SALEM, Virginia (September 5, 2019) - Tyler Esplin destroyed two home runs in his first Carolina League postseason appearance to send the Salem Red Sox to a 5-2 win over the Wilmington Blue Rocks in Game One of the Carolina League North Division Championship Thursday night at Haley Toyota Field.
How it Happened
* Triston Casas got the bats rolling in the second inning with a double before Tyler Esplin blasted a ball to right field to claim an early 2-0 jump.
* The Sox doubled down in the third frame. Ryan Fitzgerald and Devlin Granberg led-off the inning with singles to place runners on the corners. Keith Curcio doubled to push another run and Triston Casas singled to climb ahead 4-0.
* Nick Pratto homered in the seventh to cut the lead in half.
* Thaddeus Ward finished after six-plus innings with seven strikeouts and one run after exiting the game with a runner at first.
* Esplin gave Salem 5-2 insurance with his second home run of the evening in the eighth inning.
* Logan Browning and Andrew Schwaab closed the final three innings with just one run and four strikeouts.
* Tyler Esplin: 2-for-3, 3 RBI, 2 R, 2 HR
* Thaddeus Ward: 6.0+ IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 7 K - W (1-0)
* Triston Casas: 2-for-4, RBI, R, 2B
* Keith Curcio: 2-for-4, RBI, 2 2B
* Esplin's two-homer night ties a Salem postseason record set in 2001 by Mills Cup MVP John Lindsey.
* The win gives Salem a 2-0 advantage in the best-of-five series.
* Ryan Fitzgerald, Keith Curcio, Triston Casas, Tyler Esplin and Grant Williams all recorded multi-hit nights.
Salem Red Sox at Wilmington Blue Rocks, September 6, 2019. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM EST.
RHP AJ Politi vs LHP Kris Bubic
Listen: SalemSox.com, TuneIn Radio, ESPN Blacksburg WKEX 1430 AM/94.1 FM, WGMN 1240 AM/93.3 FM
The Salem Red Sox are the Advanced-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox and call Haley Toyota Field in Salem, Virginia home. The team was founded in 1968 and purchased by Fenway Sports Management in December of 2007. For more information on the Salem Red Sox, please visit SalemRedSox.com or contact Melanie Newman at MNewman@salemsox.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.