Salem Red Sox complete sweep of Lynchburg Hillcats

salem red soxThree Salem Red Sox pitchers combined to hold the Lynchburg Hillcats to five hits as Salem took a 7-2 decision on Thursday night at Lynchburg City Stadium, earning a three-game series sweep.

Salem struck first in the second inning as Mario Martinez led off with a double. He advanced to second when Mike Meyers singled and took third on a wild pitch. Yoilan Cerse bounced a one-out grounder to short, scoring Martinez from third for a 1-0 lead.

The Hillcats answered in the bottom of the same frame with Joe Sever starting thing off with a double to right-center. He took third on a Mike Papi single before Eric Haase drove him home on a single to left, tying the game at one.

Lynchburg grabbed a lead in the fourth on one swing. Papi mashed a Daniel McGrath offering over the right field wall for his second home run in as many nights, vaulting the Hillcats ahead 2-1. From there, though, the Red Sox did not allow another hit.

Salem bounced back in the top of the fifth inning. Cerse reached on an error charged to Ivan Castillo before Jordan Procyshen walked. Mauricio Dubon then legged out an infield single, loading the bases for Wendell Rijo, who shot a liner to the left field corner. Cerse and Procyshen scored on the Rijo double, as Dubon sprinted around third, attempting to score. He was thrown out by the relay from Castillo and the inning ended with Salem leading 3-2.

McGrath (4-6) won for the third straight time thanks to two runs allowed on five hits in five innings with one walk and five strikeouts. Luis Ysla delivered three no-hit innings out of the bullpen in his first appearance with the Red Sox organization, striking out five in the process. Chandler Shepherd worked a clean ninth with one strikeout to close out the game.

Michael Peoples (11-4) was the losing pitcher thanks to three runs, one earned, on five hits and three walks with four strikeouts in six innings. Peoples lost for the first time since May 7, a span of 20 appearances.

Salem added four runs of insurance in the ninth inning thanks to an RBI double from Deiner Lopez and a three-run homer by Rijo, pushing the lead to 7-2.

Rijo led the way offensively, going 2-for-5 with a double, a home run and five runs driven in.. Procyshen was 1-for-2 with two walks and two runs scored and Martinez was 2-for-4 with a run scored and a walk.

Salem improved to 63-72 and 25-40 in the second half while Lynchburg dropped to 70-66 and 37-29. The sweep was the first since the Sox took three straight against the Wilmington Blue Rocks from June 12-14.

The Red Sox will conclude the 2015 series with a four-game series in Woodbridge, VA against the Potomac Nationals, beginning Friday at7:05 p.m. Salem will trot out Trey Ball (8-13, 4.85) to oppose Potomac’s Jeff Howell (1-1, 2.45). Fans can listen to the game on 1240 AM ESPN Roanoke, online at or via the TuneIn Radio app.


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