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BORUFF AND CARL SHUT DOWN HILLCATS06/29/2012 11:02 PM ET
By Jeff O'Connor / Wilmington Blue Rocks
Wilmington, DE - On a hot, muggy Friday night at Frawley Stadium, hits were hard to come by. The Wilmington Blue Rocks (29-41, 4-5) got more of them and were rewarded with a victory against the Lynchburg Hillcats (39-31, 4-5) by a 3-0 mark.
While the Rocks got the clutch hits they needed, Edwin Carl came on in relief in the fifth inning and dominated. He struck out eight men in five innings of work, allowing just one hit as he picked up his first victory as a Blue Rock.
In the sixth, Whit Merrifield banged a triple into the right field corner against Lynchburg starter Dimasther Delgado. After a strikeout from Angel Franco, Cheslor Cuthbert smoked a basehit between third and short of the drawn-in Lynchburg infield to give the Rocks the first lead of the game at 1-0.
The Rocks padded their lead in the seventh. With two outs, Jose Bonilla slashed a single to left. Juan Graterol hit a bouncing ball down to third base that Edward Salcedo tried to backhand. He failed to do so allowing Graterol to reach and Bonilla to move up to second base. A wild pitch followed from Delgado, putting both runners in scoring position. Luis Piterson lined a sharp grounder back up the box scoring both men to make it a 3-0 Rocks advantage. That was the last batter faced by Delgado before Ryne Harper retired Merrifield to end the frame.
Chase Boruff started for Wilmington and tossed four shutout frames with two hits, one walk, and one strikeout on his ledger in his third ever professional start.
Delgado went 6.2 innings, allowing three runs with just one of them earned. He scattered five hits and struck out four batters. He took his third loss of the year.
The Rocks finish this three-game series against the Lynchburg Hillcats on Saturday night at 6:05 p.m. Wilmington's RHP Yordano Ventura (3-5, 3.04) tangles with Lynchburg's RHP Gus Schlosser (8-4, 3.91). Broadcast coverage begins at 5:35 p.m. as studio host Rob Cunningham brings fans the Rocks Report Pre-game Show, presented by Wawa, on 89.7 WGLS-FM and online at wgls.rowan.edu.
PEBBLES OF KNOWLEDGE:
In the first half, the Blue Rocks scored just 227 runs for a league-low 3.2 runs/game average. Despite playing two seven-inning games and being held to one run on Sunday, Wilmington has scored 48 runs over its first nine games of the second stanza for an average of 5.3 runs/game. The team that hit 31 home runs over the 70-game first half, the second-lowest total in the league, has bashed seven early in the second. The Blue Crew hit a league-worst .231 in the first half but owns a .260 (77-for-296) contact clip so far this half.
Eight strikeouts for Edwin Carl were the most for a Rocks reliever this season. It is the highest strikeout total for any Blue Rock reliever since Patrick Keating fanned eight Keys batters in Frederick on May 8, 2010. The highest previous total was five whiffs, which was done five times with the most recent one taking place on June 8 at Winston-Salem when Friday's starter Chase Boruff turned the feat.
Although Wilmington won, Frederick was victiorious as well meaning the Blue Rocks will still be a game back of first place regardless of the outcome in the Potomac-Salem game. Outside of starting each half this season at 0-0, the Blue Crew has not owned even a share of first since June 29 of last year.
The shutout for the Blue Rocks was their seventh one of the season and their first since June 4 against Carolina. Their last nine-inning shutout was on May 26 at Myrtle Beach. The June 4 game against Carolina at Frawley was a 2-0 contest that was called in the fifth inning by the umpires due to rain. June 2 featured a 1-0, seven inning shutout of Frederick in Wilmington.
The Blue Rocks played their shortest nine-inning game at home this season. Friday's game took a mere two hours and 11 minutes to play.
Edwin Carl chucked five innings of shutout ball, allowing just one hit. With that he struck out eight guys, a season and career-high for him. His previous career-high was seven whiffs back on September 3, 2010 at home against Orem when he threw for Idaho Falls.