Greg Ross shut down the Winston-Salem Dash for eight innings, and Kyle Wren provided the only offense the Hillcats (24-25) needed with a two-run double in the third inning, as Alex Wilson tossed a perfect ninth to seal a 2-0 victory at Calvin Falwell Field Sunday afternoon.
Ross stymied the Dash (19-30) offense throughout, retiring six of the first seven batters he faced and finishing his outing by setting down 16 of the last 17. The right-hander only allowed five hits and one walk while striking out five. He seemed to get stronger as the outing progressed, as four of his five strikeouts came in the sixth inning or later.
Ross (4-1) matched his career high with eight innings, which he last accomplished on July 23, 2012 while with Low-A Rome. Alex Wilson struck out Jason Coats as part of a 1-2-3 final frame to earn his team-high fifth save of the season.
In a scoreless contest, Joe Odom reached on a throwing error by the shortstop Tim Anderson to begin the third inning. Jose Peraza hit a double to right field to advance Odom to third and set the table with no outs for Wren. Already with a base hit in the game, Wren smacked a double to right-center field to plate both runners and pick up the only two RBIs of the afternoon.
Wren finished 2-for-4 with a pair of stolen bases to tie Peraza for the Carolina League with 23, which also ranks third in all of minor league baseball. The center fielder now has nine RBIs and six steals in his last nine games. Wren has posted multi-hit games in each of the three contests against the Dash.
With a 2-0 advantage, Ross encountered one of his few jams on the mound in the top of the fourth. A walk to Joey DeMichele and a double by Keon Barnum put the tying run in scoring position with two outs, but a flyout to right field by Michael Marjama ended the threat. Ross proceeded to work perfect frames in three of the next four innings with the only baserunner for the remainder of the game being a two-out single by DiMichele in the sixth.
Lynchburg will look to claim a series victory and reach the .500 mark Monday evening against Winston-Salem. The contest will have a special 5:05pm first pitch for Memorial Day. Jarett Miller (2-4, 4.37) will square off against Tony Bucciferro (3-5, 4.22). Gates open at 4pm, and the first 500 fans will receive a red, white and blue mini bat giveaway courtesy of Foster Fuels, Inc. Erik Wilson and Kyle West will take the air on 97.9 The Planet with the Hillcats On-Deck Show presented by Amtrak Virginia at 4:40pm.