Red Sox, Hillcats both fall in one run games Saturday
LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET/Hillcats) - Lynchburg put the possible tying run in scoring position in each of the final three innings, but the Hillcats finished the game 0-8 with runners in scoring position in a 3-2 defeat against the Down East Wood Ducks Saturday night.
Down East scored three runs on five hits in the first eight batters of the game and held on the rest of the way for a one-run victory. The Wood Ducks saw Hillcats pitching retire 24 of the final 25 batters they sent to the plate. Tanner Tully retired 21 of the final 22 men he faced and went a career-high eight innings as a result. Unfortunately, he took the loss with three runs on six hits against him. Nearly all of that damage occurred in the first two frames. Justin Garcia struck out one as part of a perfect ninth inning out of the bullpen.
Matt Lipka and Preston Scott began the game with back-to-back doubles to plate the first run. Two batters later, Josh Morgan’s RBI single made it 2-0. Down East tallied another run in the second when Chuck Moorman doubled to bring home Ledarious Clark, who had singled one batter earlier.
Martin Cervenka hit his eighth home run of the year with one out in the second inning to cut the deficit to two, 3-1. In the sixth inning, a two-out error extended the inning for Ka’ai Tom to drive in Sicnarf Loopstok with a bloop single to left. That brought the Hillcats within one, 3-2.
Lynchburg put the possible tying run at second base in the seventh inning on a Claudio Bautista double, but he was stranded there. Andrew Calica tripled with one out in the eighth but failed to score. In the ninth inning, the ‘Cats had two runners on base with only one out, but Adam Choplick retired the next two batters to record his seventh save of the year.
The Hillcats conclude the four-game series with Down East Sunday at 5 p.m. Gates open at City Stadium at 4 p.m.
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WSET/Salem Sox) - The Salem Red Sox rallied to erase an early three-run deficit, but couldn’t keep up with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, falling 4-3 Saturday night at TicketReturn.com Field.
The Sox (23-20, 63-49) dropped their fifth game of six played so far on this road trip, and need a win Sunday to salvage a series split. The Pelicans (16-26, 59-53) moved back to .500 on the season at home, despite the departure of several of their best players via trade as the Chicago Cubs look to stock up for the playoffs.
The Pelicans opened the scoring in the bottom of the first against Salem starter Matthew Kent. First, Zack Short led off the inning with a solo homer to left, his fourth dinger of the season. P.J. Higgins followed that up with a single, and Trent Giambrone punished a fastball over the left field wall for a two-run tater to make it a 3-0 lead for the Pelicans.
Salem got on the board in the top of the second inning against Myrtle Beach starter Ryan Kellogg. Jose Sermo drew a leadoff walk, and Jordan Betts doubled him to third. Austin Rei hit a bouncer to the left side, and reached first as Sermo was thrown out at the plate trying to score. Mike Meyers singled to left, loading the bases, and Jhon Nunez plated Betts with a sacrifice fly to right to trim the lead to 3-1.
The Sox drew even in the top of the fourth inning, as Sermo led off the frame with a single. With one away, Rei doubled to left to score Sermo, and Meyers followed with an RBI double of his own to left to tie the game at 3-3. The Sox got two runners on in the sixth, as Kellogg walked Rei and Meyers with one away, but new reliever Jordan Minch (W, 1-3) fanned Nunez and got Tyler Spoon to bounce into a force-out to end the inning.
Myrtle Beach retook the lead in the bottom of the sixth, as Jesse Hodges jumped all over a fastball from Kent, sending it out to left field for a solo homer to make it a 4-3 lead for the Pelicans. That was all Myrtle Beach would need, as Dakota Mekkes delivered two no-hit innings to push the Sox to the brink. Pedro Araujo (S, 9) walked Tate Matheny with two outs in the ninth, but Matheny was caught trying to steal second, ending the game.
Kent surrendered four runs on eight hits (including a career-worst three homers) and one walk in seven innings, fanning seven. Matthew Gorst allowed one hit in a scoreless inning of relief in his high-A debut.
The Sox look for a series split Sunday night, with lefty Logan Boyd toeing the slab for Salem against Myrtle Beach righty Duncan Robinson. First pitch from TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark is at 6:05 p.m.