SALEM, VA (Sunday, September 2) - The Salem Red Sox took a narrow lead after a long weather delay Sunday, but fell into a tie and fell victim to control woes late in a 3-1 loss to the Lynchburg Hillcats at Haley Toyota Field.
The Red Sox (31-38, 63-74) failed to take advantage of their best chances, going 1-11 with runners in scoring position. The Hillcats (41-28, 70-66) took advantage of wildness in Salem's relief corps to take the victory over the Sox in the penultimate game of the season.
Starting pitchers Denyi Reyes (ND) and Eli Morgan (ND) both held the offenses in check through the first three innings. With two outs and Anthony Miller at first base, nearby rain lightning forced a weather delay of a little over an hour. When play resumed, Taylor Ahearn got Emmanuel Tapia to bounce into a fielder's choice, ending the inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, Josh Tobias led off, and hammered a hanging changeup over the wall in right for a solo homer. It was Tobias's fourth homer with the Red Sox, and it gave Salem a 1-0 lead.
The Hillcats drew level in the top of the sixth. Nolan Jones opened the frame with a single to center off Ahearn, and raced to third on a funky infield single from Miller. Austen Wade singled into center, scoring Jones to tie the game at 1-1.
Lynchburg pulled ahead in the top of the ninth against Red Sox reliever Austin Glorius (L, 1-2), who retired the first two batters he faced before his control deserted him. Glorius walked the next five batters in order, plating Alexis Pantoja and Josh Rolette to put the Hillcats ahead 3-1; Josh Tobias then fanned Miller looking to end the inning. In the bottom of the ninth, Jagger Rusconi hit a two-out double off Hillcats reliever Luis Jimenez (W, 3-3), but Tyler Hill fanned to end the ballgame.
Reyes allowed two hits and a walk in 3.2 innings, whiffing four and hitting one batter. Ahearn allowed one run on four hits and a walk over 4.1 innings, fanning five. Glorius allowed two runs on five walks, fanning one and recording two outs. Tobias fanned the only batter he faced.
The Sox will close the season out with a Labor Day tilt Monday afternoon, with right-hander Kutter Crawford starting for Salem against Lynchburg southpaw Kirk McCarty. First pitch from Haley Toyota Field is scheduled for 1:05 p.m., and the pregame show with Ben Gellman and Suzie Cool begins at 12:45 p.m. on the Red Sox Broadcast Network.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.