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Salem shut out on Easter Sunday

Mike Wright outdueled Miguel Celestino in their respective Carolina League debuts, and the Frederick Keys handed the Salem Sox a 5-0 shutout setback on Sunday afternoon at Harry Grove Stadium.

Celestino was good in his first Advanced-A appearance—permitting just two runs in five solid innings—but Wright was better, dealing six scoreless frames to help the Keys take two out of three in the season-opening series. Jason Gurka and Chris Petrini combined to toss the final two frames for Frederick, while Bobby Stevens belted his third homer of the series to boost the Keys offense.

The Sox managed just six singles against the Keys’ staff which did not walk anyone, and three of the six baserunners were quickly erased by a double-play. Frederick scored single runs in the first and fifth before breaking it open with three more against reliever Scott Swinson in the seventh.

Ronny Welty’s RBI single brought home Trent Mummey in the opening inning, with Mummey reaching on a deep double into the right-center field gap that Jackie Bradley, Jr. nearly caught remarkably. Salem’s center-fielder stabbed the ball at the apex of his sprinting leap, but crashed into the wall and the ball jostled free. After being shaken up for a moment, Bradley remained in the game.

Celestino silenced the Keys through the second, third, and fourth, but three consecutive one-out singles from Ty Kelly, Joe Oliveira, and Stevens surged Frederick to a 2-0 lead.

In the seventh, Michael Flacco reached on a bunt single to begin the frame, and, two batters later, Kelly slapped a wind-aided, line-drive homer over the left field fence to put the Keys up 4-0. Two batters after that, Stevens stayed alive after a foul pop up was dropped, and he proceeded to blast an opposite-field round-tripper over the right-field fence to make it 5-0.

Christian Vazquez led Salem with two hits, while Bradley, Brandon Jacobs, Drew Hedman, and Adalberto Ibarra each chipped in with one. Kelly, Oliveira, and Stevens all went 2-3 to lead Frederick, with the former and the latter each driving in a pair of runs in support of Wright, who earned the victory.

Salem will enjoy an early-season day off on Monday before heading to Lynchburg for a three-game set beginning Tuesday. Manny Rivera is scheduled to start the opener at City Stadium, with Aaron Northcraft slated to pitch for the Hillcats, with first pitch slated for 6:05.

augusta free press
augusta free press