ duel, 1-0

Lynchburg righthander Cody Martin became the first ten-game winner in the Carolina League with a dominant two-hit, complete game shutout in the Hillcats 1-0 victory over the Salem Sox on Friday night at City Stadium.

Salem only managed four baserunners in the entire contest, with one of them being a man who reached on one of Martin’s 14 strikeouts. Sox starter Yeiper Castillo excelled as well, dealing seven superb innings, but Chris Garcia’s two-out, RBI single in the third brought home Nick Ahmed to score the game’s only run, saddling Castillo with the loss.

Martin’s five-pitch mix was on point and unhittable early. He retired the first nine men he faced through three perfect innings before  Heiker Meneses mustered a soft single into right field to lead off the fourth. But that was all in the first six innings against Martin, who would set down the next ten straight into the seventh.

With one out in the seventh, Travis Shaw struck out, but advanced to first as the breaking ball eluded the Hillcats catcher Braeden Schlehuber. With two outs, Shaw stole second to advance into scoring position, but Michael Almanzar popped up to Schlehuber in foul territory to end the inning.

In the ninth, Meneses collected his second hit of the night by lacing a one-out double into the left-center field  gap. Following a Shannon Wilkerson pop-up, Shaw worked a two-out walk to give the Red Sox multiple men on base for the first time in the game. But Martin struck out Brandon Jacobs for his 14th K, ending the game and sending Salem to its third 1-0 defeat of the season.

Martin’s first career complete game shutout featured 14 strikeouts compared to just one walk, with two hits allowed, both to Meneses.

At 10-6, Martin became the first Carolina League pitcher with double digit victories.

Castillo fell to 0-1 despite his second straight excellent performance, allowing one run on five hits over seven innings, with six strikeouts and one walk. Mike Olmsted struck out a pair in one perfect frame out of the Salem bullpen, the only appearance for any reliever on Friday night.

The Red Sox and Hillcats wrap up their four-game, two-city series on Saturday night at 6:05, with Matt Barnes scheduled to pitch against Lynchburg’s J.R. Graham.

Augusta Health Kris McMackin CPA
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