Early offense propels Salem to 3-2 win over Carolina
Salem - The Salem Red Sox scored three early runs and that’s all they needed to defeat the Carolina Mudcats 3-2 on Saturday night at Lewis Gale Field in Salem, Virginia.
Red Sox starting pitcher, Ryan Pressly, snagged his first win of the season by striking out six and allowing the only three hits that Carolina could muster over six strong innings. Pressly was replaced in favor of Salem reliever Marco Duarte when he was unable to hold onto a shutout by allowing the Mudcats to score their only two runs of the night.
With Carolina trailing 3-0 heading into top of the sixth inning, Pressly gave up his solitary walk to Mudcats’ left fielder Delvi Cid. Center Fielder Tyler Holt chopped a groundball single to center field that advanced Cid to second. Carolina shortstop Ronny Rodriguez laid down an impressive sacrifice bunt that sent the runners to second and third.
With a runner at third base for the first time in the game, Carolina was finally in a position to cut into the Red Sox lead. Third baseman Giovanny Urshela answered the call will a groundout to second base that allowed Cid to score and advanced Holt to third base.
Mudcats' first baseman Jesus Aguilar came up to bat next with two outs trailing Salem 3-1. Facing Aguilar, Pressly threw a wild pitch the got by Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez allowing Holt to easily score from third giving Salem a slim one run advantage. With the bases empty, Pressly struck out Aguilar to end the inning and Carolina’s hopes of a late game rally.
Duarte pitched two solid innings of relief for Salem striking out two batters and only giving up one walk. Red Sox closer Michael Olmstead earned his fourth save of the year with a single strikeout over one inning of work.
Despite giving up three early runs in the first and second inning, Mudcats’ starter Mike Rayl pitched well and was able to settle in over five innings. Closer Shawn Armstrong put a strangle hold on the Red Sox offense with one hit allowed over three innings. Armstrong and Rayl combined for six strikeouts on the night.
Carolina will conclude their three game road trip to Salem tomorrow afternoon with a 4:05 p.m. start against the Red Sox.