Salem Red Sox hold off Lynchburg Hillcats, 7-6
With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Dayan Diaz got David Nick to chop out to second and preserve a 7-6 win for the Salem Red Sox over the Lynchburg Hillcats at Falwell Field in Lynchburg Saturday night. For the second straight night of the series, the game came down to the ninth inning, with the Sox coming out on top Saturday night.
Kyle Martin got the win in relief in his longest outing of the season. Martin allowed just a run and four hits in three and two thirds innings pitched. Alex Wilson picked up the loss, allowing a run and three hits in his inning of work.
Neither starter had their best stuff tonight. Pat Light fought through five innings, allowing eight hits and five runs. Lucas Sims lasted just three innings, allowing seven hits and six runs, along with four walks.
The offense started in the bottom of the second, when the teams would combine for 11 runs over the next four half innings. Levi Hyams led off the frame with a double, and was driven home by Daniel Castro. Will Skinner would follow with a single which moved Castro to third. Both would come home on a single by Edison Sanchez to give the Hillcats a 3-0 lead.
The Sox would quickly respond in the top of the third. Matty Johnson singled to lead off the frame, stole second, moved to third on a ground out, and came home to score on a single by Carson Blair. Then Mario Martinez doubled home Blair and Kevin Heller, who walked, to tie the game. Aneury Tavarez would drive home Martinez to give the Sox a 4-3 lead.
But Lynchburg struck right back off of Light. In the bottom of the third, Jose Peraza led off with a single. He stole second and scored on a single by Nick. The Ahrens doubled home Nick to make it 5-4 Hillcats.
And to finish off the four consecutive half innings of multiple runs, the Sox would take the lead right back. Johnson led off with a walk, and scored on a double by Michael Miller to tie the game. Miller moved to third on a throwing error. Miller came home to score on a sacrifice fly by Martinez to give the Sox a 6-5 lead.
The game would remain 6-5 until the bottom of the eighth. The Hillcats would use two triples to square the game at six. Kyle Wren extended his hitting streak to 11 with a triple to lead off the inning. Then with one out, Hyams tripled home Wren to tie the game. Martin would get Ahrens to strike out and Castro to ground out to get out of the inning.
In the top of the ninth inning, Heller led off the frame with a single off of Wilson. Then Blair doubled, his third hit of the game, but Kevin Heller was thrown out a home on a outstanding throw from Peraza who had cut off Skinners throw from right. But the Sox would find a way still to score as Martinez drove home Blair for his fourth RBI of the game to give the Sox a 7-6 lead.
Martinez’s four RBIs gives him 11 in the last four games, including three or more in three of the four contests.
Martin started a fourth inning of relief for the first time this year by allowing a one out double to Sanchez. Martin got pinch hitter Eric Garcia to strike out, but then hit Peraza. The Sox then turned to Diaz. With two on and two out, Wren hit a line drive towards short that hit off of the base umpire and the play was ruled dead with each runner moving up a base. Thus the bases were loaded with two outs, when Diaz got Nick to ground into a fielders choice a second to pick up his fourth save.
With the win, the Sox snap a eight game road losing streak and four game skid overall to Lynchburg. These two play the final game of the series tomorrow at 2:05. Corey Littrell goes for the Sox. Lay Batista gets the ball for the Hillcats.