MYRTLE BEACH, SC (Friday, August 4, 2017) - The Salem Red Sox bounced back from giving up a six-run lead, plating five runs in the eighth to top the Myrtle Beach Pelicans 11-6 in Game 1 of their doubleheader Friday at TicketReturn.com Field.
The Sox (23-18, 63-47) collected eight hits in 17 at bats with runners in scoring position, helping erase the bad taste of a quiet offensive series against the Winston-Salem Dash. The Pelicans (14-26, 57-53) were able to come back from a six-run deficit early in the game, but fell behind late and couldn't complete another rally.
Salem opened the scoring in the top of the second against Myrtle Beach starter Thomas Hatch, who walked Jose Sermo to lead off the inning. Conrad Gregor singled to left to put runners at first and second, and Mike Meyers sliced a double to left to score Sermo and move Gregor to third base. Jhon Nunez then ripped a single through the middle, scoring the runners and moving to second on the throw to home by center fielder Connor Myers. A single by Victor Acosta allowed Nunez to scoot to third, and he came home when Nick Lovullo grounded into a double play, making it a 4-0 lead for Salem.
The Sox extended their advantage in the top of the third inning. Austin Rei knocked a leadoff single, and Sermo doubled him to third base. Gregor laced a single to right to score Rei, and Nunez ripped a double to right, scoring Sermo and running the lead to 6-0.
Myrtle Beach got on the board in the bottom of the third against Salem starter Roniel Raudes, who walked leadoff man P.J. Higgins to start the frame. Trent Giambrone flew out to left and Jesse Hodges fanned, but Vimael Machin worked a walk from Raudes. That brought up Eddy Martinez, who smashed a no-doubt three-run homer to left field, cutting Salem's lead in half to 6-3.
The Pelicans drew even in the bottom of the fifth inning. Raudes surrendered a leadoff double to Hodges, and Machin singled him to third. Martinez flew out to shallow center, but Tyler Alamo hit a slow swinging bunt up the third base line that just stayed fair for an RBI single, scoring Hodges. Salem manager Joe Oliver pulled Raudes for reliever Harrison Cooney, and Robert Garcia greeted Cooney with another spinning infield single to load the bases. Connor Myers hit his own wicked spinner up the third base line, and Cooney fielded it but couldn't make a play as Machin scored. Zack Short then lofted a sacrifice fly to left, with Alamo sliding home just ahead of the tag from Nunez to tie the game at 6-6. Neither team was able to score again within the first seven frames, so the game went to extra innings.
Salem pushed back in front in the top of the eighth against Myrtle Beach reliever David Berg (L, 0-2). Nunez led off with a ground-rule double to left field to put a runner in scoring position. Acosta hit a spinner in front of home plate, and Nunez slid into third base just ahead of the tag by Hodges; Acosta made it to first on the fielder's choice. Nick Lovullo lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to score Nunez, but Acosta was gunned down at second base trying to advance and became the second out. However, the Sox weren't done; Chris Madera hit a bouncer to third that Hodges threw away, and Madera made it all the way to second. Jeremy Rivera singled to score Madera, and made it to second when the throw home by Garcia was wild. Berg then uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Rivera to make it to third, and Rei drew a walk. Jose Sermo bounced a single through the left side to score Rivera, and Rei advanced to second base. Gregor continued his fine Salem debut with a two-run double to right, making it an 11-6 edge for the Sox. Reliever Adam Lau (W, 3-6) set down the Pelicans in order in the bottom of the inning to secure the win.
Raudes took a no-decision, giving up six runs on 10 hits and two walks in 4.1 innings while fanning four. Cooney surrendered two hits and two walks in 1.2 innings and struck out one, allowing both of his inherited runners to score. Lau got the win with two scoreless innings, recording two strikeouts against one hit.
The Sox open a four-game series at the Myrtle Beach Pelicans Thursday, with righty Roniel Raudes toeing the slab for Salem against Myrtle Beach righty Duncan Robinson. First pitch from TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark is at 7:05 p.m., and Ben Gellman's pregame show starts at 6:45 p.m. on ESPN Roanoke, ESPN Blacksburg, and on the Red Sox Radio Network online.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.