Hillcats slide into home
Hawaiian shirts along with leis were out in full force inside LewisGale Field on Saturday night. Starting the night off with pregame music from the Key West Band and ending with a Salem Red Sox win along with post-game fireworks, calling it an awesome night at the ballpark would be an absolute understatement!
Despite two solo home runs from Lynchburg in the first two innings, Salem capitalized on three straight walks from Lynchburg pitcher, Navery Moore, in the third. Bringing in the two runs for Salem was Keury De La Cruz extending his current hitting streak to 15 games, which is the longest active streak in the Carolina League.
Following an intense face-off between each side of the stadium to see who could scream louder for Red Sox mascot, Mugsy, the Sox used momentum from the crowd to make quick work of the Hilcats in the top half of the fourth.
Tallying three more runs in the bottom half of the fourth; Salem stretched their lead out to 6-2. Hits coming from Ramos, Welch, Sanchez and Cecchini allowed the Sox to practically take full control of the game before even reaching the halfway point.
Outstanding defense from Ramos and Swihart kept the wave of momentum moving throughout the 5,224 fans in attendance as they both made terrific throws to stop a pair of Hillcat steal attempts.
Blasting “Kokomo” by the Beach Boys and “Margaritaville” by Jimmy Buffet as the sun went down did nothing but support the stadium-wide sense of everything beach-related…there were even some fans still sporting their swimsuits!
And while the enjoyment from Sox fans seemed to steadily increase as the night progressed, so did runs on the scoreboard for the Sox.
Marrero and Cecchini both recorded a RBI leading a sixth inning rally that left Lynchburg with no hope of making a comeback.
After barely missing a solo home run earlier in the game, Blake Swihart surly didn’t miss again in the seventh as he smacked one well over the right field fence and scored the last run of the evening.
Pitcher Matt Price came in to close out the ninth inning and didn’t upset. Retiring one and letting the defense behind him do the rest of the work, Salem sealed up the win in an orderly fashion, 9-2.
Following a standing ovation from fans, the stadium was then lit up with a phenomenal fireworks show to wrap up what was a great night on the beach, inside the ballpark.