Salem Red Sox take series finale with Hillcats
Tied at six after nine innings, Salem scratched across a run against position player David Armendariz. Bryan Hudson walked with one out, stole second, and moved to third on a throwing error by the catcher. Yoan Moncada then drove Hudson home with a sacrifice fly, putting Salem (28-12) ahead 7-6.
Taylor Grover (1-1) retired the side in order in the 10th, completing 2.1 scoreless innings of relief to seal the win for Salem.
Lynchburg (27-13) starter Julian Merryweather was not himself early, and the Red Sox were able to take advantage in the second. Salem loaded the bases with no outs, and Danny Mars came around to score on a wild pitch. Jordan Procyshen would come home later in the inning on a Hudson groundout.
Travis Lakins retired the first six Hillcats that he faced, but ran into trouble in the third, when he was touched up for a three-run home run by Yu-Cheng Chang as Lynchburg took a 3-2 lead.
The Red Sox answered back with a tally against Lynchburg reliever Antonio Romero in the fourth when Mike Meyers was plated by a Moncada single to tie the game at three.
Moncada had yet another big day at the plate, finishing 1-for-3 with two walks, a run scored, two RBIs, and two stolen bases to run his Carolina League-leading total to 28 on the season. He is tied with Yefri Perez of the Jacksonville Suns for the minor league lead in stolen bases.
The Hillcats loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the fourth against Lakins, who was removed in favor of Ben Taylor. The righty allowed two of the inherited runners to score when a ball took a bad hop off the lip of the infield grass to scoot by Rafael Devers, giving Lynchburg a 5-3 advantage.
The resilient Sox plated two runs in the fifth against Romero, when Meyers laced a double to right field to score Mars and Procyshen when Hillcats outfielder Mike Papi slipped and threw the ball away trying to pass to Greg Allen. Procyshen had a busy day at the plate, going 3-for-5 with two runs scored.
Salem broke the tie in the top of the sixth against Trevor Frank by wreaking havoc on the bases. Moncada led off with a walk, stole second, advanced to third on a Mauricio Dubon sacrifice bunt, and scored on a passed ball to give the Sox a 6-5 lead.
Taylor was stupendous in relief for Salem, tossing 4.1 innings and allowing one run on just two hits, walking one and striking out six, while at one point mowing down 11 batters in a row.
He was relieved with two outs and runners on the corners in the bottom of the eighth by Grover, who allowed a broken-bat single to Mark Mathias as the Hillcats tied the game at six.
Grover did not allow another hit as Salem avoided its first sweep of the season.
The Red Sox head home to begin a four-game series with the Winston-Salem Dash Friday night at LewisGale Field on Navy Night. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm. Salem will send Jalen Beeks (4-1, 2.57) to the mound, countered by Spencer Adams (4-2, 4.00) of Winston-Salem. For tickets and more information, call (540) 389-3333 or slide to www.salemsox.com/tickets.