Salem wins nailbiter

After struggling to find a big hit in the first two games of the series, the Red Sox received two clutch base knocks that proved to be the difference in a 2-1 victory over the Keys at Harry Grove Stadium on Wednesday. Peter Hissey’s RBI double tied things up in the sixth, setting the stage for Dan Butler’s two-out single that give the Red Sox the lead in the ninth.

Tied at one in the ninth, Kolbrin Vitek extended his hitting streak to eight games by lacing a one-out double down the right field line. With two outs and two strikes, Butler poked a single through the right side for his team-leading 62nd RBI of the season, scoring Vitek and giving the Red Sox their first lead of the and The action will also be heard in the Roanoke Valley on tape delay on WFIR 960 AM at 5 PM.

Kendal Volz entered in the bottom of the ninth to slam the door on the Keys, striking out Steve Bumbry to end the contest. Volz’ 1-2-3 performance backed up Jeremiah Bayer’s phenomenal effort out of the bullpen in support of starter Chris Hernandez. Bayer emerged to get the final out in the fifth before setting down 10 of the next 12 he faced en route to picking up his sixth win of the season.

Hernandez labored through four and two-thirds frames, scattering six hits while striking out four and walking four. The lefty tossed 89 pitches in his outing, working around a bases loaded, nobody out jam in the first. Hernandez gave up his lone run on an RBI double by Dale Mollenhauer in the last of the fourth.

The Sox offense had mustered just one hit off Frederick starter Ryohei Tanaka through the first five frames before Zach Gentile gave Salem some life with a one-out single in the top of the sixth. After a groundout, Hissey strode to the plate and hammered a two-out RBI double down the right field line, tying the game at one.

The base knock was just Salem’s second hit with runners in scoring position in the series. Butler’s single in the ninth provided the Sox with their third knock in such situations.

The Red Sox look for a split of the four-game series in a 12 PM matinee on Thursday. Ryan Pressly will start for Salem against Frederick’s Nick Haughian.

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