Salem Red Sox defeat Wilmington, 7-3

salem red soxThe Salem Red Sox scored the final seven runs to win their third straight over the Wilmington Blue Rocks, taking three out of four in the series with a 7-3 triumph on Thursday night. Mike Augliera tossed seven strong innings to improve to 3-0 on the year, while the offense erupted late to overcome the early three-run deficit. Sean Coyle homered for the second straight night, while Garin Cecchini continued his red-hot stretch by reaching base three times.

Down 3-1 with the bases loaded and two outs in the last of the sixth, Matty Johnson bounced a soft chopper up the first base line. Sprinting to the bag, he dove headfirst and eluded the diving tag attempt of Daniel Mateo, allowing two runs to score on the play. With Brandon Jacobs and Blake Swihart crossing the plate, suddenly the game was tied at three.

The Blue Rocks left a man in scoring position in the top of the seventh, and Sean Coyle unloaded on the first pitch of the Salem seventh, crushing a towering solo homer to lift the Sox in front 4-3. Coyle’s fifth round-tripper of the season came in just his 46th at-bat, giving him a home run once every 9.2 ABs.

But the Sox were not done in the seventh, as Nick Natoli followed Coyle’s jack to left-center with a double to right-center. Garin Cecchini’s infield single moved Natoli to third, with Natoli racing home on Jack Lopez’ wild throw to first. Two batters later, Keury De La Cruz singled home Cecchini to make it 6-3, and Swihart followed with an RBI triple off the center field fence to give Salem a four-run lead.

Augliera became the first Red Sox starter this season to complete seven innings, surrendering just one hit after the third. Overall, he yielded six hits, all singles, while walking one and striking out six. The Red Sox have won in each of Augliera’s four starts on the year, a fact that former Virginia Tech Hokies righthander Matt Price helped preserve by tossing the final two innings of shutout ball to close out the victory.

Cecchini, Jacobs, and De La Cruz all finished with two hits, while Justin Trapp and Cheslor Cuthbert each registered multi-hit evenings for Wilmington.

The Sox and Rocks will reunite in Delaware on Monday, but first Salem remains at LewisGale Field to host Lynchburg this weekend. Having won six of their last seven games, the Red Sox will host the Hillcats in a three-game set starting on Friday. William Cuevas pitches for Salem opposite David Peterson.

For the second straight year, Salem fans will be treated to the world famous Cowboy Monkey Rodeo on both Friday and Saturday nights at LewisGale Field. Intrigued? You should be.

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