Salem, VA - An extra-inning affair fell in favor of the Wilmington Blue Rocks (67-65, 28-34), who took the contest 2-1 over the Salem Red Sox (72-60, 32-31) on Sunday afternoon at Hayley Toyota Field. With two runners on in the top of the 10th inning, Nick Heath stroked a single up the middle, and John Brontsema scored from second on a throwing error from the center fielder to take a 2-1 victory. Salem had the tying run at third base in the bottom of the frame, but ultimately failed to score. With the win, the Rocks move back to 3.5 games behind the leading Red Sox in the Northern Division Wild Card race with seven games left in the 2017 regular season.
The two teams were held in check through four innings until Wilmington broke the tie. In the top of the fifth frame, with two-outs and a runner on third, Colton Frabasilio hit a line drive into right field to score the runner and put the Rocks up 1-0. Scott Blewett cruised through seven scoreless frames, but Salem found live in the eighth. Tate Matheny led the inning off with a double, was moved to third on a groundball, and scored on a John Nunez single to tie it 1-1. The Red Sox later loaded the bases with one-out, but were unable to push across the go-ahead run. Nine innings were not enough, and the two teams headed to extras.
Blewett pitched very well in his last road start of the regular season. The right hander allowed one run on six hits and struck out eight batters over seven and one third innings pitched. Franco Terrero (3-5) pitched his way out of a bases loaded jam in relief and recorded the win by throwing 2.2 scoreless frames.
The Rocks will have a final day off on Monday before beginning their final seven-game home stand of the regular season on Tuesday, August 29. Wilmington will take on Down East for a three-game set before finishing off the 2017 campaign against Lynchburg. Fans can find more information and purchase tickets at www.bluerocks.com.
PEBBLES OF KNOWLEDGE:
Scott Blewett put together another great start on Sunday afternoon. The right hander surrender one run on six hits while striking out eight batters, his most strikeouts in 10 starts. Blewett has gone deep into games this year, tossing at least seven innings in seven starts this season, the most of any Blue Rocks starting pitcher. It was also the 11th start that Blewett has allowed just one earned run or less. Over his last four starts, the New York-native has given up seven earned runs in 27.1 innings pitched.
Chris DeVito picked up two hits on Sunday and finished the road trip batting .375 (9-for-24) with a pair of doubles, two homers, and seven RBIs. DeVito also broke out of his 7-for-74 slump with a three-hit game on Tuesday night at Frederick when he slugged a home run and added a pair of doubles in the game. This season, the first baseman has 21 home runs overall, with 10 of them coming with the Blue Rocks. DeVito also has 50 RBI with Wilmington which is second behind only Roman Collins on the team.
Sunday's game wrapped up the final meeting between Salem and Wilmington in the 2017 campaign. Home-field advantage was the key during the series between the two teams. The Rocks won 10 of the teams' 14 meetings at Frawley Stadium while Salem owned a 9-4 record at Haley Toyota Field. The Rocks have now wrapped up season series against Potomac, Frederick, Salem, Myrtle Beach, Buies Creek, Carolina, and Winston-Salem.
The Rocks start their final home stand on Tuesday, taking on the Down East Wood Ducks for a three-game series. It is the first and only time Down East will visit Wilmington, with the previous 10 meetings all occurring at historic Grainger Stadium. The Rocks own the season series 7-3. Wilmington will finish off the season against Lynchburg for a four-game set. Overall, the Rocks have gone 8-5 against the Hillcats and 4-2 in the friendly confines of Frawley Stadium.
They Said It: Jamie Quirk
"That's like four starts in a row for Scott Blewett where he has been fantastic. He was on a mission (on Sunday) and you could tell from the first pitch on. Very aggressive, good fastball, good mix of pitches, I thought he did a great job. You can't talk about Franco Terrero enough, coming in with the bases loaded and one-out, stranding three runners there. Then he went two more innings, no hits. The pitching was great (Sunday) and we scored just enough."
"Terrero has quietly done his job. He has been in a lot of tight situations but whatever it is he has come through. He has consistently done his job and you can't do any better than he did (Sunday)."
"Just keep playing hard (on what expectations are for last home stand). Play with emotion every single day and come out and see where the chips fall. We keep saying we are in it and until they tell us we are not, we are in it! We will see what happens. This club is a unique club, you never know from day-to-day but they find a way to hang in there. When you think they are down and out, they win a game like (Sunday). (Monday) we have the off day which is well deserved and we will see what we do on Tuesday. Just keep playing until they say go home."
25 Years of Blue Rocks Baseball
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.