Loopstok's 6 RBI's power Hillcats, Salem stumbles against Dash
WOODBRIDGE, Va. (WSET/Hillcats) – Sicnarf Loopstok went 4-4 with four extra-base hits and a career-high six RBIs to pace the Hillcats offense in a 9-2 victory at Pfitzner Stadium Tuesday night. He had two doubles, a triple, and a home run before receiving an intentional walk in the ninth inning.
Loopstok began the night with a bang, belting his team-leading 14th home run of the year. The two-run homer came immediately after a sacrifice fly by Gavin Collins, and the Hillcats led 3-0 at that point. Sam Haggerty singled and stole his league-leading 35th base, while Andrew Calica walked to reach base. Both scored in the first. Ian Sagdal hit a two-run homer for Potomac in the second inning to make it 3-2.
The Hillcats added another three-spot on the board in the third. Haggerty walked, Willi Castro singled, and Calica was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Loopstok drove in a pair of runs with a double to right field, and Ka’ai Tom brought home the final run of the frame on an infield single.
Loopstok doubled again in the fifth, but nobody was on base in that appearance. In the seventh, Loopstok knocked in Castro and Collins with a triple over the head of the center fielder. It gave Loopstok a career-high fourth hit to go along with a personal-best six RBIs. Castro stole two bases earlier in the frame after drawing a walk. He finished the game 2-4 with three runs scored.
Aaron Civale earned the win by going seven innings for the fifth time in 12 starts with Lynchburg. He struck out four and did not walk anyone. The right-hander scattered eight hits with the only damage against him being the two-run homer. Ben Krauth worked two perfect innings to close the game, which included four consecutive strikeouts to begin his outing.
Lynchburg plays its final regular-season game at Pfitzner Stadium Wednesday at 12:05 p.m. Triston McKenzie (9-5, 3.31) will start for the Hillcats.
WINSTON SALEM, NC. (WSET/Salem Sox) - The Salem Red Sox were edged by one run for the second straight night Tuesday, falling 5-4 to the Winston-Salem Dash at BB&T Ballpark.
The Sox (22-17, 62-45) had a lead but lost it on a controversial call in the seventh inning, and got the tying run aboard in the top of the ninth before an unusual double play ended their hopes. Winston-Salem (18-20, 42-66) belted two homers in the game and have now won three straight against Salem dating back to July 23, each decided by only one run.
The Dash drew first blood in the bottom of the second inning against Salem starter Mike Shawaryn, who surrendered a leadoff walk to Matt Rose before a groundout by Brandon Dulin advanced Rose to second base. Shawaryn fired a wild pitch, allowing Rose to get to third, and a single by Seby Zavala plated Dulin for the first run. Jameson Fisher flew out to left, but Sam Dexter blasted a fastball over the left field wall for his first homer, extending Winston-Salem’s lead to 3-0.
Salem answered in the top of the third inning against Winston-Salem starting pitcher Jimmy Lambert (W, 3-2). With one out, Jhon Nunez banged a triple off the right field wall before Nick Lovullo blooped a single to center, scoring Nunez. Chris Madera hit a bloop single of his own to center field to put runners at first and second, and a passed ball by catcher Zack Collins moved the runners to second and third. Jeremy Rivera grounded out to short, scoring Lovullo and trimming the margin to 3-2.
The Sox pulled ahead in the top of the fourth inning. With one out, Jose Sermo lined a single to center, and sped to third on a double up the left field line by Tate Matheny. Mike Meyers went down looking for the second out, but Jhon Nunez sliced a double to left to score the runners and give Salem a 4-3 lead. However, the Dash tied the game up in the bottom of the fifth inning, as Zack Collins thumped a solo homer to right to even the score at 4-4.
The Dash retook the lead in the bottom of the seventh against Salem reliever Daniel McGrath (L, 2-7), who’d stranded two baserunners he inherited from Shawaryn in the sixth inning. Luis Alexander Basabe singled to lead off the frame, and swiped second base. A groundout to first by Bryant Flete advanced Basabe to third, and with the infield drawn in, Collins hit a bouncer to second. Lovullo whipped the ball home, and Nunez applied the tag to the sliding Basabe, but home plate umpire Ryan Wilhelms ruled that Basabe made it home safely. Salem manager Joe Oliver made his displeasure known, but the call stood, and the Dash took a 5-4 lead.
Another memorable play unfolded in the top of the ninth, as Matheny drew a leadoff walk from reliever Andre Wheeler (H, 3), and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Meyers. New reliever Ian Hamilton (S, 3) came on to face Jhon Nunez, who hit a high chopper to third base. Rose fired across to first, nabbing Nunez, and Matheny slipped on his way back to second. Dulin threw the ball to Flete at second, and he tagged Matheny in time for the final out.
Shawaryn took a no-decision, allowing four runs on five hits and four walks in 5.1 innings while striking out four. McGrath was saddled with the loss, giving up one run on two hits in two innings and fanning two.
The Sox will try to avoid the sweep Wednesday afternoon, with righty Durin O’Linger toeing the slab for Salem. First pitch from BB&T Ballpark in Winston-Salem is at 12:00 p.m.