DANVILLE, Va. - The Danville Braves snapped a losing streak with a 4-3 victory over the Princeton Rays on Saturday night. The win ended a five-game skid for Danville and evened up the series after a 4-2 loss Friday night.
Ray Hernandez and Willie Carter both went 2-for-4 with an RBI to lead the way. Cody Milligan also had a strong day, going 1-for-2 with a double and two walks. Seven of the nine batter reached base, and Danville's pitching staff struck out 11 Rays hitters, including six from reliever Alger Hodgson.
Danville started off hot, striking in the first inning for two runs. Milligan opened the frame with a walk, and a Beau Philip double moved him to third base. Connor Blair was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Bryce Ball, who lifted the first pitch he saw to left field for a sacrifice fly to score Milligan. Hernandez followed with an RBI single before two strikeouts ended the inning.
Milligan doubled in the second inning but was stranded at second. Princeton got a leadoff single in the third inning and then a two-out single to put runners on first and second for Nick Schnell. Schnell doubled to right field to drive in one run, but Carter's relay to Milligan and subsequent throw to home beat the second runner there to keep it at 2-1.
In the fourth inning, Princeton had runners on first and second with two outs when Nate Soria hit a 1-2 pitch towards third baseman Cody Birdsong. Soria beat the throw to first for the hit, but Ball caught Diego Infante trying to score at home from second to end the inning and the scoring threat.
In the top of the fifth, Princeton got a solo home run to tie it up at two. Danville reliever Filyer Sanchez hit Jelfry Marte with a pitch, and Marte scored the next at bat on another double from Schnell to give Princeton the 3-2 lead. Danville put runners on the corners in the bottom of the inning but couldn't do anything with them.
After two and a half scoreless innings, Blair led off the bottom of the eighth with a double. Princeton reliever Ryan Allain threw one wild pitch to move Blair to third and then walked Ball with another wild pitch, allowing Blair to score and tie the game. A third wild pitch advanced Ball to second, and after a Hernandez strikeout Carter launched a bomb to deep left that came up just shy of clearing the fence. Instead, it ended up as an RBI double that gave Danville the 4-3 lead. A fourth wild pitch from Allain and a walk to Victor De Hoyos put runners on the corners but a strikeout ended the inning.
In the top of the ninth, Alex Camacho came on for a 1-2-3 inning to earn his second save and finish the win.
Danville and Princeton will meet in the series rubber match Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.