WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (April 6, 2014) - Third baseman Nick Basto paced a balanced attack with three hits, and the Winston-Salem Dash earned a series split with a 7-1 win over the Wilmington Blue Rocks.
After the Blue Rocks plated a run in the top of the first inning, the Dash answered in the bottom-half of the frame. A leadoff walk to Jacob May was later followed by an RBI single by first baseman Keon Barnum, his first hit of the year, tying the game at 1-1.
Winston-Salem jumped ahead in the bottom of a strange second inning. Martin Medina led off with a double to center field, and Grant Buckner then reached base on a catcher's interference. Basto singled to left to load the bases, and Michael Johnson followed with an RBI groundout. Another run scored when Tim Anderson's grounder bounced off the heel of shortstop Raul A. Mondesi's glove, and the Dash had a 3-1 advantage.
The Dash cushioned their lead in the bottom of the fourth. Basto and Johnson started the rally with back-to-back singles, and Anderson chased Basto home with a sacrifice fly. Courtney Hawkins then followed with a double down the third-base line, pushing the Winston-Salem lead to 5-1.
The finishing touches came in the eighth inning, when Medina drew a leadoff walk. Consecutive doubles by Buckner and Basto stretched the Dash lead to 7-1, putting the game out of reach for the Blue Rocks.
With their second straight win, the Dash have leveled their record at 2-2.
Euclides Leyer (1-0) pitched two and two-thirds scoreless innings in relief to earn the victory after Dash starter Braulio Ortiz started and allowed just an unearned run over four and one-third innings of work.
Winston-Salem pitchers were able to work their way out of jams throughout the contest. The Blue Rocks stranded 13 runners on base, and Cam Gallagher was cut down twice on plays at home plate. Wilmington left at least one runner on base in all but one inning, and eight men were stranded in scoring position throughout the contest.
Sunday marked the 700th game in Dash history. Thanks to the win, Winston-Salem now has a 383-316-1 record and .548 winning percentage since the Dash came into existence in 2009, which is good for the best record in the Carolina League over that span.
After an off day on Monday, the Dash will hit the road for the first time this season. Winston-Salem will embark on a three-game series against the Salem Red Sox before heading north for a four-game set against these Blue Rocks. Right-hander Mike Recchia is the scheduled starting pitcher on Tuesday at Salem, and he will oppose Salem southpaw Brian Johnson. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Fans can tune in at wsdash.com/broadcast beginning at 6:50 p.m.